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02 March 2007

Josh Harding looking like real deal for Wild as Minny wins over slumping Edmonton.

With Nicklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez out, the Minnesota Wild are hoping young Josh Harding can finally realize his potential, and lead the team to the playoffs.

So far so good.

In only his second start and third appearance, Harding stopped 30 shots over the mourning Edmonton Oilers, who have now dropped to 0-2 after the Ryan Smyth mega-deal.
Harding, a 2nd round pick in 2002, received a pat on the back by Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire for his strong play.

"The chances that they got, he was just great on them," Lemaire said. "They had the opportunities to score goals and get going, but he was there to make the big saves. It's a good thing because we don't have nobody else."

Harding, now 1-0-1 with a miniscule 0.49 GAA and .982 SPCT is happy to have made the most of his oppertunity in goal.

"It's an unbelievable feeling right now," he said. "When I get home tonight it will hit a lot harder. I'm just enjoying the moment right now."

With Manny Fernandez and Nicklas Bacstrom out indefinitely, the Wild hope Josh Harding can continue his heroics and carry the team into the playoffs.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.

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