Three months ago, there were calls for Mike Yeo to lose his job as head coach of the Minnesota Wild.
On Jan. 7, the Wild was 11th in the Western Conference, and 2-4-4 in its last 10 games at the time.
That was in January. It’s now April and the Wild is in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The catalyst for Minnesota’s change in fortune? Goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Of all the trades made this season, the Wild’s acquisition of Dubnyk from the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes could have the greatest impact in the post-season when it’s all said and done.
In a playoff-clinching situation against the Wild’s Central Division foes, the Chicago Blackhawks, Dubnyk was sharp again, making 32 saves. Minnesota got goals from Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker, returning to the lineup from a broken clavicle, less than four minutes apart in the third period for a 2-1 victory.
That’s 11 straight road victories for the Wild.
Playing on back-to-back nights? No problem for Dubnyk.
The Wild clinch a playoff spot with the regulation win.