Posted by Mike Doyle
Hockey can be a lot like cards; sometimes you just have to ride the hot hand.
Head Coach Mike Yeo said that Josh Harding has earned another start Saturday night when the Wild host the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center.
Even with the team’s stellar play, Yeo told the media after practice that he’s not opposed to shuffling things up, “For me it’s not really a superstitious thing, and I’m not afraid to change the lineup if we are winning.”
“I think sometimes it can help you in some ways, that you don’t get a little bit stale or a little bit complacent, and it can reset your focus.”
Although Yeo likes to bring a fresh approach to every game, we can’t help but look at Harding’s numbers against the Blues, which are nearly as impressive as his stats this season. He is 4-2-0 with a 1.77 GAA and .938 SV% against St. Louis. On the year, the goaltender is 3-0-1 with a 1.22 GAA and .964 SV%. With those numbers, Harding is a pretty safe bet.
Practice was markedly looser the day after a 5-1 victory over Vancouver, but Yeo stressed the importance of staying focused.
“Some things came easy to us last game,” Yeo said. “Our guys worked really hard in practice, but were also very loose, which can be a good thing, but it can also be a very bad thing. So, we talked about it and (said) let’s make sure tomorrow’s game doesn’t start tomorrow, it starts for us right now.”
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who tallied his first goal of the season last night, agreed the sentiment of his coach, “We want to keep it going. The last few games have been big wins, but we’ve got to move on and focus on tomorrow night’s game.”
If the Wild are satisfied with a three game winning streak, they’re keeping a pretty good poker face about it.