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What's wrong with Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk?

This is not the same Dubnyk we're used to seeing.

Something just isn't right with Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Ever since he arrived in January 2015, Dubnyk's been a mainstay between the pipes.

But things haven't gone too well for the netminder this season and he's on pace for his worst season in a Wild sweater. 

Traditional stats

Entering play on Feb. 16, Dubnyk has appeared in 48 games and owns a 21-20-5 record with a 2.67 goals against and a .909 save percentage.

Here's his breakdown of his GAA and SV% over the years, which seem to be trending in the wrong direction.

  • 2014-15: 1.78 GAA, .936 SV%, 5 SO
  • 2015-16: 2.33 GAA, .918 SV%, 5 SO 
  • 2016-17: 2.25 GAA, .923 SV%, 5 SO
  • 2017-18: 2.52 GAA, .918 SV%, 5 SO 
  • 2018-19: 2.67 GAA .909 SV%, 1 SO

Although it's never an easy task for a goaltender, Dubnyk isn't posting nearly as many shutouts as he has in recent years.

His 20 losses are the most in the NHL. But when you're playing 82 percent of the time, a goalie's record can be a bit deceiving.

Advanced Stats

According to Corsica Hockey, which tracks low-danger, medium-danger and high-danger saves, Dubnyk stops the majority of the easy ones. 

Where he really struggles though is against high-danger shots. 

  • LDSv%: 97.04% 
  • MDSv%: 89.14%
  • HDSv%: 74.84%

Of all goaltenders who have played at least 1,000 minutes this season, Dubnyk owns the second-worst high-danger save percentage.

Another advanced stat is GSAA: Goals saved above average.

To simplify, GSAA takes the league average save percentage and applies it to the amount of shots a particular goalie has faced. 

You then get a number of goals that the average goalie would have surrendered if they faced the same number of shots as a goalie in question.

Then, the number gets compared to the number of goals surrendered by that goalie and a plus/minus is created.

Dubnyk's GSAA, is negative 18.16, which is awful. In fact, it's the worst in the league, according to Corsica.

Basically, Dubnyk is performing well below how a league-average goaltender would perform in the same situations and it's costing the Wild big time.

Boudreau losing patience

Dubnyk, as well as the entire team against the Devils Friday night, was abysmal.

Not only did they surrender a a three-goal lead to one of the worst teams in the league, Dubnyk gave up a gut-punching goal in overtime.

"They weren’t good goals," said Boudreau after the loss. "Duby will be the first one to tell you. He’s too good a goalie to be allowing that and having his confidence shaken this much. I don’t know what to say."

Boudreau also told reporters that he'll sit down with GM Paul Fenton and goalie coach Bob Mason to discuss the next course of action for Dubnyk.

It's one thing to have a goalie not playing well, but it's a whole new level to have the head coach public acknowledge that he's losing confidence in you.

Play Stalock more?

Backup goaltender Alex Stalock has appeared in 15 games – just 11 starts – this season and his traditional numbers don't blow anyone away.

  • 6-5-1, 3.00 GAA, .892 SV%

Not exactly "put me in coach" kind of numbers. More like Uncle Rico...

However, Dubnyk's struggles also stem from the fact he's playing all the time. He's on pace for 72 starts, which would top his previous career-high of 67 in 2015-16.

With the Wild's playoff hopes shrinking, and a GM who's been given the green light to start making trades, it's unclear if the Wild will move on from Dubnyk. 

He has a modified no-trade clause and his cap hit of $4.3 million for two more seasons which is actually pretty reasonable.

Regardless, Dubnyk needs to snap out this funk if he wants to stay in net, both in the short and long term. 

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