Description: Somehow, Wild left wing Zach Parise (foot contusion) was able to return Friday against Colorado after being given a 2-to-3 week recovery timetable earlier in the week. SOURCE: Michael Russo, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Insight: Parise only ended up missing one game. Employ the talented 29-year-old as you normally would.
Description: Minnesota left wing Zach Parise (foot) surprisingly participated in Tuesday's morning skate, one day after being given a 2-3 week timetable due to a foot contusion. SOURCE: startribune.com
Insight: Parise, who suffered the injury while blocking an Alex Steen slap shot Monday night, won't play Wednesday night but should be back sooner than initially expected. "I was stunned to be honest with you," Wild coach Mike Yeo said about Parise participating Tuesday. "I shouldn’t say that because that’s the way he is talking to him even yesterday. It’s very encouraging. It’s a great example to everybody just how bad he wants to compete and help the team."
Description: Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom suffered a concussion Wednesday night against Toronto and will miss Sunday's game against Winnipeg.
Insight: Josh Harding has been playing great with a 11-2-2 record, 1.26 GAA and .945 SV% so there is no need to rush Backstrom into the lineup. Given the unknown nature of a concussion, there is no timetable for his return. Johan Gustafsson will backup Harding.
Description: Minnesota goalie Josh Harding is under the weather, so Niklas Backstrom will make his first start since Oct. 28 Wednesday night against Toronto.
Insight: Backstrom opened the season as the starter but suffered an injury early in October and has struggled in two starts since returning. Harding, meanwhile, has been dominant, going 9-2-2 with a 1.22 GAA and a .947 SV% in 14 games.
Description: Wild center Mikael Granlund has scored a goal in two of the last three games after failing to get one in the first 14.
Insight: The 21-year-old has two goals and 12 points in 17 games this season. He's currently centering Minnesota's second line with Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter on the wings, so he should be able to maintain this level of production.
Description: Wild center Charlie Coyle is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Calgary.
Insight: Coyle didn't score in the three games he played this season. He's expected to play with Zach Parise and Dany Heatley and could produce decent fantasy results if the trio has success. Take a wait-and-see attitude.
Description: Minnesota goalie Josh Harding will miss Monday's game against Chicago after he suffered a lower-body injury Thursday night.
Insight: Harding has been nearly impenetrable so far, allowing just eight goals on 171 shots in 479 minutes (1.00 GAA, .953 SV%) while filling in for Niklas Backstrom (knee). Backstrom is back so the Wild can get through with Johan Gustafsson as his backup.
Description: Wild right wing Jason Pominville potted a pair of goals Saturday in a win over Chicago.
Insight: Minnesota is off to a solid 6-3-3 start and Pominville's play has been a big reason why. He now has six goals in his first 12 games of the season. Pominville only had ten scores in 37 games last season.
Description: Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) will make his first start since Oct. 8 Saturday against the Blackhawks.
Insight: The team actually activated Backstrom more than a week ago, but he's been stuck on the bench behind Josh Harding, who is 5-2-1 with a 1.00 GAA and a .953 SV%. Harding's lower-body injury gives Backstrom a window to get his starting job back.
Description: Minnesota goalie Josh Harding suffered a lower-body injury Thursday night. The 29-year-old will miss Saturday's game.
Insight: Harding has been nearly impenetrable so far, allowing just eight goals on 171 shots in 479 minutes (1.00 GAA, .953 SV%) while filling in for Niklas Backstrom (knee). Backstrom is back and could use Harding's injury to regain his starting job.
Description: Minnesota goalie Josh Harding saw just 16 shots Tuesday against Nashville and stopped all of them for his first shutout of the season.
Insight: The 29-year-old is playing out of his mind right now, allowing just seven goals on 150 shots (.953 SV%) and posting a 0.96 GAA in eight games. Even though Niklas Backstrom returned from his injury last week, the team won't remove Harding from net while he is playing like this.
Description: Darcy Kuemper will start in net for the Wild Tuesday at Toronto.
Insight: Kuemper was called up to serve as Josh Harding's backup following Niklas Backstrom's injury. Kuemper played six games last season and went 1-2-0 with a 2.08 GAA and a .916 SV%. Backstrom skated Monday and could return this week, so fantasy owners can ignore Kuemper and Harding.
Description: Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) was a full participant in Monday's pre-game practice, but is still questionable for Tuesday's game with Toronto.
