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Dubnyk or Die: Wild Going All-In on Dubnyk

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Devan Dubnyk has been absolutely stellar since his arrival, hasn't he? I mean, the 19-4-1 record since he's joined the Wild speaks for itself. As does the fantastic .937 save percentage and 1.67 goals against average. He has come in to a tumultuous situation and not only has he solidified an area of need, he's performed extremely well while providing the kind of stability in the net this team has needed.

Even GM Chick Fletcher is pleasantly surprised with Dubnyk's performance. "Nobody could've predicted how well he would've played, so we're very grateful for what he's done," Fletcher said in a radio interview with SportsNet. "We knew we had to bring a new guy in. We had to do something just to win one game.

It's either Dubnyk or bust

Since Dubnyk was acquired by the Wild on January 15th, the Wild have not had any other goaltender start for them. Dubnyk has finished all but one game, which was the last game prior to the All-Star break in which he was pulled in the third period and Darcy Kuemper made his last appearance. That is a long time for a NHL goalie to sit. A lot has been brought up in comments section, on Twitter, and even in Michael Russo's and Chad Graff's articles. Russo has mentioned that the Wild play Kuemper in St. Louis against the Blues in "sacrificial lamb-like fashion," as the Wild will be on a second of a back-to-back, they almost never play well at Scottrade Center, and Duby is in need of a seriously belated (and deserved) break.

Name

Save %

Adj Sv%

SA60

Devan Dubnyk

93.79

94

25.50

Darcy Kuemper

90.49

90.77

28.16

Niklas Backstrom

88.6

89.68

26.33

The numbers just don't lie. In fact, they absolutely reinforce everything we've seen from this team this year. Chuck Fletcher admitted that the Dubnyk move was, "an act of desperation," and you can take that quote at face value.

Darcy Kuemper started the season on the highest of notes with two back-to-back shutouts, but quickly fell off the wagon. His performance is directly responsible for the Dubnyk acquisition. Sure, Niklas Backstrom was the other goalie on roster, but between injury and subpar performance, he was not proving to be a viable option in between the pipes. Johan Gustafsson has been abysmal in Iowa, and neither is John Curry. Essentially, the goaltending situation after Dubnyk is murky at best.

And the worst part about it is that the front office and coaching staff are going for broke with Dubnyk.

So what's the contingency plan? There is no contingency plan.

It's either Dubnyk or bust. Which makes resting Dubnyk down the stretch even more of a pressing concern. Mike Yeo cannot simply continue running his goaltender, the only one performing well enough and/or is currently healthy, into the ground. I can only say this because we don't have any idea what Darcy can do. It's been so long since he's seen action; none of us know if he has found his game and is ready to burst on the scene again. One thing is for certain: If the Wild have lengthy playoff hopes, they need to look at spelling Dubnyk for a game or two, even if it means a loss. Yeo can't afford to lose his only NHL-caliber goalie on roster due to his mis-management.