February 18 2012 08:10AM
Devan Dubnyk is getting an opportunity every goalie dreams of: the chance to prove himself in the best league on the planet. His performance this season has been uneven, and there are as many questions now as there were at the starting gate. Can Devan Dubnyk handle the #1 job?
Dubnyk's SP (.907) is well down the list among goalies with enough TOI to qualify as regulars. Of the 46 goaltenders on nhl.com's SP leaders list, Dubnyk sits 33rd overall--just ahead of Toronto's monsters. Nikolai Khabibulin is tied for 22nd and has outplayed Dubnyk by any reasonable measure.
Or maybe not.
OH BOY, ADAVANCED STATS
Nah, I leave that to guys like Willis who know their way around a slide rule. The information I'm passing along here is available via nhl.com
EVEN STRENGTH SP 2011-12
- Devan Dubnyk .923
- Nikolai Khabibulin .914
Crazy, eh? Dubnyk's number is tied for 25th among NHL regulars. NK's number is 36th. Oiler goalies are playing in front of inexperienced forwards and disabled defensemen, and I think we can at least wonder about the prevailing wisdom about DD's season. Jonathan Bernier, a goalie getting some mention as a possible target, has an EV SP this season of .893.
Of course Dubnyk's SP shorthanded is .836, and that's one of the worst in the NHL. And the Oilers PK this season is pretty good--13th overall as of last night.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Dubnyk has his foibles, God knows handling the puck is an adventure and his pads seem to be made of kevlar some nights. However, it's extremely difficult to backstop an inexperienced group of forwards and the blueline has been short all year due to injuries and poor play.
Devan Dubnyk may not end up being the Oilers starter through this decade, but there's enough evidence for the Oilers to see this thing through.
Nation Radio hits the airwaves on Team 1260 at noon Edmonton time. Scheduled to appear:
- Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun.We'll talk Oilers, trade deadline and curling. Really!
- Earl Sleek from the Battle of California.We'll talk Cogliano, the brilliance that is BOC and try to identify the best NHL team in California.
- Lisa McRitchie from Kukla's Korner and Copper and Blue. We'll talk Oiler prospects, the OKC Barons and the draft.
- Jim Byers from OKC Barons will tell us how the Barons are doing without Brule and O'Marra.
- Kent Simpson from the Oil Kings. We'll talk about the Oil Kings with emphasis on the Oiler picks, and I'll ask him about Reinhart and his season.
All of my guests will get a shot at "what do the Oilers do at the deadline?" and of course your comments are welcome at email@example.com or on twitter @ItsNationRadio and @lowetide_