Minnesota Wild prospect Matt Dumba is primed to make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The 19-year-old was selected seventh overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. His parents will be on hand.
All warm and fuzzy feelings aside, the defenseman wants to carry over an impressive preseason into high-level action for the Wild. Head coach Mike Yeo seems eager to see if he can pull it off.
“I’m excited for him,” Yeo said. “This guy’s a big part of our future. He’s had a really strong camp, so I’m excited to get him there and see how he goes out and performs at this time of year. We’ve seen it. We saw it Game 1 for us, the pace of play, the intensity picks up right now, so you want to see how he handles that.”
Dumba had a great 2012-13 season in the WHL, scoring 42 points in 62 games for the Red Deer Rebels. He also got his feel wet with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, though he failed to register a point in three regular season and five postseason games at that level.
Who knows how many games he’ll get a crack at with the Wild this year; a lot of that depends on his short-term work and the team’s long-term plans.
This year’s first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon’s Colorado Avalanche beat fourth selection Seth Jones’ Nashville Predators 3-1 on Friday, but their teammates stole the show.
In the mind of Predators fans, the real story was probably Steve Downie’s hit on Roman Josi, and really, Downie in general. The 26-year-old drew 10 PIM:
Downie: tripping (20 seconds into second period)
Charging (9:21 into second period)
Charging again (12:10 into second period)
Roughing, twice (9:28 into the third)
From Colorado’s perspective, it might have been P.A. Parenteau’s night. He scored two goals (albeit one an empty-netter) to help the Avs win.
That’s not to say that the two rookies were lost out there.
MacKinnon collected a secondary assist, fired two shots and logged 17:14 minuts of ice time. Jones didn’t generate a whole lot, with just one shot and a -1 rating in 25:46 minutes.
While their numbers aren’t eye-popping, they still seem like they belong at the NHL already, so both fan bases should be pleased.
Most hardcore fans would probably agree that Evander Kane is a talented player, but is he a star? He might just answer that question in 2013-14.
The 22-year-old WInnipeg Jets winger was everywhere against the Los Angeles Kings in his 5-3 win on Friday. Just look at that stat line:
One goal, two assists for three points, nine penalty minutes, +3 rating, seven shots and five hits in less than 15 minutes of ice time.
That’s double-take material. Here’s video of the three goals he was involved in on Friday:
First period goal by Kane:
Devin Setoguchi deflected his shot, giving Kane a primary assist:
Again, Kane did much of the work here, creating havoc to help Setoguchi score on the wraparound:
Are we seeing the young stud make a big leap? Maybe so.
Danny Briere won’t get much time to process the idea of facing his former team the Philadelphia Flyers. They stand as just his second opponent as a member of the Canadiens, as Philly is scheduled to visit Montreal on Saturday.
The 35-year-old didn’t act like it would be just another day at the office, as CSNPhilly.com reports.
“Facing guys I have been with a lot of years, the past few seasons, guys I had a chance to live with, it’s kind of a weird feeling,” Briere said. “You’re excited to see them, but it’s also weird to face them. We all know when the puck drops, it gets competitive. I know these guys are the same way. They’re not going to give me an inch out there.”
As you may remember from HBO’s 24/7 series, Briere actually housed players like Sean Couturier, so the mixed feelings shouldn’t be surprising.
On the bright side, it looks like Briere will get every chance to succeed in Montreal, so maybe he’ll get his first goal of 2013-14 against the Flyers?
If you want a snapshot of the stunning array of choices that the U.S. Olympic team possesses regarding high-end goaltending, look no further than Friday’s showdown between the Ottawa Senators’ Craig Anderson and the Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan Miller.
There was one goal scored (Erik Karlsson’s game-winner) despite 81 shots on goal between the two teams, giving Anderson the edge over Miller, although Miller generated 45 saves to Anderson’s 35.
The first period was particularly ridiculous, as Miller stopped 23 and Anderson turned away 16.
(This post will be updated with a highlight video, because one can only assume that both netminders were forced to make some dazzling saves.)
Anyway, it all brings up some fascinating questions:
- Is it safe to say that Anderson, 32, is an elite goalie? His resume is certainly building.
- Would either of these guys be in the mix for your goalies if you were putting the team if you were U.S. team GM David Poile?
- Should we start some sort of “good goalie in bad situation” support group for guys like Miller?