Big shakeup in Minnesota, ahead of the Wild’s potentially playoff-clinching game against the Sharks at Xcel tonight — Matt Dumba will be a healthy scratch, and miss his first game of the season.
Before we get into the Dumba situation, a quick look at what Minnesota needs tonight to clinch its fourth straight playoff appearance:
The Wild will clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Sharks in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Sharks AND the Avalanche lose to the Predators in any fashion OR if the Avalanche lose to the Predators in regulation.
So that’s that.
Now, onto Dumba, the seventh overall pick in 2012 that currently sits third among Wild d-men in goals (10) and points (26):
“Reilly” is rookie d-man Mike Reilly, who will also be dropped from the lineup tonight, despite being a regular lineup fixture since early February. With Reilly and Dumba out, Nate Prosser and the recently-recalled Christian Folin look as though they’ll draw in.
This is a pretty bold move from interim head coach John Torchetti, who was none too pleased with his club’s last outing — a brutal 5-1 loss in Winnipeg (a game in which Dumba was minus-2).
Dumba can struggle defensively, but has been a key contributor on Minnesota’s 13th-ranked power play, leading all Wild d-men with six PPG this year.