Double D

Lowetide
September 22 2010 07:00PM

Tonight Devan Dubnyk (probably--he's listed as one of the two G's for tonight, one imagines he'll get some time in goal) gets the first opportunity of pre-season to show Edmonton's management and coaching staff that he is the better man to back up Super Bowl Sunday this winter. IS he the better man? COULD the Oilers go with 3 G's (again)? 

The Oilers do not have a clear cut #1 goalie of the future in the organization. If we can agree that Nikolai Khabibulin is clearly the #1 option when healthy, then the big decision this fall has to do with which young G to keep and which one to send away.

DEVAN'S UP ARROWS

  • In his final 10 games Dubnyk's SP was .912 overall.
  • He is 2 years younger than JDD.
  • The Falcons were a struggling AHL team with a puncher's chance every night DD dressed; the bottom fell out when he was called to the show.
  • From all accounts DD is a better technical goalie than his competition. He's no Doug Favell--and that's a good thing.
  • There's a new head coach in town. Last year's depth chart is not written in stone.
  • His contract ($800,000 times 2) is reasonable, and his competition is 9 months from free agency.

DEVAN'S DOWN ARROWS

  • His boxcars last season were poor, the worst of the rookie goaltenders who played 1,000 or more minutes in 09-10.
  • His overall EV SP (.902) was less than JDD's (.905).
  • JDD has a full year in the NHL. If NK is injured, Deslauriers knows the ropes and can step in to the starter's role.
  • Last year, when the organization had to choose a starter, they went with Deslauriers.

There were 6 rookie goalies who played over 1,000 minutes in the NHL 09-10. They were: Rask (Bos) .931; Howard (Det) .924; Varlamov (Was) .909; Gustafsson (Tor) .902; Deslauriers (Edm) .901 and Dubnyk (Edm) .889. JDD played in front of a poor team but you'd be hard pressed to include him among the league's top rookies at the position. Deslauriers had some outstanding games (3 SO's tied him with Howard for 2nd among first year G's) but there were some poor moments.

Khabibulin's EV SP (.924) was good last year; the kids trailed by a mile. Tonight's lineups suggest a real test for Oilers goalies. It might be just what the doctor ordered for Devan Dubnyk. A tough test well handled will have a major impact on what is shaping up as a pretty even race.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 rindog
September 23 2010, 02:37PM
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Steve wrote:

Over the last five seasons, Shawn Horcoff has averaged 0.713 points per game, while consistently playing the toughest opposition of Oilers' centres. If we take last year (when he was apparently playing hurt for much of the season) out of the equation, that number shoots up to 0.777.

Worth $5.5 million per year? Probably not. The best proven offensive centre the Oilers have? Without question. Calling him "a slower version of Todd Marchant" is - and here I am commenting on the argument, not on the person making it, whom I don't know from Adam - rank idiocy.

I could take the time to post how much PP icetime he has had, how many of his minutes were played with Hemsky (by far our best offensive player), etc - but I won't.

I could also mention that in those same 5 years he is -43.

I simply don't see much diffeence between #10 and #26.

Marchant was good defensively (+31 his last 5 years here), good on faceoffs and played against the other teams best offensive players.

Horcoff is effective in the same areas and should be used accordingly.

If you want to debate the comment - Ask yourself - What does Horcoff do that Marchant didn't?

It is a bit tough to compare the two because Marchant never got the gravy minutes on the PP along aside Hemsky.

I can even take it a step further and say that atleast Marchant created energy. Marchant got in on the forecheck and hit people sometimes. When is the last time you have seen Horcoff hit anyone?

Horcoff is a safe player that doesn't create much of anything (offense, energy, etc). Every team needs a guy like Horcoff - they just don't need him in the top two lines (or on the PP).

I would love it if he proved me wrong - much like he started to do in 07/08.

He just hasn't shown me anything to suggest that he will...

And for the record - I am not even close to being a Marchant fan. He was used as a comparable for my dislike for Horcoff's game.

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#102 Steve
September 23 2010, 03:17PM
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What does Horcoff do that Marchant didn't? Well, um, score more than 0.7 points per game over a sustained (five year) period. That was kind of the point of my post.

Anyway, who do the Oilers have who's a better bet as an offensive centre than Horcoff? Last year, Gagner, put in a nearly perfect situation (as far as QUALCOMP and QUALTEAM are concerned, with lots of powerplay time thrown in) scored at a rate of .603 points per game. We can debate all we like whether Shawn Horcoff is a first line centre on a good NHL team, but it's nigh on indisputable that he is on the Oilers.

And for the record, I'm a huge Marchant fan. I Todd Marchant circa 2000 is exactly what the Oilers need right now. Or another Shawn Horcoff. If I may paraphrase Lowetide, if you don't like Marchant or Horcoff, it says rather more about you than it does about them.

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#103 Dan the Man
September 23 2010, 09:23PM
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...

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#104 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
September 24 2010, 01:50AM
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rindog wrote:

I hardly think that is a fair comparison (even though you were just kidding).

I guess the reason I pick on him is because Horcoff has been given every chance to succeed offensively and still comes up way short in my eyes. I have sat at Rexall every home game and rarely (if ever) do I notice him making a significant offensive play.

I am willing to concede that he is a "decent" defensive player that should be playing a shut down role.

He won 57% of his faceoffs (which is good) and did a decent job at limiting the Sedins' chances.

The fact of the matter is, I do not see where he deserves or has earned a spot on the PP (or an offensive role) once the season gets underway.

He is basically a slower version of Todd Marchant and should see his icetime adjusted accordingly.

Well it sure sounds like you're judging him based on his contract seeing as he has always come up short in your eyes. Otherwise I think most would agree that he absolutely exceeded expectation (maybe not in 2007 with his 0.6-0.7 ppg avg) prior to signing his contract. The guy was never drafted high or ever really projected to be a scorer. It was only until he proved he could approach ppg status for the 2nd time in 3 seasons when he signed his contract. That's when the expectations started.

Face it. Horcoff is a good NHL player both offensively and defensively. He just gets paid great.

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#105 rindog
September 24 2010, 08:33AM
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Max Powers - Team HME Evans wrote:

Well it sure sounds like you're judging him based on his contract seeing as he has always come up short in your eyes. Otherwise I think most would agree that he absolutely exceeded expectation (maybe not in 2007 with his 0.6-0.7 ppg avg) prior to signing his contract. The guy was never drafted high or ever really projected to be a scorer. It was only until he proved he could approach ppg status for the 2nd time in 3 seasons when he signed his contract. That's when the expectations started.

Face it. Horcoff is a good NHL player both offensively and defensively. He just gets paid great.

You totally missed the point...

I dont care what he makes - can't change that.

I do care that he should be playing a role that is more suited for him. Which in my eyes, isnt a n offensive role.

I want him on the team, I just want him to play in a role that will actually help the team.

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