Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Believe In Backstrom

Following last night's 3-1 defeat to Nashville, many fans took to social media, to voice their displeasure with Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom. And while his bad clearing attempt did lead to the game winning goal, the loss was not all his fault.

The highlights of the game on Wild TV does not truly paint the picture as to how well Backstrom played. He was positioned well, and made some stellar saves to keep the score 1-1. If you look at the other 2 goals he allowed, he really had no chance to make saves on them (A blocked shot put the puck on Spaling's stick with an empty net, and a 3 on 1 rush on a power play). Its just that second goal allowed that has everyone up in arms today.

As you can see, Backstrom was huge. He made 23 saves, and gave his team a chance to win the game. That's what you want from your starting goaltender. The fact is, the Wild dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, then went into a deep sleep until Erat's goal. So had Backstrom not brought his best to the rink last night, Nashville easily could of won the game 5-1 or 6-1.

Before everyone cries out for Harding to get the majority of the starts, please, look a little more closely at how Backstrom plays. Because he is a pretty solid goaltender. He just had some bad breaks last night.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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