Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom named to NHL All-Star Team
It's great to see Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom getting his due. His netminding has been absolutely stellar and has kept the team competitive even when the offense struggled to get something going on the other side of the ice.
The league announced Backstrom's spot on the All-Star roster today, and the team trumpeted the news in an email sent just moments ago.
Check out Backstrom's stats, which make the argument for inclusion:
Backstrom, 30 (2/13/78), is 19-12-2 with a 2.14 goals against average (GAA), a .929 SV Pct. and five shutouts in 33 games this season. He ranks tied for first in the NHL in shutouts, fourth in wins, fifth in GAA and sixth in SV Pct. Backstrom established franchise records with 33 wins and 1,498 saves last season and tied the record for games played (58). Among goalies playing 100 or more games since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, he ranks first in the NHL in SV Pct. at .925, first in GAA at 2.16, tied for second in win % at .669 and fifth in shutouts with 14. Backstrom won the 2007 William M. Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the tandem allowed a League-low 191 goals against. Backstrom also received the Bank of America Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award in 2007 as he recorded a league best .929 SV Pct. Minnesota signed the Helsinki, Finland-native as a free agent on June 1, 2006. He is 75-33-16 with a 2.16 GAA, a .925 SV Pct. and 14 shutouts in 132 career games with Minnesota.
Previous Wild players who have made the All-Star roster:
Marian Gaborik became the first Wild player to participate in the contest in 2003. In 2004, Filip Kuba and Dwayne Roloson represented Minnesota at the NHL All-Star Game held at Saint Paul's Xcel Energy Center. Brian Rolston appeared in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game and Gaborik made his second career NHL All-Star Game appearance in 2008.