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Niklas Backstrom Returns To Minnesota Tonight

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

A month ago, it would have been impossible to envision Niklas Backstrom playing a pivotal role in determining whether the Wild makes the playoffs.

As the team’s third goaltender, Backstrom shared a net with backup Darcy Kuemper at practice and didn’t play a single second of any game.

But suddenly, Backstrom is not only a member of the Calgary Flames, he will lead that team from the visitors’ tunnel wearing a “Flaming C” on his chest to start Thursday’s game at Xcel Energy Center. In fact, the 38-year-old could wind up starting against his former team in two of its final eight games, because Calgary returns to Minnesota for each team’s regular-season finale April 9.

The Wild is one point up on Colorado for the last Western Conference playoff spot, so Backstrom’s play either will put a dent in the Wild’s playoff chances or provide one giant boost.

“It’s definitely weird,” said Backstrom, who arrived in the Twin Cities late Monday and has been at his Edina home with his wife and two children.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+backstrom

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com