Insight: Backstrom suffered a right knee strain Tuesday. The Wild started a four-game road trip Monday and Backstrom (0-0, 3.40 GAA, .849 SV%) hopes to play in one of them. Josh Harding played well on Monday in a 2-1 victory and should get the assignment on Tuesday.
Description: Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) is doubtful for Monday's game against Buffalo.
Insight: Backstrom suffered a right knee strain Tuesday and while he practiced Friday says his knee is "not normal yet," according to the Star Tribune. The Wild start a four-game road trip and Backstrom (0-0, 3.40 GAA, .849 SV%) hopes to play in one of them.
Description: Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) practiced Friday during the team's optional skate, but says his knee is "not normal yet," according to the Star Tribune.
Insight: Backstrom suffered a right knee strain Tuesday. "I’m glad it’s not serious. It felt pretty bad (Tuesday) But the MRI said everything wasn’t as bad as thought first. Now it’s just rehab and work and get back out there as soon as I can." Josh Harding will start until Backstrom is ready to return.
Description: With starter Niklas Backstrom sidelined with a lower-body injury, the Wild will go with Josh Harding in net Thursday against the Jets.
Insight: Harding played just five games in 2012-13 due to continued complications from multiple sclerosis and had a 3.24 GAA. He also started all five games in Minnesota's first-round playoff series loss to the Blackhawks last season after Backstrom suffered an injury in pre-game warmups prior to Game 1 and had a 2.94 GAA. Fantasy owners can avoid him.
Description: Wild winger Zach Parise scored two goals on six shots Saturday night against the Ducks and has 14 SOG through two games.
Insight: Parise averaged 1.08 ppg from 2008-2010 but since then has averaged 0.79 ppg. He had 18 goals and 38 points in 48 games during his first season in Minnesota. However, he has kept his fantasy value up by taking more than 3.5 SOG per game.
Description: Right wing Jason Pominville has agreed to a five-year, $28 million contract extension with Minnesota. SOURCE: Pierre LeBrun, ESPN
Insight: Pominville was dealt to the Wild last April after spending his first eight and a half seasons with Buffalo. His numbers (14 goals, 20 assists in 47 games last season) would suggest that he's in the prime of his career.
Description: Minnesota Wild right wing Dany Heatley, who underwent successful for a torn labrum on April 8, has said he's expecting at least 30 goals this season.
Insight: "I'd be very disappointed if I didn't get 30 at least," he told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune. It's been since 2009-10 that Heatley cracked the 30-goal mark, so this would be a nice target to shoot for. Back in 2005-06 and 2006-07, Heatley posted 50 goals and put up more than 100 points with Ottawa so we know he has the talent to achieve the number.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding will start Game 5 against the Blackhawks Thursday night.
Insight: Harding suffered a lower-body injury on a collision with Jonathan Toews in Game 4 and had to leave the game. He's playing due to the lower-body injury suffered by Niklas Backstrom during pre-game warmups for Game 1, so the Wild had to turn to third-string netminder Darcy Kuemper Tuesday. Minnesota trailed the series 3-1.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding had to leave Game 3 Tuesday against the Blackhawks after colliding with Jonathan Toews.
Insight: Harding has an undisclosed injury. He already was playing in place of Niklas Backstrom, who suffered a lower-body injury during pre-game warmups for Game 1. The Wild had to turn to Darcy Kuemper, a rookie who just celebrated his 23rd birthday two days ago.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding will start in net again in Game 2 against the Blackhawks.
Insight: Harding was forced into duty when starter Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury reaching for a rebound during pre-game warmups, and he took top-seeded Chicago to overtime in a 2-1 loss.
Description: Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday while reaching for a rebound in pre-game warmups prior to Game 1 of the team's playoff series against Chicago.
Insight: Backstrom tied for the NHL lead with 24 wins and had a 2.48 GAA this season, so this is obviously a big loss for the eighth-seeded Wild. Josh Harding will start for the first time since allowing two goals in seven minutes Jan. 30 against these same Chicago Blackhawks.
Description: Wild forward Jason Pominville (upper body) will miss Game 1 of Minnesota's first round playoff series against the Blackhawks on Tuesday, according to Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com
Insight: Pominville practiced Monday and appeared ready to play, so this is surprising. Minnesota already is a steep undergo against top-seeded Chicago, and not having Pominville will make pulling off an upset even tougher.
Description: Wild right wing Dany Heatley underwent successful shoulder surgery on April 8 and missed the remainder of the regular season, but has not ruled himself out for returning sometime in the playoffs.
Insight: We don't think he'll try to come back until next season, but all he would say when asked was that his shoulder "is feeling good."
