05/10/2013 00:19 Blackhawks cruise to series win over Minnesota
Marian Hossa scored twice to back a strong effort by goalie Corey Crawford, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 Thursday night to win their first-round playoff series 4-1.
Last winter, Josh Harding started the most games (30) in his NHL career while appearing in 34 total games and recording a 13-12-0 record with two shutouts. He has said he wants to be a starting netminder (and soon), but that may not happen in Minnesota with Niklas Backstrom still around. Then again, Backstrom missed 37 games last season because of injury, so that opportunity could be closer than we think. He'll start the season as the back-up, but if he's pressed into the starting job, Harding's value with get a serious boost, particularly with an improved squad in front of him. But for now, hes a backup plan for both the Wild and most poolies. (Updated 8/14/12)