STAND BACK!

Lowetide
November 07 2013 07:55AM

 

The Oilers grabbed a road win in Sunrise on Tuesday, and there are signs things may get better. Taylor Hall is close to returning, the defensive depth (Larsen, Fedun) has been as advertised and the Nuge is beginnng to push the river again. One key item that remains unsolved: the goaltending. This has been Devan Dubnyk's job all along, now it's time for him to deliver. 

We've talked about stats and established Dubnyk was an average to slightly above average G entering this season. We've talked about smaller goalie pads impacting him, shorter sticks impacting his balance and his 'relaxed' attitude when things were not quite right in pre-season. 

That's all history. What's real is the here and now, and for  Dubnyk (coming off a short term injury) this is the time. The Oilers need him, need to believe in him, need him to not only make the stops he should but to rob another team of a victory on the road.

EVEN STRENGTH SAVE PERCENTAGE, LAST THREE YEARS

  • 2010-11: .921
  • 2011-12: .927
  • 2012-13: .922
  • 2013-14: .876

These numbers reflect a few things: bad start, small sample size, et cetera. When a goalie has a dip like that, we can look for the usual reasons (age, injury) and those do not apply to Dubnyk. The equipment change could be a factor, but all goalies have had to adjust and this season the Save Percentages have improved across the league. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Based on what we read, Devan Dubnyk is a popular guy in the dressing room and players (previous to this season) believed in him. We don't know how long the team will stay with him if these performances continue,but we do know who can impact the decision. 

Devan Dubnyk. Starting tonight. 

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#1 boxman
November 07 2013, 08:00AM
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LT, Craig Simpson was on the radio yesterday saying how son Dillon would have his degree by December and would consider ALL of his options then. This makes me think the Oilers may be in tough signing him. Thoughts?

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#3 Dave
November 07 2013, 08:12AM
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It means that the Oilers will never make the playoffs or go very far in the playoffs with just average goaltending.

I am not a Gagner fan nor a Dubnyk fan . I hope they both prove me wrong.

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#4 Tapdog
November 07 2013, 08:17AM
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Lowetide wrote:

It's been a worry forever, Simpson has made so much progress as a player he's a real value--much higher than his drafted number.

I hope he signs with the Oilers, but they have so much defensive depth and he would command an enormous amount as an unsigned free agent.

And I imagine there are several teams who would like to stick it to the Oil over Justin Schultz, notably Anaheim.

LT, have the Oilers missed the window on signing Simpson? When the Oilers drafted him, how long do they have to get ink to paper for a college kid?

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#5 Taylor Gang
November 07 2013, 08:36AM
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At least Simpson has history with EDM, so that helps. That being said, without sounding like Tambellini, our defense is looking very good in terms of what's coming. Nurse, Klef, and Schultz will be great defensemen for the years to come and Marincin is not far behind either.

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#6 Clarko
November 07 2013, 08:38AM
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I'm hoping Dubnyk finds his game because the Oilers can never win on a consistent basis without solid goaltending throughout the season. I thought his detractors were a little unfair coming into this season, but he has deserved all the criticism he has received so far.

The only way this team turns this season around is much better goaltending and being significantly more healthy...especially the return of Hall and Perron. This team will have difficulty winning unless RNH, Hall, Perron, and Eberle are in the lineup nearly every night.

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#7 Sean17
November 07 2013, 08:41AM
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Craig Simpson on Oilers Lunch yesterday did not have nice things to say about Dubnyk....

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#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 07 2013, 08:43AM
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Tapdog wrote:

LT, have the Oilers missed the window on signing Simpson? When the Oilers drafted him, how long do they have to get ink to paper for a college kid?

As I understand it, the problem here is that the CBA forces the player/team into an either/or situation.

You either sign a contract (ELC) with your team and leave college to play Jr., ahl, or nhl depending on the age of the player and other factors.

Or, you ride out your 4 years of college eligibility in college at which point you become a free agent.

Basically, you can't sign with a team and remain within the college system. This puts pressure on teams to sign players early.

