It’s no secret that you need a hot goalie to survive in the NHL playoffs. Right now, the Minnesota Wild doesn’t have one.
At times during the regular season, rookie Darcy Kuemper showed flashes of brilliance but he has been slowed down by injuries. He got hurt again in game 7 against Colorado and is listed as day to day.
That means for now, the Wild have to lean on Ilya Bryzgalov, the veteran netminder they picked up in a trade in early March. After being acquired, the 33-year-old was solid in goal, posting a 7-1 record down the stretch.
But during the playoffs, it’s been a different story. Bryz has allowed 12 goals in four games and has a 1-3 record. His lone win was the relief effort in game 7 where he made one save in overtime. He currently has a .821 save percentage in the post season with a goals against average is 4.16. Far from impressive.
A 6-3, he covers a lot of the net when he sets up in his stance. But he seems to struggle moving side to side and at times, tracking the puck.
He really needs to pick up his game if the Wild are going to have any chance of slowing down the high-powered Blackhawks. If not, the Wild’s season will be over, and likely, so will Bryzgalov’s short stint with Minnesota.