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The decision to keep Matt Dumba is a black eye on the Wild

The 23-year-old defenseman has played terribly this season.
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Wild defenseman Matt Dumba probably played the worst game of his career on Tuesday night.

His turnover on the first shift in the third period – which led to a Winnipeg Jets goal – forced head coach Bruce Boudreau to bench Dumba for the remainder of the period.

"He just hasn't been playing that well," said Boudreau after Tuesday's win. "I mean he's a good player that maybe I've set the bar pretty high for him but he hasn't reached that bar." 

Boudreau added that Dumba needs to be held accountable for his actions, hence the benching. So it won't be surprising if Boudreau makes Dumba a healthy scratch Thursday night against Montreal. 

If it means anything, Dumba did take responsibility after the game.

"I know that was my fault tonight," he said. 

This is Dumba's fifth season with the Wild and he's already played 238 career games, which in NHL world means he's no longer a young buck trying to earn his horns. 

Wild protected Dumba from Vegas expansion

Minnesota did its part to protect Dumba from the Expansion Draft last summer. 

The Wild gave up Erik Haula and former first-round pick Alex Tuch in a trade with Las Vegas, with the expectation that the Golden Knights wouldn't take Dumba even though he was left exposed in the draft. 

Tuch has six points – three goals, three assists – in seven games and could be a star in Vegas for years to come.

Dumba's reached double-digit goals in each of the last two seasons, which is a rarity for a defenseman. But his defensive presence has cost the Wild and he's yet to tally a goal in ten games this season. 

If Dumba doesn't turn things around and improve on the defensive end of the ice, the decision to keep him while trading away Tuch could haunt the Wild for years. 

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