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#9 Craig1981
November 07 2013, 08:47AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

As I understand it, the problem here is that the CBA forces the player/team into an either/or situation.

You either sign a contract (ELC) with your team and leave college to play Jr., ahl, or nhl depending on the age of the player and other factors.

Or, you ride out your 4 years of college eligibility in college at which point you become a free agent.

Basically, you can't sign with a team and remain within the college system. This puts pressure on teams to sign players early.

From my understanding the is not the NHL CBA, but the college NCAA rules. If you are under contract you are a professional and can't play amateur. Considering they have taken Heisman's away and suspended players for autographing a football that will get sold, I don't think this is changing anytime soon.

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#10 Walter Sobchak
November 07 2013, 08:48AM
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I'm not convinced anything on the Oilers will change once they get everyone back, they were awful before these players went down, I'm not expecting that to change.

As far as Dubnyk goes, he's absolutely brutal.

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#11 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 07 2013, 08:53AM
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I still say we need to see a Hall - Nuge - Yak line when Hall's back. It seems like it would have a good mix of talent. Hall as the power guy, Nuge as the playmaker, Nail as the shooter. Plus with Hall and Yak's speed, they could wreak some havoc on defenders.

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#12 He Who Knows
November 07 2013, 08:54AM
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Dubynk is not the answer. Plain and simple. When MacT went hard after Schneider, Dubs lost his mojo and lets face it, he did not have a whole lot to begin with.

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#13 Jon
November 07 2013, 08:57AM
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Do any of you stat whizzes out there know if anyone's ever looked at Dubnyk's SV% when the game is close?

Extraskater.com has the function to look at that but they only have stats for last year. Of note, his ES SV% was .923 last year. But his ES SV% when the game is close, drops to .912.

Now that's one year so I don't know if that means anything, that's why I'm wondering if anyone has seen those stats for other years?

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#14 Tapdog
November 07 2013, 09:00AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Rom, thanks for the information. Much appreciated.

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#15 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 07 2013, 09:02AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

From my understanding the is not the NHL CBA, but the college NCAA rules. If you are under contract you are a professional and can't play amateur. Considering they have taken Heisman's away and suspended players for autographing a football that will get sold, I don't think this is changing anytime soon.

This is a great point and is certainly the case…

but it's not the only issue. The CBA works with and addresses all the other leagues in terms of how players can be managed. The CBA has a big impact on how both drafted and undrafted NCAA players are managed.

Here's some pieces on how the CBA can and does affect college players:

http://www.uscho.com/2012/08/29/college-hockey-has-eyes-on-hopes-for-nhl-collective-bargaining-negotiations/

http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/wisconsin-badgers-mens-hockey/2012/10/16/3513986/new-nhl-cba-could-be-a-positive-for-ncaa-teams

http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/01/16/new-cba-unlikely-to-bring-relief-to-college-hockey/

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#16 Shredder
November 07 2013, 09:04AM
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Starting tonight? All the other starting goalies started a month and a half ago...

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#17 Spoils
November 07 2013, 09:06AM
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It was just a heartbeat ago when we won the JSchultz lottery.

Now people are saying Dillon won't sign, Duchenne is in the patrick Kane - Crosby conversation, and Taylor Hall isn't gonna make the Olympic team.

I think these things are transformatively bad.

It shows me how important it is we start winning games now or try to regain the excitement about our rebuild.

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#18 Tapdog
November 07 2013, 09:08AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I still say we need to see a Hall - Nuge - Yak line when Hall's back. It seems like it would have a good mix of talent. Hall as the power guy, Nuge as the playmaker, Nail as the shooter. Plus with Hall and Yak's speed, they could wreak some havoc on defenders.

Actually Hall and Yak had some nice chemistry last season with Gag's in the middle. With Gag's struggling at this point I think they should let him slot in the third line RW spot alongside Gordon to get himself straightened out. Let Arco take those minutes for now with Hall and Yak. Would not be surprised to see them do well, besides Arco is better defensively and can actually win a draw. With the chemistry between Eb's and Nuge and also between Eb's and Perron, I like to looks of those three running together.

