Minnesota Wild notebook: Dumba's roster spot could be in jeopardy
ST. PAUL — Mathew Dumba watched from the press box Thursday night as Jonas Brodin scored a goal from the power-play spot Dumba occupied most of training camp. He watched Clayton Stoner play well in his defensive spot alongside Keith Ballard on the third defensive pairing.
Because of that, Dumba's spot appears to be even more up in the air
After Dumba looked "jittery," according to coach Mike Yeo, in the days leading up to the Wild's season-opening 3-2 shootout loss to the Kings, the curtain may be closing on his audition.
The Wild have nine more games to make a decision on whether the 19-year-old defenseman keeps his place on the roster or heads back to his junior team the rest of the season. The Wild's 2012 first-round draft pick isn't eligible for the American Hockey League because of his age.
Yeo didn't say whether Dumba would play in today's home game against the Anaheim Ducks, revealing only that "we've got a pretty good idea" of what they'll do with him.
Part of the reasoning to keep Dumba was because of the offense he provides from the blue line. But with Dumba a healthy scratch in the season opener Thursday, Brodin took his spot on the second power-play unit and produced a first-period goal off a nifty feed from Nino Niederreiter.
"It's tough to take off a guy who is scoring goals," Yeo said of Brodin. "So if he continues to go out and do that ... I saw a lot of good things, not just from the goal he scored, but the puck movement in the zone. (But) what you do one night, what you see one night, doesn't necessarily determine what you see the next night too."
Granlund gets another point
About 12 hours after Thursday's game, Mikael Granlund became the Wild's points leader.
As Yeo watched video of the game, he noticed that Granlund should have been credited with an assist on Jonas Brodin's first-period goal. The Wild notified the league, which reviewed the play and gave an assist to Granlund, his second of the season opener.
Yeo said he felt his team played well Thursday night, but he was hesitant to declare it a success.
"I don't think that we should just sit here and pat ourselves on the back too much, either," Yeo said. "The bottom line is we didn't win. We played a good game and I know if we continue to play better and continue to develop and grow every part of our game then the wins will come."
Brodziak hits 'reset' button
As much as Yeo said center Kyle Brodziak's down performance last season was a fluke due to a number of factors, there was always a hint of doubt in the back of his mind.
It was easy to discount last season after Brodziak entered the season sick and never recovered in a shortened season.
But Brodziak stuck out in a good way on the first night of the 2013-14 season, impressing Yeo and the staff with his skating ability alongside new third line forwards Matt Cooke and Mikael Granlund.
"I think it's really big because we can only say so many times, 'Let's hit the reset button,'" Yeo said. "But we're kidding ourselves if we think that (last season) isn't in the back of our minds. For him to get off to a good start, I think that really allows him to just focus on this year now."
Brodziak brought an offensive element Thursday night and was the main reason Matt Cooke scored the season's first goal 64 seconds into the game, when he fired a shot toward the net that banked off Cooke and past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
"He looked really confident out there winning his battles," Yeo said of Brodziak. "I think that he has to be physical, and he had a couple real good hits and that has to be part of his game. I liked the way he played."