Devan Dubnyk couldn’t saved the Minnesota Wild on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, but he did an impressive job under the circumstances.
After earning a shutout against Anaheim Saturday night, the Wild tried to give him a game off, but Darcy Kuemper was ultimately yanked after allowing four goals on 18 shots in 20:51 minutes. When Dubnyk stepped in, Winnipeg had a 4-1 lead, but Minnesota rallied back to at least make it a 5-4 defeat.
Dubnyk finished with 14 saves, but in addition to playing on no rest, he was also dealing with a knee injury, per the Star Tribune. The determination was made that it couldn’t get worse by playing on it, but that doesn’t mean it was a nonissue.
“It’s hard to play when you’re thinking about whether or not you’re capable of making certain movements,” Dubnyk said.
So far this season, the Wild haven’t needed Dubnyk to be the savor he was in 2014-15, but they still rely heavily on him. They’re going to need him to remain very effective too, given the nature of their competition.
Minnesota’s 5-2-1 record is an objective strong start, but in the deep Central Division that record puts the Wild in a three-way tie for third place with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks a mere point behind. It’s still early of course, but the stiff competition in that division is in line with preseason expectations, so it’s not unreasonable to predict that this is going to be an ongoing theme in 2015-16.
Dubnyk and the Wild will get today off before facing Edmonton Tuesday night.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Members of the Calgary Flames went to Alberta Children’s Hospital dressed as The Avengers. (Puck Daddy)
Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin is Batman. (NHL.com)
Ex-NHLer Theo Fleury feels Jonathan Toews is “hands down, the greatest player in the game right now.” (Chicago Tribune)
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy isn’t panicking after his struggling squad fell to the previously 0-8 Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. (Denver Post)
Although they lost, James van Riemsdyk sees Saturday’s game against Montreal as something the Maple Leafs can build on. (MapleLeafs.nhl.com)
Penguins coach Mike Johnston isn’t sure if he should have challenged James Neal‘s goal against them Saturday night. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Anaheim Ducks suffered their fourth shutout loss of the season tonight, reducing them to a 1-5-1 record. If there has been a silver lining so far though, it’s been the play of goalie Frederik Andersen.
He has kept the Ducks in games thus far and certainly gave them something to rally around late in the first period when he made this big save on Matt Dumba:
Here’s a closer look:
It was not to be though as Anaheim only managed to fire 15 shots at Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. By contrast, Andersen faced 15 shots in the first period alone.
It was a scary moment in the second period of Philadelphia’s game against the New York Rangers when Michael Raffl collapsed on the bench and needed help getting to the locker room.
Fortunately it sounds like the situation might not be as bad as initially feared.
After the game, Flyers GM Ron Hextall did reiterate that Raffl has an upper-body injury and his availability for Tuesday’s game is still uncertain. However, Raffl didn’t need to go to the hospital and Hextall described the forward as “fine.”
“I just talked to him,” Hextall said. “He’s actually cracking jokes.”
Raffl’s injury is presumably the result of Rangers forward Jarret Stoll accidentally striking him in the head.
You can see Hextall’s full update here:
This isn’t a game that the Vancouver Canucks should have lost.
They were at home, possessed a two-goal lead going into the third period, and were up against a Detroit Red Wings team that is both missing several key players and was in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Nevertheless, Detroit rallied en route to a 3-2 overtime victory.
Teemu Pulkkinen cut the Canucks’ lead in half early in the third period and Tomas Tatar capitalized on a power-play opportunity less than three minutes later. However, it was Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek and Gustav Nyquist that were the heroes tonight.
Mrazek turned aside 30 shots, but he also made an impressive pass to Nyquist in order to set up the game-winning goal:
For Detroit this was a much needed two points, especially seeing as it was earned without the services of Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Green, Kyle Quincey, Brad Richards, and Johan Franzen. At the same time, this was another troubling game for Vancouver.
The Canucks are now 0-2-3 at home. The silver lining is that Vancouver is 3-0-0 on the road, but of course it’s not likely that the Canucks will go far this season if they continue to struggle at the Rogers Arena.
They just have one more chance to earn a victory at home this month … against Montreal.