In his last three games for the Minnesota Wild, the normally ever reliable Devan Dubnyk has seen his goals against average floating above four in all three outings.
The likes of the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets shouldn’t really paint a scary picture for the Minnesota Wild nor Devan Dubnyk, but he has slipped up of late and is no longer the man bailing the team out.
Part of the blame has to be assuaged by his defensive corps in front of him, but equally this isn’t a team giving up ridiculous shots against totals like the 57 the Carolina Hurricanes managed against the Wild back in October.
Devan Dubnyk’s performance in the Minnesota Wild net against the Arizona Coyotes was beyond poor; only facing 14 shots and conceding 4 of them – it is the sort of performance you expect from a late injury replacement call-up from the AHL, not one from a goaltender that has been around the show as long as he has.
It was hardly as if the defense was letting Dubnyk down either, especially in the Coyotes game, giving up just four scoring chances that could be viewed as high-danger. To be viewed in the top-tier of goaltenders, you’d expect maybe one of four to go in. Instead, the Minnesota Wild goalie was scooping pucks out of his net on all four chances.
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Equally, against the Blue Jackets most recently, of course you have to pin some blame elsewhere and Devan Dubnyk did face 11 high-danger scoring chances, but to concede four three appearances in a row isn’t good enough in the NHL, even if one of those was a winning appearance.
Now, the Minnesota Wild do know that he is a goaltender prone to hot and cold streaks and they do know that he has seemed over-worked in recent years by the time the play-offs roll around.
Maybe they need to take the cues from his recent performances and give him a couple of days off.
Let Alex Stalock roll with the start against the Toronto Maple Leafs and see how he fares. If they roll out Devan Dubnyk and get lit up by the likes of John Tavares, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, it’s not exactly going to do any good for his confidence.
I say give Dubnyk a rest, let him shake the gremlins out on the practice rink and bring him back in a lower pressure game.
Statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.