BEGINNING OF THE END?

Jason Gregor
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?

Dubnyk has proven he can play in the NHL, but he's also proven he susceptible to giving up weak goals. Every goalie will allow a weak goal, but Dubnyk has allowed them too often in 2013, and unless he goes 10-15 games without one, I'm not sure how much confidence the organization will have in him moving forward.

Will they re-sign him to be their starter next year? At this point, I think they only re-sign him at part of a tandem, I don't see them starting next season with him as their clear cut number one.

Dubnyk's struggles are mental mistakes, not physical ones, and it is very plausible that he could go to another market and play well. Some players need a change of scenery and a fresh start, but the Oilers need more consistent and reliable goaltending moving forward.

Let's be clear, Dubnyk isn't the only Oiler who struggles with consistency. The entire team is guilty of that, but the harsh reality of his position is that when he makes a mental mistake, it usually ends up in the back of the net. If a forward makes a dumb play at the offensive blueline, it often won't result in a goal.

There is a lot of pressure on starting goalies, but they also receive lots of praise and money if they perform. Pressure is a major part of being a goalie, and unfortunately for Dubnyk, he has shown a tendency to lose his focus or succumb to the pressure of the position.

Last summer Craig MacTavish said, "If you have to ask the question, then you know the answer," when referring to whether or not Dubnyk was a proven starting goalie.

Seven months later, nothing has changed. Dubnyk is still battling "weak goalitis" and the Oilers aren't any closer to knowing who their goalie of the future is.

Last season, despite allowing some weak goals Dubnyk still managed a very good 0.920 SV%, but this year he's still giving up soft goals, but his SV% is 0.890. Teams can accept the odd weak goal, when your SV% is .920, but this season Dubnyk's overall play has regressed.

I've learned that completely writing off a player who has shown he can excel in the league, can often bite you in the ass in the future. I'm not ready to suggest Dubnyk won't be a solid NHL goalie, but I think the chance of that happening in Edmonton is diminishing by the day.

I'm not sure they will have the confidence to let him be their starter next season, but I also think a change of scenery could help Dubnyk.

The Oilers are looking for stability throughout their lineup, and at the end of the season, or before the trade deadline, I'm sure Eakins and MacTavish will have a conversation about which players the coach wants to keep, and which ones he'd rather not have heading into next season.

Right now, Dubnyk likely fits in the latter category, and unless the weak goals disappear from his repertoire over the next few months, he'll stay there.

QUICK HITS... 

  • Luke Gazdic continues to give his team a boost when he drops the gloves, and with his overall play. Gazdic has been very good in his role as a pugilist, and he is getting better every game as a player. Gazdic's teammates love his spirit and willingness to do a job that none of them, and none of us, would or could do.

    Gazdic doesn't make mistakes in his own zone, and his skating is good enough to get around. When you look at players on the Oilers who accept their role, and perform it to the best of their ability every game, Gazdic is near the top of that list.

    It takes incredible courage to do what Gazdic does, especially against guys like Lucic, Bordeleau and McGratton, and the Oilers need more players to match his courage. Not as fighters, but as players willing to do anything and everything to help the team win.
     
  • David Perron just keeps getting better, and you hope that eventually his tenacity and determination rubs off on the other skilled forwards. Perron is gritty, greasy, chirpy and very skilled. He's also being forced to learn how to play defence courtesy of the St. Louis Blues, and that reflects in his game. You don't see Perron giving up the puck as often as the other skilled players. Perron is older than RNH, Hall, Eberle and Yakupov so experience likely plays a factor in that, but they should look at him to realize that playing good defence won't limiting your scoring chances.
     
  • Jesse Joensuu has played much better the past two games. He is moving his feet and the past few games he's started to use his big frame to make life difficult for opposing D-men. If he keeps playing like that, I think he'll become a bigger factor in games.
     
  • Here is another example of why I love the spirit and generosity of Edmontonians. Yesterday on my show Michelle Derk generously donated her realtor commission when selling your house. We were near the end of the show and Patrick and Mick were in a bidding war at $4,500. Michelle text me and said if both agree to pay $5,000 (all proceeds went to charity) she would waive her commission on both their houses. She was losing out on potentially $15,000-$18,000 in commissions, but she wanted to help the charities.