Description: Wild forward Jason Pominville is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, according to the Star Tribune.
Insight: Pominville took an elbow to the face from Dustin Brown of the Kings Tuesday night. Brown has been suspended for the final two games of the regular season. The team isn't calling Pominville's injury a concussion just yet, but the forward was wobbly coming off the ice Tuesday.
Description: Wild right wing Dany Heatley will miss the rest of the season after undergoing successful shoulder surgery Tuesday, the team announced. SOURCE: NHL.com
Insight: Heatley hurt his shoulder on April 3 falling awkwardly on the ice while fighting with Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the Sharks after Vlasic cross-checked Heatley after the final buzzer. The team said Heatley should be ready for the start of the 2013-14 season.
Description: Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom saved 24 shots Sunday in a 3-0 win against Columbus.
Insight: It was Backstrom's second shutout of the year and the 28th of his career. Backstrom's numbers have been pretty pedestrian this season (2.52 GAA, .910 save percentage entering Sunday) but he'll help out fantasy owners with a strong game every now and then.
Description: Wild right wing Dany Heatley injured his arm late in Wednesday's loss to San Jose.
Insight: Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is hearing that the injury should sideline Heatley "for a while." Fantasy owners might want to think about hitting the waiver wire for a replacement.
Description: Wild defenseman Ryan Suter scored the game-tying goal Wednesday against the Coyotes with 55 seconds left in the third period.
Insight: The Suter signing is looking great for Minnesota after a rough start. The blueliner had four points and a -7 over his first 10 games with the team but he has three goals, 23 points and a +9 over his last 22 games.
Description: Minnesota right wing Devin Setoguchi scored twice Wednesday in a 4-2 win over Detroit.
Insight: Setoguchi is in the midst of his most productive stretch of the season. Over his last five games, the former first-round pick has registered six goals and two assists with a +6 rating. It's no coincidence that the Wild have won four in a row and six of their last seven. Setoguchi has played a major role in Minnesota's resurgence over the past month.
Description: Wild right wing Devin Setoguchi netted a pair of goals Saturday in a win over Colorado.
Insight: Setoguchi is putting himself in the discussion for player of the week honors. He's now tallied four goals in his last three games with a +4 rating over that span. Surprisingly, Setoguchi is owned in fewer than eight percent of ESPN leagues at the moment.
Description: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise scored his ninth goal of the season Saturday against the Predators.
Insight: Parise's return home to Minnesota has gone south lately. He started out with five goals and nine points in his first five games but has produced just four goals and seven points over his last 18.
Description: Wild right wing Cal Clutterbuck was activated from injured reserve and is probable for Saturday's game against Nashville.
Insight: Clutterbuck suffered a thigh injury when Oilers left wing Taylor Hall kneed him back on February 21 and missed the last six games. Friday he was skating in practice on a line with Kyle Brodziak and Dany Heatley.
Description: Minnesota Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck will miss Tuesday's game against Calgary with a bruised left thigh.
Insight: Clutterbuck left Thursday's game and didn't return after a hit by Taylor Hall, was suspended for two games as a result of the play. Playing on the third line Clutterbuck is only seeing about 13 minutes of ice time per game, has totaled three points in 14 games and has little fantasy value.
Description: Ottawa defenseman Mike Lundin is questionable for Monday's game against Montreal with flu-like symptoms.
Insight: Lundin has never shown any ability to be productive for fantasy owners. He's never scored more than 13 points in a season, hasn't had a plus rating in five seasons, doesn't accrue penalty minutes and has never taken more than 55 SOG in a season. Look elsewhere for defensive help.
Description: Minnesota winger Dany Heatley was dropped from the first to the third line Saturday and posted a minus-3 against Calgary. SOURCE: Star Tribune
Insight: Heatley only has one goal and three points over his last 12 games. Minnesota ranks 29th in the NHL with 2.06 goals per game despite inking Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to massive contracts last summer.
Description: Minnesota Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck is expected to miss Saturday's game against Calgary with a bruised left thigh.
Insight: Clutterbuck left Thursday's game and didn't return after a hit by Taylor Hall, who has been suspended for two games as a result of the play. Playing on the third line Clutterbuck is only seeing about 13 minutes of ice time per game, has totaled three points in 14 games and has little fantasy value.
Description: Minnesota winger Dany Heatley lit the lamp for the fifth time this season Sunday against the Red Wings.
