25-year-old back-up Darcy Kuemper entered the game in Dubnyk’s place and got the team out of the second period with a 1-0 leads over the visiting Avs.
There wasn’t a clear moment where Dubnyk appeared to be injured, but as the game went to a TV timeout, Dubnyk went to the boards and practiced pushing off in the butterfly position, showing some difficulty, which could stem from a number of things. he went to the bench, talked to the trainer and headed to the locker room.
It wasn’t clear where it happened, but it was clear at 10:09 of the second frame that Dubnyk was hurting. Colorado came into the Wild zone on a rush and Dubnyk hit the butterfly, but stayed on his knees as the Wild cleared the zone, laboring to get up.
Dubnyk has posted a .916 all situation save percentage this season through 22 games (21 starts), putting up a 13-7-2 record with a league-leading four shutouts.
If Dubnyk misses any significant time the team would turn to Kuemper, with veteran Niklas Backstrom serving as back-up. Backstrom has yet to suit up this year.
After Backstrom, things get pretty murky for the Wild. Neither of the goaltenders playing for the Iowa Wild are actually on contract with the Minnesota Wild. Jeremy Smith is on loan from the Providence Bruins, via the Boston Bruins. Leland Irving is on an AHL contract with Iowa only, though the NHL Wild could use up one of their contracts and sign him quite easily, one imagines, should another injury require it. Though the team may be apprehensive to go that route, as it would put them at the 50 contract limit and would limit their options at the trade deadline.
The only two goaltenders in the system who are on contract with the NHL club are rookies Stephen Michalek and Brody Hoffman, both of whom have been playing for the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards, where Michalek has been named ECHL goaltender of the week twice this season. His .927 save percentage is eighth in the ECHL.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.