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Two of the best feel-good stories of the week involve players who have overcome long odds to excel at the highest level of hockey.
Josh Harding won the Masterton Trophy in 2013 for battling through his multiple sclerosis diagnosis to continue his duties with the Minnesota Wild. This year, he's gone one better.
Harding has assumed the starter's role, playing in 14 of Minnesota's 18 games and allowing just 16 goals. That gives him a stunning 1.22 goals-against average and .947 save percentage—the best numbers of any goalie to appear in more than five games. Harding's elite-level play has been a huge part of the Wild's early season success.
Over in Carolina, Manny Malhotra joined the team this week after spending several weeks with its AHL affiliate on a professional tryout contract. Shut down by the Vancouver Canucks last year over concerns about the long-term effects of a serious eye injury, Malhotra impressed enough at the AHL level to win a one-year deal with the Hurricanes.
On Tuesday, November 5, Malhotra scored the game-winning goal for the Hurricanes on a breakaway in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers. It's a great comeback story for a player who thought he wouldn't see NHL ice again.
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