Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Dubnyk's First Wild Start Was "A Little Bit Of A Blur"

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Devan Dubnyk didn't really have time to think about how tired he would be. His focus had to be on just getting there.

It's nearly one year to the day Dubnyk was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Minnesota Wild, and began a stretch of 38 consecutive starts.

Logistically, the first one may have been his toughest.

"It was nuts," Dubnyk said on Tuesday prior to the Wild's game against the Buffalo Sabres. "I thought there was no chance from the time I got the call, to getting to the airport in Arizona — there was any chance of getting there that night."

January 15 will mark the one-year anniversary of Dubnyk's first Wild start, which almost didn't happen.

But after a red-eye flight, Dubnyk managed to meet his new team at First Niagara Center in time to make his Wild debut, and 17 saves in a 7-0 Minnesota victory against the Sabres.

"That Buffalo game was a little bit of a blur, not a lot of sleep, and a lot of nerves," Dubnyk said. "The guys made sure to put up seven for me, so I didn’t have to worry about it."

Dubnyk said he didn't think much about the broad picture joining the Wild, and it wasn't exactly like he had the spare time to consider it.

"I was just trying to come in, and I knew it was an opportunity for me to play, and I was excited about that, and feeling good about it," Dubnyk said. "I remember looking and thinking, 'Oh, they're only 12 points out, it's not a big deal.' You don't realize how tough it is to gain those back."

But what began on a Thursday night in Buffalo blossomed into a three-month stretch run and a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dubnyk's encore performance has included being selected to his first All-Star Game, helping backstop the Wild to a record-setting first half, and placing in the top 10 in the NHL in wins, and the top three in shutouts.

Does his coach have anything else to say about Dubnyk's first 363 days on the Wild?

"No, just keep going Devan," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "He's been fantastic."

Dubnyk had been on the Wild's radar for a long time. He impressed with a 32-save shootout loss against Minnesota as an Arizona Coyote a month prior to being acquired. The previous season, Dubnyk stopped 39 for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-2 loss to the Wild.

"It still seems crazy that it's only been a year," Dubnyk said. "You think back to even being in Arizona, or just a little further back from that, it seems so long ago.

"I'm in such a different mindset and place in my life to where we are now with this group here, and being on this team, and in this city, it's crazy the difference that it is."

And while Dubnyk's numbers have certainly changed dramatically, he has maintained they have been buoyed by shoring up small elements of his game that are maintainable.

"I've said this before: it's been a good partnership," Yeo said. "The team, the way that we play has helped Devan a lot, but we can't say enough about what he's done for the group."

Related Items:

View More