From The Ice

Devan Dubnyk Leads Wild Into Strong Playoffs

Devan Dubnyk Leads Wild Into Strong Playoffs
Cat Silverman

Game one is over for every NHL playoff matchup so far — and of all the inexperienced goalies leading the charge for their respective clubs, Devan Dubnyk had by far one of the best nights.

Petr Mrazek stopped 44 pucks to lift the out-possessed Detroit Red Wings over a scattered Tampa Bay Lightning, while both Andrew Hammond and Ben Bishop dropped their NHL playoff debuts. Jonas Hiller held out long enough for Vancouver backup Eddie Lack to allow a second and final game-winning goal, and the chess match between Ondrej Pavelec and Freddie Andersen is still ongoing. Scott Darling may have had the true best NHL playoff debut, but his night started a little late — and Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville has already confirmed that he’s going to give the start for game two back to Blackhawks number one Corey Crawford.

For Devan Dubnyk, though, it was just another night at work.

“Time to put this one behind us,” said the lanky netminder after the 4-2 victory Minnesota stole from St. Louis. “On to the next one.”

Dubnyk and the rest of the Minnesota Wild played like more than just a well-built franchise — they almost seemed to read one another, outworking the surprisingly scrambling Blues to outshoot the rival franchise 29-21.

They also looked like a team that was grateful to one another for working together to hit the post-season.

When the first goal was scored by St. Louis at the 07:12 mark of the third period, Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter reached back and gave Dubnyk a reassuring knock on his mask. It was quick and almost unnoticeable, but it was there — and throughout the game, fans witnessed the Wild simply showing a stronger mental focus. Even when St. Louis came back, Minnesota did as Minnesota tends to do — they continued to push as if the opening goal had yet to be scored. They ensured that they weren’t just protecting their lead, they were maintaining it.

Matt Dumba scored his first NHL playoff goal to put the Wild up by two early, and Dubnyk himself became the first goaltender in Wild franchise history to win his first NHL playoff game in his Stanley Cup chase debut. Overall, they didn’t look like the underdog team they did last spring — if the Wild make a deep playoff run, it’ll be because they wholly deserve it.

');doc.close(); })(document);
From The Ice
Cat Silverman
@catacarryon

Catherine is a full-time contributor for Today’s Slapshot covering news, prospects, and international hockey. When not paying homage to her Toronto blood as a part-time contributor at The Nation Network, she works in the Department of Amateur Hockey Development for the Arizona Coyotes. Under-appreciated goalie who hopes to one day eradicate the myth that netminding is voodoo.

More in From The Ice

March 07, 2015: San Jose Sharks left wing John Scott (20) takes a shot on goal as Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (51) watches, during an NHL hockey game between the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center in San Jose, California, USA. The Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in regulation time.

Arizona Coyotes Add John Scott

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
16 Dec 2014  Jets Paul Postma (4) during the Winnipeg Jets vs Buffalo Sabres game at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg MB.

Paul Postma Worth Multi-Year Extension

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
07 May 2015: Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) gets control of the puck during Game 4 of the 2nd Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL

Max Pacioretty Out Twelve Weeks For Knee

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
18 December 2008: Bruins forward Shawn Thornton #22 and the Maple Leafs' Andre Deveaux #56 trade punches during the Boston Bruins win 8-5 over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA.*****Editorial Usage Only*****

Andre Deveaux Won’t See Assault Charges, Still Can’t Play in Sweden

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
28 Mar 2015: San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin (52) charges up the ice during the NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and the Philadelphia Flyers played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA

Matt Irwin Inked to One Year Deal in Boston

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
January 8, 2015: New Jersey Devils Center Scott Gomez (21) [1356]. The Boston Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-0 in a regular season NHL game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

David Conte Leaving Devils in New Era

Cat SilvermanJuly 10, 2015
NHL: JUN 30 2013 Entry Draft

Devils Dismiss Director of Scouting David Conte

David MalinowskiJuly 9, 2015
Ostrava, 12.5.2015, Ice Hockey IIHF World Championships, USA - Slovakia, Dylan Larkin (USA)****NO AGENTS----NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY----NO AGENTS----NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY****

Dylan Larkin Nearing NHL Readiness with Red Wings

Cat SilvermanJuly 9, 2015
April 04, 2015; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) during the third period of the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Blue Jackets win 5-3.

Matt Calvert Gets Three Year Extension

Cat SilvermanJuly 9, 2015