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Wild woes continue as Niklas Backstrom leaves game

Niklas Backstrom, Evander Kane

Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32), of Finland, stops a shot by Winnipeg Jets’ Evander Kane in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


There was already an instinct to stick a fork in the Minnesota Wild’s playoff hopes upon hearing that Mikko Koivu will miss at least two more weeks, but now their other big-money cornerstone might be on the shelf.

Pricey No. 1 starter Niklas Backstrom needed help getting off the ice after injuring himself while making a save in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Obviously it’s early in the process, but various testimonies seemed rather negative.

Ultimately it’s really only good news for one person: backup goalie Josh Harding. The pending unrestricted free agent has a lot to gain if he plays well - especially if this ailment sidelines Backstrom for a lengthy amount of time.