Insight: Heatley had four goals in the first five games but he hadn't had one since. In fact, he went without a point in eight straight before tallying two assists Thursday. With two SOG Sunday, Heatley is on pace for just 169 SOG per 82 games; the winger has taken at least 202 shots in nine of his 10 seasons and at least 217 in seven straight.
Description: Minnesota Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck is questionable for Sunday's game against Detroit with an upper body injury.
Insight: Clutterbuck left Thursday's game and didn't return. Playing on the third line he is only seeing about 13 minutes of ice time per game. Clutterbuck has totaled three points in 14 games and has little fantasy value.
Description: Goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been recalled by the Wild and is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday against the Canucks. SOURCE: Michael Russo, Star Tribune.
Insight: Regular backup Josh Harding hasn't been feeling well as he tries out different medications for his multiple sclerosis. The 22-year-old Kuemper was named the WHL Goaltender and Player of the Year in 2010-11 after putting together a 45-12-15 record with a 1.86 GAA and .933 SV%.
Description: Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom will make his third straight start Thursday versus the Canucks.
Insight: He has the No. 1 goaltender spot locked up. Backup Josh Harding hasn't played since giving up two goals in seven minutes on Jan. 30 against Chicago. Backstrom relieved Harding in that game and blanked Chicago in 58 minutes to pick up a win but has lost his last two starts.
Description: The Rangers sent center Mike Rupp to the Wild Monday in exchange for forwards Nick Palmieri and Daroll Powe.
Insight: None of the three players involved in the trade have registered a point yet in 2013. Rupp could be worth a look in deeper leagues if you're desperate for penalty minutes (100 PIM or more in three out of his last four seasons).
Description: Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom will start Friday's game against the Ducks.
Insight: Backstrom blanked Chicago in 58 minutes Wednesday after coming on in relief of Josh Harding. Harding has a shutout on his resume this season but he has allowed seven goals in 64 minutes in his other two starts. Backstrom could distance himself further from Harding with a strong start Friday.
Description: Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom came on in relief and blanked Chicago over 58 minutes Wednesday to deal the Blackhawks their first loss of any kind this season. Minnesota won 3-2 in a shootout.
Insight: Josh Harding gave up two goals in the first seven minutes and was yanked. Backstrom doesn't get credit for the shutout because he didn't start but it's still a performance that could widen the split between the two goaltenders. Backstrom has started four games to Harding's three this season.
Description: Wild backup goaltender Josh Harding will replace Niklas Backstrom Wednesday against the Blackhawks.
Insight: It's a tough assignment for the backup netminder against 6-0 Chicago. Harding shut out Dallas in his first start but allowed five goals to Detroit in a loss on Jan. 25. He will have started three games to Backstrom's four after Wednesday's game.
Description: The Wild will have Niklas Backstrom between the pipes Tuesday against the Blue Jackets.
Insight: Backstrom has been mediocre in two of three starts this season and is 1-1-1 with a 3.31 GAA. Josh Harding has also been cutting into his playing time and will likely start Wednesday against Chicago.
Description: Minnesota winger Dany Heatley has scored three goals on 14 shots in the first three games this season.
Insight: Heatley got one past the goaltender Tuesday against the Predators after scoring twice in the season opener. The winger's goals have slipped from his days of scoring 40-50, but he is still a serviceable fantasy option.
Description: Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom will get the start Tuesday versus Nashville.
Insight: Backstrom won the season opener with 25 saves on 27 shots in 60 minutes against the Avalanche. Nashville roughed up Blues ace goaltender Jaroslav Halak on Monday but Backstrom should still be started by fantasy owners on Tuesday.
Description: Wild left wing Dany Heatley struck twice in a season-opening win over the Avalanche on Saturday.
Insight: Minnesota is expected to be much improved this season thanks to the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the offseason. If Heatley can return to the form that made him a perennial 40-goal scorer earlier in his career, this team is really going to be tough to stop.
Description: Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard says he is "pretty much symptom-free" after suffering a season-ending concussion last January. SOURCE: Michael Russo, Star Tribune
Insight: Bouchard scored 38 points in 59 games in 2010-11 and 22 points in 37 games last season. He will sit with the Wild staff this week to etch out a plan for training camp. He won't be cleared to play until he faces contact.
Description: Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom (ankle) is ready to play, according to a Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune report.
Insight: Backstrom (19-18-7, 2.43 GAA, .919 SV%) was supposed to head to Dynamo Minsk in the KHL during the lockout but re-injured the ankle and didn't leave Minnesota. We expect him to be ready for Opening Night, whenever that is.