For the first time in Wild history, one of its players has been named an NHL Player of the Month/(renamed) first star of the month.
Not shockingly, Devan Dubnyk, who made 33 saves in last night's win at Colorado, got the honor after going 11-2-1 in February with a 1.64 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and three shutouts while starting all 14 Wild games last month. The Wild climbed from 12th in the West to having a three-point cushion on the second wildcard spot. It is one point back of Winnipeg, which hosts the Kings today, for the first wildcard spot.
Dubnyk allowed 23 goals in 14 games (including two that arguably should have been disallowed in Calgary and Colorado), allowed two or fewer goals in 11 starts and shut out Chicago, Colorado and Edmonton.
Overall, Dubnyk is 24-8-3 (2.15 GAA, .926 SV%, 6 SO) in 39 appearances this season, establishing career highs in wins and shutouts while ranking in the top five in the NHL in shutouts (t-2nd), goals-against average (3rd) and save percentage (5th). The 28-year-old Regina, Sask., native has started all 20 games since his arrival in Minnesota Jan. 14, posting a 15-3-1 record with a 1.64 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and five shutouts in that span. He has allowed 32 goals in 20 games.
He is expected to start his franchise-record 21st consecutive game Tuesday against the red-hot Ottawa Senators. By the way, Monday is the first time since Feb. 11 that the Wild hasn't played every other day. It has played nine consecutive games without a back-to-back or two days between games.
The Wild's only other player of the month/star of the month honor was Josh Harding, the third star of the month in November 2013.
On another topic, I am being told that Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, captain Gabriel Landeskog and agitator Cody McLeod will all be fined for the antics with three seconds left last night.
Roy, for putting McLeod on the ice. McLeod, for jumping Mikael Granlund. Landeskog, for punching Mikko Koivu from bench to bench.
There will be no supplemental discipline for Sean Bergenheim, who checked Nathan MacKinnon and broke the youngster's nose when replays show his helmet hit MacKinnon in the face.
If the Wild put in a waiver claim for defensemen Tim Erixon or David Schlemko today, we won't know. Erixon was claimed by Toronto, Schlemko by Calgary -- two teams with higher waiver priority because they're lower in the standings.
Marco Scandella sustained what's believed to be a minor lower-body injury last night. Jared Spurgeon has missed five games with a concussion, although he started working out yesterday.
Prior to Scandella getting hurt, GM Chuck Fletcher said Saturday morning that he would "maybe" look to acquire a defenseman by Monday's 2 p.m. deadline.
But, he said, "[Jon] Blum’s played real well in Iowa lately. Justin Falk’s a guy that played against Chicago a couple years ago in the playoffs. Both those guys have playoff experience, and we’re expecting to get Spurgeon back here at some point. I mean, you never know. If you have a rash of injuries, you always want to make sure you have enough depth. But I do think when you look at Blum and Falk and [Stu] Bickel, those are three guys that have played in the league. So, not many teams have that kind of depth down on their farm club. Again, we’ll look around, but we’re not going to add a body for the sake of adding a body. If we can get somebody that fits, then we’ll look at that."
I wrote a trade deadline advance for Monday's paper where you can read more from Fletcher, coach Mike Yeo and Zach Parise.
Talk to you tomorrow barring news today. Make sure you follow me on Twitter on Monday at www.twitter.com/russostrib.
I will be on Fox 9 tonight at 10:35 with Dawn Mitchell.