This week’s Underdog of the Week comes to us from the Minnesota Wild. Josh Harding has been a solid goaltender for the Wild, even after being diagnosed with MS last year. Some believed that he wouldn’t be able to continue his NHL career after and MS diagnoses, but he has shown everyone that he is a fighter, and this past week proves he is winning the battle. Let’s look at this week’s underdog.
Josh Harding started three of four games this week. His first start was Monday, a game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Minnesota. After a great game, Harding earned a shutout, registering 21 saves in the 2-0 victory. His second game was on Thursday, a close call for the Wild, as they bested the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Thanks to Marco Scandella, who scored the go-ahead goal at the 18:12 mark in the third, the Wild received their second win in as many games this week.
Their next game was Friday, where Niklas Backstrom got the start. The Blue Jackets dominated the ice, and shutout the Wild 4-0, even though Backstrom had recorded 37 saves. But Harding got the nod to start on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks came into the game on a two-game losing streak. Now that the Sharks were thirsty for another win, they were going to fight until the final buzzer. Josh Harding made 38 saves, allowing just one goal as Zach Parise had two goals and Mikko Koivu had the game-winner. They handed the Sharks their third consecutive loss by defeating them 3-1.
As I scrolled through Instagram, I noticed a picture of Harding on the Minnesota Wild’s page. He has a league-best 1.50 GAA and is 13-1-0 at the Xcel Energy Center this year. This was a big reason I have named him Underdog of the Week.
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