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#19 Rob...
November 07 2013, 09:08AM
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I now treat Oiler games like I treat movies. I go in expecting 'crap' because I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than horribly disappointed.

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#20 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 07 2013, 09:12AM
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Rob... wrote:

I now treat Oiler games like I treat movies. I go in expecting 'crap' because I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than horribly disappointed.

"we hoped for the best, but it turned out like always"

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#21 Jay Gray
November 07 2013, 09:12AM
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I've been a big Dubnyk backer this entire time, but patience is wearing thin. These bad goals need to stop...now.

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#22 Wolfson
November 07 2013, 09:12AM
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From AMA on reddit with Jay Onrait

"Jay, I'm a huge fan of yours, a medium sized fan of Dans, an am relatively indifferent towards Producer Tim. My question is: can you offer any words of hope to the long suffering Oilers fans such as myself? Thanks!"

Jay "Not really. Unless Katz comes to his senses and fires everyone in the front office (but keeps Eakins)"

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1q1a2r/i_am_jay_onrait_ama/

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#23 nunyour
November 07 2013, 09:22AM
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This is not a new problem to many of us that saw Dubnyk's flaw's from day one,the soft goals.Last year the media was busy pumping his tires proclaiming him a legit starting goalie, and many of us just shook our heads quietly.You can not win in this league without a top end goalie,it's that simple.Again it's back to wait till next year.

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#24 Lochenzo
November 07 2013, 09:40AM
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Dubnyk is more than capable. The problem is between the ears. He just has to keep things simple, follow his instincts and positioning. Primary focus should be on a possible shot - think Upshall tying goal 2 nights ago. I'd love to be able to tell Dubnyk that the defence will take care of everything else, but, well, you know the state of affairs in the defensive zone. But at least we can't blame him for giving up goals on 10 bell scoring chances.

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#25 mr common sense
November 07 2013, 09:45AM
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Sean17 wrote:

Craig Simpson on Oilers Lunch yesterday did not have nice things to say about Dubnyk....

Because he's smart and not drunk on the Edmonton KoolAid. Dubnyk is not #1 material, MacT knows it too.

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#26 Smokey
November 07 2013, 09:46AM
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boxman wrote:

LT, Craig Simpson was on the radio yesterday saying how son Dillon would have his degree by December and would consider ALL of his options then. This makes me think the Oilers may be in tough signing him. Thoughts?

Who really knows how good he is. What's his leverage...can he pull a Justin Schultz?

Frankly if he is done school by Christmas, he should look to sign with the Oil.

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#27 Soccer Steve
November 07 2013, 09:48AM
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If Dubnyk is our goalie this time next year, I will be stunned.

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#28 VK63
November 07 2013, 09:55AM
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Sean17 wrote:

Craig Simpson on Oilers Lunch yesterday did not have nice things to say about Dubnyk....

Craig Simpson speaks on other peoples failings.

Is this a great country or what?

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#29 Lochenzo
November 07 2013, 09:56AM
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Same CBA rules for Simpson as Schultz? As I recall under J Schultz's deal, the amount of money he could sign for was capped. But the term was subjective and Justin had his choice of where to sign.

So if that's the case, then wouldn't it be a matter of where Simpson wants to play?

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#30 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 07 2013, 09:59AM
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Smokey wrote:

Who really knows how good he is. What's his leverage...can he pull a Justin Schultz?

Frankly if he is done school by Christmas, he should look to sign with the Oil.

We don't really know.

The sports media isn't very good at sending out scouting reports to the masses on college kids… but from what is available, Simpson has blossomed and very early for a D-man of his calibre and pedigree.

Here's a good look at him:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/08/23/complete-defender-dillon-simpson-is-a-solid-sleeper-prospect-for-the-edmonton-oilers/

Some more:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/8/6/4593804/13-dillon-simpson

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/9/26/4770664/dillon-simpson

Basically, the majority of the flaws noted on draft day have been burned off. In a re-draft he goes much, much higher.

He's assumed a leadership role in college (captain) playing against men and is still very young (he's only 20 and in his 4th and final year of college).

