Minnesota Wild

Dubnyk, Perry, and Desharnais are NHL’s three stars of the week


Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, Ducks winger Corey Perry and Canadiens center David Desharnais have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From NHL.com:

Dubnyk went 2-0-0, stopping all 42 shots he faced to lead the Wild (25-20-6, 56 points) to a pair of shutout victories and their season-high fifth consecutive win overall.

Perry shared the League lead with four goals and six points in four outings to help the Ducks (34-13-7, 75 points) gain five of a possible eight standings points.

Desharnais paced the NHL with five assists and a +6 rating and also shared the League lead with six points to power the Canadiens (34-15-3, 71 points) to two wins in three starts.

Related: It’s not just the goaltending that’s improved for Minnesota

It’s not just the goaltending that’s improved for Minnesota


On Jan. 15, right before Devan Dubnyk made his first start for Minnesota, we figured the Wild would have to go in the neighborhood of 24-12-4 in their final 40 games to give themselves a shot at the playoffs.

So let’s see here — subtract 7-1-1 from 24-12-4 and you get 17-11-3. There’s your new target.

That’s still a reasonably tough task, but the way Dubnyk and the Wild have been playing of late, it’s definitely doable. According to Sports Club Stats, the Wild’s chances of making the playoffs have risen from a low of 5.5 percent to 36.3 percent today.

And make no mistake, it hasn’t just been the goaltending that’s improved. The Wild have also gotten back to the type of possession hockey they were playing earlier in the season, before it all started going sideways.

In the last nine games, no team in the league has a better scored-adjusted Fenwick than Minnesota, which is a fancy way of saying the Wild have been excellent at controlling the puck since Dubnyk arrived. From the beginning of December to the middle of January, that wasn’t the case.

One theory? It’s a lot easier to trust the system when you can trust your goalie. When you can’t trust your goalie, you play differently, either by cheating and trying to outscore your problems, or by being too conservative.

Or maybe there were other factors at play. Regardless, the Wild are more concerned about what’s coming up than what’s already happened.

“It’s nice to enjoy (reflecting on the past three weeks) on the days between games, but the reason of why we’ve been successful as a group is because we’re just taking it by each game,” Dubnyk said. “We approach each game as its own single game that’s important and we have to win and not look at the big picture.”

Another important game awaits tonight, when the Vancouver Canucks, similarly fighting for a postseason spot in the Western Conference, visit Xcel Energy Center.

Wild are still really good at shutting out the Avs


The Colorado Avalanche have played three games against the Minnesota Wild during the 2014-15 season. Maybe one of these days they’ll even score a goal against them.

This time around, it was Devan Dubnyk shutting the door on the Avs, as Minnesota won 1-0 on Saturday.

Actually, come to think of it … Dubnyk’s been excellent at blanking opponents since putting on a Wild uniform. He’s now on a two-game shutout streak and has generated three goose eggs in the past four games. He also has four shutouts in his nine Wild games.

Shutouts aren’t the only way Dubnyk has been impressive, as he’s won five games in a row, only allowing three goals in that span. He’s generated a standings point in all but one start for the Wild.

Here’s a little more on his dominant run, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:

Apparently, he’s even making a little history:

Of course, there’s the flip side of that coin: the Avalanche are really struggling to score. While failing to net a single goal in three games against Minnesota is bad enough, NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski points out that the problems go deeper than just a tough matchup:

Considering where the NHL standings sit, this disparity could very well be the difference between a playoff berth. That said, Minnesota might need some more Dubnyk magic to get all the way, as they still find themselves looking up at the West’s wild card teams.

Goalie Nods: Dubnyk gets ninth straight start


All the latest from the blue paint…

Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win

Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.


Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop

Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner

Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price

Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer

Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth

Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask

Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith

Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller

Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward  vs. Antti Niemi

Wild lose Cooke (sports hernia surgery) for six weeks


Good news, bad news day for Matt Cooke.

The good is that, contrary to earlier reports, he will return to play hockey this season.

The bad is that it won’t be for a while.

Cooke underwent sports hernia surgery today, the Wild announced, and will miss the next six weeks of action as a result. The 36-year-old, who’s only played 27 games this year, should be set to come back in mid-March but it remains to see how effective he’ll be upon his return — after playing in all 82 games a season ago, Cooke’s struggled through an injury-plagued campaign while averaging less than 13 minutes per night.

With Cooke out of the lineup, it’s likely Jordan Schroeder — recalled from AHL Iowa — will stick with the Wild for a good while; the former first-round pick had four shots on goal in just over 10 minutes of action during Tuesday’s impressive 3-0 win over Chicago.