StaTuesday: Wild’s Devan Dubnyk playing like Vezina contender
For whatever it's worth in early December, Devan Dubnyk is playing his way into Vezina Trophy consideration.
The Minnesota's No. 16-ranked power play and No. 13-ranked penalty kill have been middling so far. The Wild are also one of 11 teams without a double-digit goal-scorer.
The Wild's offense ranks 10th at 2.75 goals per game, while they've allowed just 49 goals on the season, a league low.
They have Dubnyk to thank for that.
Dubnyk is among the league's top goaltenders heading into the third month of the season, and ranked third in a recent Vezina Trophy poll of NHL.com writers, behind Montreal Canadiens star Carey Price, who won the award in 2015, and Boston Bruins starter and 2014 Vezina winner Tuukka Rask.
|Player||Team||GP||W||L||Save %||EV Save %||Shutouts|
Dubnyk leads the league with a .946 save percentage, a figure that jumps to a whopping .956 when Minnesota is at even strength, tied with Price for the league lead, while his four shutouts are also tops in the NHL.
The Wild are doing enough in the offensive zone to back Dubnyk's hot start, and now lead the Western Conference with a plus-17 goal differential despite their middle-of-the-road scoring totals.
Dubnyk's numbers are bound to dip as the season rolls along, but his hot start could mean big things later on.
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby won the Vezina last year with a .922 save percentage and a league-leading 48 wins, while Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop finished second with a .926 save percentage and 35 wins.
Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), Roberto Luongo (Florida), Corey Crawford (Chicago), Corey Schneider (New Jersey), John Gibson (Anaheim), Martin Jones (San Jose) and Brian Elliot (St. Louis) rounded out the voting.
Dubynk finished third in the Vezina voting in 2015 after posting a .929 save percentage in 58 games, which he split between the Arizona Coyotes and the Wild.