Although the Wild were able to muster up a shot on goal in the third period against the Jets Thursday night, Devan Dubnyk stood tall and the Wild were able to pick up a big 3-2 victory. Now things shift to a struggling Detroit team that the Wild will see for the first time this season Saturday night.
The Red Wings are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games including a 4-2 loss Friday night at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets and are now win less in their last three games including five of their last six. On the other side, the Wild are 5-4-1 in their last 10 but are winners of four of their last five.
Dubnyk is HOT
One of the biggest reasons the Wild have had this brief turn-around is because of their play between the pipes. Dubnyk is 5-1 in his last six starts with a 2.01GAA, .936%SV, and a shut-out. The confidence is back for Devan and it is showing. Besides the game he sat out in Boston because of the back-to-back, the Wild have been a lot better with Dubnyk in net, and look to continue that Saturday night against a Detroit team that struggles to put goals in the net.
Thursday morning Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and Jason Zucker had a little meeting to talk about the slump Zucker was growing through. Coming into Thursday night’s game against the Jets, Zucker had only one goal in the past 14 games. Well, that little meeting they had lit a spark under Zucker the Wild desperately needed. Zucker would pot two goals to propel the Wild to a big win over division rival. Could this be the start of something new for Boudreau? Sitting players down and giving them an immediate spark? Well, at least it worked for Zucker for one game but let’s hope this can turn into something long-term.
Mike Green returns
The Wings will get a huge part of their early success back Friday night against Winnipeg as Mike Green will return to the lineup following a lower-body injury. Before that injury, the Wings were giving their fans hope as they started out 13-8-2, but once he went down, the Wings were 3-14-5 with him not in the lineup. Although he is just one player and one player doesn’t change the realm of a team, Green plays a huge role for the Wings in all aspects. 16 points in 23 games and a plus-10 before he went down with an injury.
The more-rested team
The Wild will be the more rested team heading into the game Saturday night as the Wings play in Winnipeg Friday night before heading to Minnesota. The Wings are 1-2-4 in the second game of a back-to-back this season. This will be something that can definitely favor the Wild because the Jets are a speed first, physical second type of team that can wear down the Wings. Also, Bernier got the start Friday night for the Wings so Jimmy Howard will be in net for the Wings against the Wild Saturday.
Scouting the Wings
As mentioned above, with Howard in net, the Wild will get the better of the two goalies statistically this season for the Wings. But hey, to be the best, you have to beat the best right? All in all, the Wings are lead by superstar Dylan Larkin who leads the team in goals (18), and points (41) in 45 games he has played in this season. Right behind him, is Gustav Nyquist, who has 37 points in 45 games as well. There’s no surprise this team is struggling and going through a re-build. The Wings sit 29th in the league, so their push for Jack Hughes is going great.