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.