Before a puck was ever dropped, before Head Coach Mike Yeo could blow his first whistle, and before Devan Dubnyk's second year as a member of the Minnesota Wild began, he stood outside the locker room at Braemar Ice Rink with a motivated grin.
Dubnyk began to paint the picture of his expectations for his second season in Minnesota, largely framed around the expectations of those not named Devan Dubnyk.
"I don't need to prove anything," Dubnyk said then.
Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (2014 Draft, fourth round) made 22 saves as Finland defeated Russia 4-3 in overtime in the gold medal game at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Kahhkonen did not begin the tournament as Finland's starter, but after replacing Veini Vehvilainen during Finland's 6-5, quarterfinal win against Canada, he has played every minute for the host country.
On Tuesday, Kahkonen made 10 saves in the third period, and one in overtime to help lead Finland to its second gold medal at the tournament in three years.
COLUMBUS -- It's not often that an NHL team takes 40 shots on goal, and even less often it comes away with one goal-for.
When the Minnesota Wild registered 40 shots on goal against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, it was the third such instance Minnesota has done so this season through 38 games. In the previous two, the Wild scored three and six goals, respectively.
In the NHL, of the 1,174 total games that have been played entering Tuesday, 89 times a team has taken 40 or more shots. And in those games, 20 times, including the Wild's performance on Sunday night, did the shot total result in one or zero goals-for.
Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (2014 Draft, fourth round) stopped 21 shots as Finland defeated Sweden 2-1 in the semifinals of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Finland, the host country, advances to play Russia in the championship game on Tuesday.
Kahkonen has taken over in goal for Finland since midway though its quarterfinal game against Canada. After starting one of Finland's four games in the group stage — earning an 8-3 victory against Slovakia — Kahkonen was called on during the second period against Canada.
With Finland trailing 3-2 in the second period against Canada, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (2014 Draft, fourth round) came on in relief and helped Finland defeat one of the tournament favorites, 6-5.
Kahkonen had started one of Finland's four games in the group stage, earning a win in Finland's 8-3 victory against Slovakia.
After Kahkonen came in, Finland scored twice in the second period to take a 4-3 lead into the third on home ice. Kahkonen then stopped 10 of 12 shots in the third period, and Canada failed to advance to the semifinal round of the junior tournament for the first time in 17 years.
TAMPA BAY – Forward Zach Parise said he felt "very good" after morning skate in Tampa Bay, and a decision will be made later on Saturday on whether he will play against the Lightning.
Parise sat out the Wild's game on Thursday, a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues, due to a knee injury.
"I haven't talked to the coach yet, but I'll go talk to him, tell him how it went, how I felt, and we'll go from there," Parise said.
TAMPA BAY – Forward Zach Parise practiced in full with the Minnesota Wild in Tampa Bay, and could play on Saturday when the Wild faces the Lightning at Amalie Arena.
Parise missed the Wild's 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday with a knee injury. He left practice early last Sunday, before playing on Monday, and not practicing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I'm not sure; I don't know yet (if I'll play tomorrow)," he said. "I'll see how it feels tonight and the rest of the day, and tomorrow in the morning, and I guess judge from there."
Defenseman Louis Belpedio (2014 Draft, third round) assisted on the game-winning goal, and the United States defeated Denmark 4-1 on Thursday to clinch second place in Group A at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships.
The win improved the United States to 3-1-0-0, with its lone loss coming against Sweden, who went undefeated in the group stages. The quarterfinal round begins on Saturday.
Heading into the second period tied with Denmark 1-1, Belpedio assisted on a Sonny Milano goal 4:02 into the second period. Belpedio had two points during group play, each coming on game-deciding plays: his assist on Thursday, and the game-winning goal in the United States' tournament-opening, 5-3 win against Canada.
ST. LOUIS -- The last time the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues played, a 3-2, Wild overtime loss at Scottrade Center on Halloween, it was a tale of two games.
There was the opening 10 minutes, during which the Blues physical, pressurizing forecheck pushed them out to a 2-0 lead, and the Wild didn't play up to its normal pace.
Then Minnesota got to its game, tied the score at 2-2 before intermission on goals from forwards Jason Zucker and Erik Haula, followed by 45 minutes of scoreless hockey broken by a David Backes overtime goal.
Kaapo Kahkonen (2014 Draft, fourth round) made 25 saves as Finland defeated Slovakia 8-3 at the World Junior Championships on Wednesday.
Making his first start of the tournament, Kahkonen and Finland fell behind 2-0 in the first period with 8:05 remaining.
But Finland would storm back and score five unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead. Slovakia would pull within 5-3, but Finland then responded with another three unanswered goals to take a five-goal lead.