His leverage is going to be structural, ie., every team will want him in their prospect pool pushing for NHL work and getting big AHL minutes, he has no reason to sign with the Oilers and the Oilers are stacked with D prospects making his future path to the NHL harder with them.

Look for the Oil to push hard to sign him and maybe even offload a couple of D prospects (maybe Musil and Gernat) to make room for him.

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#31 Spydyr
November 07 2013, 09:59AM
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Dubnyk is not the answer moving forward, MacT knows it. Some of knew it a while ago.

He is UFA this summer MacT will try his hardest to upgrade.

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#32 Rama Lama
November 07 2013, 10:00AM
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I understand the frustration that everyone is having with Dubnyk given his style of play.

Someone should tell him ( maybe the goaltending coach) that all these NHL players are pretty smart and know without even looking, where to shoot on him. Before the shooter even shoots Duby is flat on the ice flopping around.........they have all seen this before and know to shoot high.

I think that the era of really big NON athletic goaltenders focused on covering the bottom of the net is coming to an end. Bachman who is a much smaller more athletic goaltender plays the angles and stands square to the shooter.

I'll take a smaller stand up goalie any day over the alternative. Duby will get lit up tonight by Stamkos and will cost us the game......yet again!

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#33 Mike Wazowski
November 07 2013, 10:06AM
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@nunyour

Are you trying to tell us Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi and Jimmy Howard are 'top end goalies'? Not a chance.

Good to very good teams can win with average goaltending. We are not a good to very good team yet but we're still developing with an average, and still developing, Devan Dubnyk.

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#34 Lochenzo
November 07 2013, 10:09AM
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I see Dubnyk and Corey Crawford as having parallel careers up until the past year. They were both brough along slowly through the minors. Got the starting job in their mid-20's. Had their shining moments and also had their struggles and no shortage of detractors.

Crawford had a fantastic season last year which culminated in a Cup ring and received a big time contract this past summer. How did Crawford turn this corner?

First, gotta give props to Crawford. Second, huge kudos to Stephane Waite, his goalie coach, who is now doing a great job with Carey Price. Third, a more than solid push from Ray Emery for the starters job. Fourth, when Crawford was at his lowest, all you had to ask Crawford to do is focus on making the initial save. Don't worry about rebound control or potential cross crease passes for now. You have Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to bail you out. Crawford was able to re-establish his confidence, he could build upon his game from there.

I don't think Dubnyk has all of these tools for turning his game around that Crawford had.

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#35 DougWeightProblem
November 07 2013, 10:25AM
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Just heard Hall is back in.

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#36 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 07 2013, 10:26AM
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@DougWeightProblem

Saw that too, I really hope they didn't rush him back. We need help, but if he gets hurt again we'll be in an even worse spot.

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#37 Andrew
November 07 2013, 10:28AM
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L.T. - There seems to be a troubling pattern to Dubnyk's performance. He has had some real solid games or portions thereof but loses focus at key times. Those times are frequently at the beginning and late in periods and of course late in the third period. No Oiler lead seems safe.

I don't think that has escaped the notice of Oiler brass. That pattern has been there now for several seasons. Dubnyk can never say the Oilers haven't given him lots of rope...er...opportunity. There is little likelihood he's here next season.

On the other hand I think Bachman fights harder for the puck and I think he could be a solid backup if given a chance and a stronger 'D' presence in front of his crease.

Where that # 1 keeper comes from is up to Mact and the scouting staff. Dubnyk is imo never going to be consistent enough for this team to move forward.

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#38 Quintana
November 07 2013, 10:33AM
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Yak with a goal and assist tonight book it!!!!

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#39 DougWeightProblem
November 07 2013, 10:33AM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

Supposed to be wearing a knee brace for rest of season, according to Matheson.

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#40 camdog
November 07 2013, 10:44AM
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VK63 wrote:

Craig Simpson speaks on other peoples failings.

Is this a great country or what?

Sine we are on to other people's failings, my sister used to idolize Mr.Simpson until she dealt him cards at the casino, ten years back. Dude had a temper when he gets drunk and loses money.

