December 13 2013 12:16PM
Devan Dubnyk is an interesting case study. He has proven he can play in the NHL, and make timely saves, however, he has also shown monumental lapses in focus that result in him allowing an easy goal, usually from 50-60 feet out. Last night, Dubnyk made four or five huge saves early in the game, when the Bruins were all over the Oilers. The Oilers need those types of saves from Dubnyk, but then in an instant all of those great saves are erased, and the team gets deflated when Dubnyk allows a Dennis Seidenberg floater from the blueline to make it 1-0.
The Oilers ended up trailing 3-0 after the first period, and while Dubnyk wasn't at fault on the final two goals, he didn't start the second period. Eakins explained his decision to change goalies, "It wasn't a mercy pull, it wasn't because the first one went in from far out, I just thought we needed to make a change in the net."
Eakins wisely didn't throw his goalie under the bus, but I wonder if that goal was the beginning of the end of Dubnyk's time in Edmonton?
December 12 2013 10:51PM
Despite the 4-2 loss, the Edmonton Oilers had an okay game against Boston, with "okay" here meaning a combination of dreadful for one period and excellent for two. David Perron, who scored both of Edmonton's goals, was a little north of that mark.
December 12 2013 12:33PM
The Boston Bruins are not only good on the ice; their marketing team is pretty solid off the ice as well. The Bruins have produced some humourous commercials the past five seasons, and this is one or my favourites. The Oilers aren't a divisional rival, but many Bruins fans have told me they have a healthy disdain for the Oilers due to two Stanley Cup Finals losses in 1988 and 1990.
The Bruins and Oilers are at opposite ends of the NHL standings, and have been since 2007/2008, and the Oilers will need to play their one of their best games of the season tonight, just to keep it close.
December 12 2013 08:56AM
With the advances in goaltending over the last three decades, it can be difficult to evaluate across eras. But it’s possible, by comparing each player to the league average at the time, to approximate how Devan Dubnyk stands up to Grant Fuhr and Bill Ranford and Tommy Salo and all the rest.
December 11 2013 09:49PM
It's easy to dismiss the 7-3-1 record the Edmonton Oilers have strung together in their last 11 games because there's no question this has been a soft stretch in the schedule – assuming you can say there's such a thing as soft when you're talking about a team sitting 14th in the Western Conference.
While I'm not of the mind to shrug off this stretch completely, even with the last win coming by way of a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in a game that turned into a nail-biter when it shouldn't have, I'm not putting too much stock in what we've seen, either.