Here was Russo's next tweet:
#mnwild coach Todd Richards: "Right now we feel Jose (Theodore) gives us the best chance."
José Theodore starts tonight with Niklas Backstrom coming off a stinker in Anaheim. Frankly, Backstrom was real good his previous two starts, especially at Phoenix last Thursday, so I think too much is being made of the Backstrom sitdown. Obviously, Backstrom went through a three-game stretch where he did struggle dramatically late last month.
But it's hard to argue starting Theodore tonight, but again, even though Backstrom was not very good at Anaheim, neither was the team in front of him prior to some of the goals. But Backstrom wasn't sharp, dropping pucks left and right and kicking out rebounds.
Todd Richards' quote on why: "Right now we feel José gives us the best chance."
Ouch, yes, but key words there: "Right now." Things change quickly in this business, so to me, this is only the second game recently in this stretch where Backstrom normally would have started that he isn't. I'll wait a bit before deciding this is a cliched goalie controversy. Plus, Backstrom's still the guy thats's staying no matter what and Theodore's still the guy that if I were the Wild, I'd eventually try to trade (as long as the Wild's out of it by the Feb. 28 deadline).
He's on a one-year deal and some teams could need a goalie for a playoff run. And like it or not folks, that's the reality. Backstrom's $6 million-a-year contract will keep him here no matter what.