Even with a strong start Saturday in a 2-1 win against Pittsburgh, Devan Dubnyk’s numbers this season are rough: a .905 save percentage (same as the second half of last season) and 3.04 GAA in seven starts. His peripheral numbers match those more traditional stats.
To get where it wants to go this season, particularly as it works through early injuries to key players, it’s pretty simple to conclude the Wild will need Dubnyk to be more like he was Saturday more often. Ideally, backup Alex Stalock probably would make 25 starts this season to help keep Dubnyk fresher than he’s been in past years when the Wild leaned more heavily on him out of necessity.
It will be interesting, though, to see how the split actually plays out. If Dubnyk gets on a roll, will Bruce Boudreau be able to give him the rest he needs? And if Dubnyk struggles to some degree, will Stalock find himself in more games than we thought?
Read Michael Rand’s blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.