The Wild goaltending position has been mired in inconsistency for a number of seasons. Devan Dubnyk's six-year $26 million dollar deal certainly solves the question on who will be between the pipes for this team. But Dubnyk has provided more than just a league average bit of goaltending. He has again helped this team gain a fourth consecutive playoff berth.
Coming off a season in which he was traded for a 3rd round pick to Minnesota from the Arizona Coyotes, the veteran goaltender, found himself wining the Masterton Memorial Award, and getting selected to the 2016 All-Star game.
Dubs has played in 66 games over the course of the last six months and change. In every season there are ebbs and flows in player and team performance. The Wild is no stranger to these swings in the middle of a season. However, overall, Dubnyk has, again, put up solid goaltending numbers. None more striking than his performance through an awful January when it comes to how the team played.
Dubnyk is receiving quite the pay bump from his $800K he received last season. He is now getting $5 million dollars this season, which ranks as the 19th highest in the league. The Annual Average Value of his contract ranks 22nd in the league (GeneralFanager.com). But those numbers don't matter much on the ice. His performance may not have been quite as miraculous as the roughly 40 games from last season, but he has stepped up in big situations and provided some quality goaltending all season.
The season has had some ups and downs to it with this team. In this roller coaster of a season, Dubnyk has five of the seven months in which he posted a .900 save percentage or greater. Remember the tough month of November? Dubnyk had a .918 save percentage. That was a month in which the Wild struggled to find its game and Mike Yeo insisted that it concentrate on the defensive side of thing after playing too loosely up to that point. number 40 then strung together two incredibly solid months in December and January with a .942 and .930 mark respectively. That was a .930 save percentage, during a month in which the bottom completely fell out from underneath the team.
He took a dip in February to .900, but down the stretch in March, when the team needed him to win games to re-enter the playoff picture, his .927 allowed the team to rattle off a 10-2-1 record to help clinch a fourth consecutive playoff berth.
It's often said the this team doesn't necessarily need the the super elite of goaltenders to be competitive, it just needs consistent, NHL level goaltending. Devan Dubnyk has provided that all season long. Without his ability to play really well in stretches and keep his own not-so-good stretches to a minimum, this team wouldn't be in the playoffs, let alone have a sniff of them this year.