Minnesota Wild: Devan Dubnyk is Anything But Average


Some have said that Devan Dubnyk maybe back to being an average goaltender.  Well if you agree take a look again he might not be as average as you think.

To save their season last year the Minnesota Wild called goaltender 911 and an unlikely person answered the call, Devan Dubnyk.  We all know the great story that followed as Dubnyk resurrected his career and the Wild became the best team of the second half of the season to get into the playoffs and win their first round match-up with the Blues.  All of this success culminated for Devan in the offseason as he signed a long-term deal with the Wild for 6 years at price tag of 26 million dollars.

Fast-forward to this season and Dubs has had a solid year by being selected as the Wild’s lone representative at the All-Star game, and posting a stat-line that includes 26 wins and 4 shutouts.  Even when the Wild were having issues with scoring after the new year till the arrival of John Torchetti, Dubnyk was keeping the Wild in the games by boasting a 2.50 GAA in that stretch.  He arguably gave the team a chance to win every night, but the lack of scoring made his efforts mostly in vain to put a win on the board.

Still it seems that many have decided to put part of the blame on Dubnyk for the bad season thus far.  Granted he is not playing up to the level he was this time last year, but who really could.  As I’ve said he’s been solid though doing the things he needs to do to put his team in a position to win.

“Overall, though, Dubnyk has regressed to what he was before last year’s trade: a goalie that most nights is durable but more aptly is described as average than spectacular.” – Michael Rand, Star Tribune

The most notable and recent criticism of Dubs comes from the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand.  In his blog he uses past “bad” Minnesota franchises contract decisions to set the stage for his argument for the haphazard signing of Dubnyk.  He contends through a bunch of stats from War On Ice that Dubnyk has regressed back to the form he was at before he got to the team.  He’s only partially correct as right now he is still posting numbers that would make this his second best season in the NHL, last year being the best. 

Currently Dubynk is posting a 2.35 GAA which is about where any goaltender wants to be.  In his Edmonton years he posted GAAs of 3.57, 2.71, 2.67, 2.57, 3.36 which are all considerably higher than the mark he’s posted this year.  With Arizona before the trade to the Wild he posted a GAA of 2.72. 

So to say that Dubs is back to where he was may a bit misleading in my book.  He’s playing at a level that keeps him as a legitimate NHL starter.  As for his price tag, he carries a cap hit of $4.3 million which compared to some of the top goaltenders in the NHL is a bargain.  Looking at the cap hits of fellow All-Star goaltenders, Jonathan Quick is at $5.8 million and Pekka Rinne is at $7.0 million.  So you can see Dubs is actually quite the bargain and most likely being paid commensurate or possibly a little less than his current performance would demand.

Finally, Rand ends his blog by saying that Dubnyk is “more aptly is described as average than spectacular.”  That’s an unfair statement in my book to call Dubs average given the stats I’ve already mentioned, and the fact that he’s kept the team in so many games.  He’s become a leader in the locker room and a vocal representative for the team.  There’s more to a player’s worth than stats.

Next: Pominville Day-to Day with Lower body Injury Dubnyk Sick

 In Dubnyk’s case his heart and drive make for a great story we all want to watch.  Not to mention he does make some good saves now and then, despite the fact that he’s only “average”.