NEWARK, N.J. – The Wild’s Devan Dubnyk, who has been on the committee with fellow netminders Braden Holtby and Cory Schneider to help streamline goalie equipment in time for next season, is all for the smaller pants and more contoured chest protectors approved this week by the general managers.
Dubnyk echoed something Buffalo’s 6-5 goalie Robin Lehner said earlier this week.
“I know players don’t like seeing a 160-pounder walking around and look like he’s 230 on the ice,” Dubnyk said. “[Lehner’s] 230, I’m 220, and I’m sure you could pick guys 50 pounds lighter than both of us that probably look as big or bigger on the ice. Guys like me, you probably won’t see much of a change.
“The main thing, and I’m sure all goalies agree, as long as it’s not restricting movement, I’m sure we’ll all be OK with it.”
Former goalie Kay Whitmore, an NHL executive, led the committee, with the union and goalie manufacturers. He credited Dubnyk and the other goalies on the committee.
“It’s a joint venture between us and them,” Whitmore said. “The cooperation has been there and that is something that has been lacking. I’m not going to lie, there was a lot of skepticism in the room by the managers because it has been Groundhog Day on this topic.
“The question was asked, ‘What’s different this time around?’ Well, we are attacking it together. You are hearing from some of the best goalies in the game and they think this is what is right. They want a level playing field within their ranks. They want to look at the other end of the rink and feel that the guy down there looks appropriate for his size.
“That’s what we are going after. We have different measurements of guys.”
The NHL tested cameras on the glass at each blue line during Thursday’s game. The league plans to have cameras in place by the playoffs for offside challenges.
Left wing Jason Zucker went from a healthy scratch two games in a row to the first line against New Jersey.
“That’s where he’s going to be and that’s the potential and that’s where he’s been projected to be — one of the top six,” interim coach John Torchetti said before Thursday’s game. “It’s an opportunity now. He had a good start [to the season] with Mikko [Koivu and Nino Niederreiter], the coaching staff and management were telling me.
“He brings a lot of speed and hopefully he can create a lot of good cycling chances. He’s got to be a great forechecker, but also he’s got to be a great backchecker with that speed coming back.”
Rookie defenseman Mike Reilly was scratched for a third game in a row after a bad turnover against St. Louis led to a goal and a rough game against Edmonton.
“[Nate] Prosser’s come in, and Pross just keeps it simple and makes the simple play,” Torchetti said before the game. “That’s what young guys learn every day when they’re watching. … [Reilly’s] going to be a great player for us and if he gets back in the lineup, he’ll be ready to play.”
Wild veteran Jason Pominville missed his fourth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. Pominville, who had played 231 consecutive games before getting hurt, is doubtful for weekend games as well.
Wingers Chris Porter and Ryan Carter were scratched.