Whilst the most recent Minnesota Wild game against the Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t see the pairing of Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba dominated to any major extent, the previous one against the Arizona Coyotes, they were made to look less than impressive.
They may have sported a combined Corsi For of 53.85% together in that game with Arizona, but Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin were on the ice for all four of the goals the Minnesota Wild conceded. Their pairing is anything but the elite duo that Ryan Suter and Dumba looked to be earlier in the year.
To some extent, I understand the logic; split your big-time point-grabbing defensemen across the top two pairings. Jonas Brodin has shown himself more than capable with his shut-down abilities, whilst his early season partner, Jared Spurgeon is hugely underated.
However, you need to look at the player you have in Matt Dumba. He is a goal-scorer on a Minnesota Wild team that lacks a true natural in that role.
Now, of course he is a defenseman so is never going to be netting 30 goal seasons, but to contribute 10 goals already this year; he’s scoring at a better pace than some big forward names like Jack Eichel, Artemi Panarin and Evgeni Malkin.
There is some logic to lining the young man up with Jonas Brodin in the hopes his defensive tendencies rub off, but equally Ryan Suter can offer just as much, if not more, experience on the defensive side of things.
More from Editorials
- Another Stanley Cup Final comes with the Minnesota Wild watching. When will that change?
- Story remains the same: Minnesota Wild flame out in first round
- Believe it or not: Minnesota Wild backs are against the wall, again
- The Minnesota Wild are in the postseason again. Is this the year they can make a run?
- Wild vs. Kings: Where does Minnesota go from here?
Breaking up the Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba pairing isn’t about to harm the Minnesota Wild; their defense was operating just fine with the previous pairings.
In fact, you have to question why Bruce Boudreau made the change in the first place. Were there team politics at play or did he genuinely see it as wise?
Against the Columbus Blue Jackets, as opposed to the atrocious game they had versus the Coyotes, the pairing was on the ice for two Minnesota Wild goals and none against, whilst sporting an elite 64.29% Corsi For across eighteen minutes. This flies in the complete opposite way to the result the pairing had against a far weaker opponent.
Going forward, the wise bet would be to split the two up; impressive Corsi is all well and good but Devan Dubnyk (or Alex Stalock for that matter) both need strong defense in front of them right now and the Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin pairing plain and simple does better.
Bring them back; it’s not an issue to admit you’re wrong with a roster move. It’s an issue if you prolong a failing move longer than need be.
Statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.