Dubnyk, Suter joining Wild coach Boudreau in All-Star Game
ST. PAUL — When it comes to NHL All-Star Weekend, three won't be a crowd for the Wild.
Bruce Boudreau, Ryan Suter and Devan Dubnyk will represent the Wild at All-Star Weekend on Jan. 27-29 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the league announced Tuesday.
After last season's change to a new format, the game will feature a 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament format with players from each of the divisions — Pacific, Central, Atlantic and Metropolitan — making up the teams.
Boudreau earned the right to coach the Central Division team after guiding the Wild to a 25-9-5 record in the first half of this season, which included a franchise-record 12-game winning streak. It is the first time in his 10-year NHL coaching career that he will coach in the NHL All-Star Game, despite leading teams to the playoffs eight times. He is also the first Wild coach to win the honor.
"I've got a chance there now," he said with a smile. "I'm not greedy. I'll take one."
Dubnyk was an easy pick for the game; he leads the league in goals-against average (1.80), save percentage (.939), and shutouts (5). He already has set franchise records for consecutive wins (10 games) and point streak (14 games) in a season en route to an impressive 21-7-3 record.
"I've told everybody that I've talked to that he's had an amazing season," Boudreau said of Dubnyk. "He has kept us in every game we've played. It is a great pick, and there are a lot of good goalies in the NHL. He deserves it."
It will be Dubnyk's second NHL All-Star Game appearance in as many seasons. He said he was a little nervous last season.
"I've got the experience now and I'll just go try and enjoy it as much as I can," Dubnyk said, emphasizing that the 3-on-3 format makes his job especially tough. "Let's see if I can keep it under a goal every two minutes."
Dubnyk said he doesn't take the selection for granted.
"You have to keep continuing to earn it," he said. "I want to continue to have my name in that conversation from now until I'm finishing playing."
Suter has 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) and is tied for the NHL lead with a plus-24 rating. It will be his third NHL All-Star Game appearance.
"It has a lot to do with our team," Suter said, downplaying his individual selection. "We are playing well, and we're able to go represent our team. ... It's always an honor to be a part of it."
Boudreau said he "would've liked to see more players" from the Wild selected. There were certainly other players on the roster deserving of a selection, especially Eric Staal, who was perhaps one of the biggest Central Division snubs. Staal leads the team with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists).
"There are a lot of guys on this team that are having great seasons," Staal said when asked if he felt spurned. "You can pick and choose from a bunch of guys, and they picked a couple of good ones."