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#41 Lochenzo
November 07 2013, 10:44AM
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Good to see Hall back. I thought the Omark call up was due to either Hall or Perron being out for a while longer. Guess it's Perron.

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#42 DougWeightProblem
November 07 2013, 10:50AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Good to see Hall back. I thought the Omark call up was due to either Hall or Perron being out for a while longer. Guess it's Perron.

Perron will join the team in Philly, likely won't be out more than a game or two more. Omark won't be around long, I guess .. unless ... trade?

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#43 rob
November 07 2013, 10:52AM
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A top #1 goalie and this team is 500!HALLSY is back,now we need Perron!

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#44 nunyour
November 07 2013, 10:59AM
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Mike Wazowski wrote:

Are you trying to tell us Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi and Jimmy Howard are 'top end goalies'? Not a chance.

Good to very good teams can win with average goaltending. We are not a good to very good team yet but we're still developing with an average, and still developing, Devan Dubnyk.

do they let in all the soft goals Dubnyk does,no,and he is 27,those soft goal are deflating to the team.Mact said in very clearly,if you have to ask ,you already know the answer.

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#45 pkam
November 07 2013, 11:03AM
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Jon wrote:

Do any of you stat whizzes out there know if anyone's ever looked at Dubnyk's SV% when the game is close?

Extraskater.com has the function to look at that but they only have stats for last year. Of note, his ES SV% was .923 last year. But his ES SV% when the game is close, drops to .912.

Now that's one year so I don't know if that means anything, that's why I'm wondering if anyone has seen those stats for other years?

Not sure what you are trying to prove here.

Wouldn't you think in most circumstances, 'The game is not close' is likely the result of a high SV%? So isn't it logical that the SV% will be higher when the game is not close?

Does it happen to other goalies as well, whether they are elite goalie or not?

So what does the stats of the previous years going to prove?

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#46 Zarny
November 07 2013, 11:05AM
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This season was always going to be the trial of Devan Dubnyk.

He's not a prospect anymore; he's 27 and was drafted 9 years ago.

The Oilers need to determine this year if he's good enough to make the playoffs, good enough to only make the playoffs or can he win the Cup.

My personal opinion has always been he's good enough to make the playoffs but will never win a Cup.

Still, he has to be evaluated over a full season. Luongo wouldn't even be in the NHL based on some of his Octobers and Quick is sitting in LA with a 0.896 SV%.

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#47 pkam
November 07 2013, 11:06AM
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nunyour wrote:

do they let in all the soft goals Dubnyk does,no,and he is 27,those soft goal are deflating to the team.Mact said in very clearly,if you have to ask ,you already know the answer.

Did you watch Crawford play in 2011-12? He wasn't as bad as Dubnyk this year, but he was worse than the Dubnyk of 2011-12.

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#48 Zarny
November 07 2013, 11:11AM
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Mike Wazowski wrote:

Are you trying to tell us Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi and Jimmy Howard are 'top end goalies'? Not a chance.

Good to very good teams can win with average goaltending. We are not a good to very good team yet but we're still developing with an average, and still developing, Devan Dubnyk.

LOL...Crawford, Niemi and Howard are certainly better than average goalies.

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#49 Yeah
November 07 2013, 11:15AM
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DougWeightProblem wrote:

Just heard Hall is back in.

Besides him and Gordon, what a BEAUTIFUL collection of MIDGET SOFTIES and DAFODILS on the first three lies to complement the gentle fairies like PETRY and FEDUN and LARSEN, etc. on the back end. GUDAS and LABRIE will have a field day tonight! TAMPA is gonna run these MIDGETS right out of the TIMES FORUM tonight! LMAO!!!!!

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#50 Space Dad
November 07 2013, 11:16AM
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@Mike Wazowski

Actually, Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi and Jimmy Howard ARE all 'top end goalies.' In fact, I'd put Niemi in the NHL's top 3. Each of these goalies has a history of making key saves when the chips are down... with the goaltending issues we've witnessed this year in Edmonton, I don't think that ability can be overemphasized. Of course, the fact that 2 of these 3 (perhaps Crawford as well) will be representing their country in Sochi would attest to their being considered 'top end.'

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