This will be the last blog post of the day, hopefully, before puck drop as the Wild goes for its second-straight road win tonight.
Darcy Kuemper, who was recalled from Houston, will make his NHL debut with a road start against the Vancouver Canucks. A hostile place for the 22-year-old to debut, but on the morning team bus ride to the rink, he showed no signs of nerves. Maybe that’s because at the time he wasn’t aware that he’d be making his big league debut tonight.
Niklas Backstrom has started the last eight games and was due for rest. As earlier reported on the Lighthouse, Kuemper was recalled from Houston because Josh Harding has felt a little off of late, after taking a new medication for multiple sclerosis treatments.
Kuemper has been stellar with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros. He is 10-6-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average (second in the AHL), a .938 save percentage (second in the AHL) and four shutouts (T-fourth in the AHL) in 16 games for Houston this season.
Torrey Mitchell will return to the lineup after sitting out last night in Calgary. He replaces Pierre-Marc Bouchard on the fourth line alongside Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp.
Jared Spurgeon, who was activated off of Injured Reserve, will also be back on the blue line, paired with Justin Falk. He is in for Nate Prosser, who will be a healthy scratch.