May 5, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalieDevan Dubnyk
(40) clears the puck during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks in game three of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
5. Devan Dubnyk
It may have been one incredible blip on the radar, but Dubnyk’s turnaround in the second half of the 2014-15 season with the Minnesota Wild was impressive enough to merit him a spot on the list. Dubnyk posted a 1.78 goals-against average with a .936 save percentage, catapulted the Wild into the playoffs and stonewalled the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the postseason.
Dubnyk’s traditional numbers speak for themselves, but his advanced stats tell an even better story. Dubnyk was practically impenetrable on low-danger and medium-danger chances, as he posted percentages of 97.57 and 93.04, respectively. He really stepped up his play in high-danger opportunities, stopping 85.75 percent of said perilous chances. That was the fifth-highest percentage in the NHL and the top percentage in the Western Conference.
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Perhaps Dubnyk just went on an amazingly hot streak; his 39-game sample size in Minnesota isn’t exactly a large specimen to make projections. He might have been a product of good defense, as he faced an average of only 27.48 shots per game, which was one of the lowest averages among goalies who had played at least 2,000 minutes.
However, what he did with a defense-oriented squad in Minnesota was eye-opening. He likely won’t post such ridiculous numbers going forward, but Dubnyk has a shot to solidify himself as a highly dependable starting goaltender after a rocky first couple of seasons with Edmonton, Nashville and Arizona.
Not many goalies finish third in the Vezina voting for a 39-game stretch. That’s how special Dubnyk’s second half was.
Next: Who's No. 4?
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