The Top Four in Franchise History

2012 NHL Lockout, Archives, Dwayne Roloson, Hockey History, Manny Fernandez, Minnesota Wild, Nicklas Backstrom, Wild Goaltending


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Separating Roloson from Fernandez, the man he shared net duties with for most of his time in Minnesota, was a difficult one. Roloson was the slightly favoured goaltender in the pre-lockout NHL getting more starts than his younger counterpart. He finished with the best statistics amongst all NHL goaltenders posting a .919 save percentage and 2.28 GAA. He also secured more shutouts than Fernandez registering 15 despite playing nearly 100 less games.

Dwayne Roloson as an Islander (560XLS/Flickr)

Roloson was slightly unfortunate to lose his job to Fernandez and would enjoy a run all the way to the Stanley Cup finals with the Edmonton Oilers that same season. The Minnesota Wild leaned heavily on Roloson during seasons where they weren’t able to assemble strong, deep rosters.

Minnesota Wild Goalie #1: Niklas Backstrom

Backstrom may not possess the very best statistics of NHL goaltenders with a .918 save percentage and 2.42 GAA. He holds the franchise record by miles with 26 shutouts and 327 appearances. He stole the job from a red hot Fernandez in his first season and finished with a save percentage higher than .920 in each of his first three seasons. Backstrom isn’t the biggest goaltender, but he has great athleticism and seems to be one member of the glut of Finnish goaltending talent consistently impressing in the NHL.

Niklas Backstrom

Niklas Backstrom. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Injuries have slowed the 34-year old down over the last two seasons, but he continues to produce consistently and has been the first man in Minnesota Wild history to own the starting role all to himself. He appeared in each of the playoffs that the Minnesota Wild have taken part in since the previous lockout.



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