How to Beat the Goalie: Backstrom

(Photo by: Tim Shahan/Flickr)

At the age of 35, Niklas Backstrom is towards the end of his career. Unfortunately for him, it has been quite the unaccomplished career without a Stanley Cup or Vezina Trophy. The veteran goaltender has been playing with the Minnesota Wild since 2006, but has only had two successful seasons, possibly going on a third.

Due to the injuries the Minnesota goaltenders are going through, his job appears to be secure as the starting goaltender. With Josh Harding suffering from multiple sclerosis and the inconsistency of Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper, it would be devastating to the Wild if Backstrom were to be injured as well.

Backstrom isn't a fan of leaving his feet when he doesn't have to, which can be a positive. The positives are with his 5'11" size, he can cover more of the top of the net, but the negative is a quick shot low to the ice will get by.

Whenever Backstrom does leave his feet to go to the butterfly, he doesn't have the ability to butterfly slide with the puck.

Classifying Backstrom as an athletic goaltender would be foolish. Not only does he not have the great quickness, but isn't flexible enough either to make the extra reach for the puck.

Going back to covering the top of the net well, Backstrom's quick hands can come up as high as the top of his helmet to ensure that a puck doesn't go between the ears. Few goalies can do so quick enough before the puck goes past them.

Here is How to Beat Niklas Backstrom.

  • Get him moving: As said earlier, Backstrom has a tendency to flail around and reach for the puck once it is passed across the ice, instead he should make the easy slide to make the save.


  • People, pucks to the net Part 1: The Predators should look to for a player in the corner or down low, passing to a player cutting towards the net for an easy backdoor pass.

  • People, pucks to the net Part 2: Players should be able to get in front of the net and deflect the puck past Backstrom.

Niklas Backstrom's career stats vs Nashville

#32 Niklas Backstrom 8 5 1 0 .909 2.69

Niklas Backstrom's 2012-13 stats

#32 Niklas Backstrom 9 6 2 0 .911 2.41