    When I asked Patrick and Mick, without hesitation they both agreed, so we ended up raising $10,000 yesterday. That is unreal.

    If you are planning on selling you house in the near future, I highly recommend you call Michelle. She is a mother of three and her heart is in the right place. Michelle, Patrick and Mick you three made my day. Thank you.

DAY 11...MONTH OF GIVING...

After yesterday's unreal $10,000 donations we are up to $42,950.00 in ten days. That is incredible.

Today's package includes...

The Eskimos VIP Package:

  • Two seats in the Presidents Suite with Len Rhodes to watch the game.
  • Complimentary food and beverages all game.
  • Two signed Eskimos jerseys. You can pick which colour and which player's jersey you want.
  • You will be chauffeured to and from the game in an Escalade courtesy of Budget Car and Truck Rentals.
     

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 camdog
December 13 2013, 02:39PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

The beginning of the end was the hiring of Mac T, Dubynk is just not mentally tough enough to be a #1, that goal last night was the the worse of all his softies, it makes you wonder if he has a vision problem.

His positioning obviously isn't good enough. Whether it's his abilites, his vision or the coaching I guess we well see next year when he's playing on a better hockey team as a back up with a better goalie coach.

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#52 A-Mc
December 13 2013, 02:39PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"Last season, despite allowing some weak goals Dubnyk still managed a very good 0.920 SV%, but this year he's still giving up soft goals, but his SV% is 0.890. Teams can accept the odd weak goal, when your SV% is .920, but this season Dubnyk's overall play has regressed."

SV% is all that matters.

The psychological cost/benefit of "weak" and "clutch" probably exist in some manner.

But my suspicion is they exist far more in the ether of media driven narratives than in the results on the ice.

I'm finding it hard to come up with words to describe how wrong i think you are.

You don't have to have played any sport to a high level to know that the product you see is largely based on the emotional state of the players playing it. Even in beer league you can clearly see a difference when the team believes they can win versus when they are disengaged or deflated.

Every moment of a game is filled with micro transactions of energy. Professional Athletes learn to regulate those transactions by finding false sources and patching leaks. To sit there and say that "weak" or "Clutch" goals are more "in the ether of media driven narratives" is so far from reality, I'm left somewhat miffed because i don't understand how you can deny such things and their importance.

It's real my friend. very real. All you have to do is step out onto the ice/field of a rec game to realize it.

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#53 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 02:42PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This has simply never happened.

There are no bad goalies who in the aggregate have great save percentages or vice versa.

In a game, the psychological cost/benefit of a "weak" or "clutch" goal or save is probably a real thing.

It is not nearly as important, in the same game, as stopping as many shots (regardless of quality) as possible, i.e., save percentage.

It is dramatically not nearly as important in the aggregate.

And it is has none of the predictive value of save percentage.

And by vice versa you mean no good goalies with poor save %'s?

I think there might be a few in the Hall of fame that disprove that theory.

They aren't in the hall because of their SV%, they are there because they won/stole games when it mattered. I don't buy into the equivalencies theory put forward yesterday. Too many variables and changes in the modern era vs. the previous ones. I.E. obstruction, holding, goalie interference etc.

High scoring teams can afford to have a goalie with a less than stellar SV% because they simply score more than they allow.

The SV% is atrocious, yet they get the W.

I am simply stating that SV% is not in your words, "All that matters"

Devin Dubnyk is a prime example.

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#54 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 02:48PM
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A-Mc wrote:

I'm finding it hard to come up with words to describe how wrong i think you are.

You don't have to have played any sport to a high level to know that the product you see is largely based on the emotional state of the players playing it. Even in beer league you can clearly see a difference when the team believes they can win versus when they are disengaged or deflated.

Every moment of a game is filled with micro transactions of energy. Professional Athletes learn to regulate those transactions by finding false sources and patching leaks. To sit there and say that "weak" or "Clutch" goals are more "in the ether of media driven narratives" is so far from reality, I'm left somewhat miffed because i don't understand how you can deny such things and their importance.

It's real my friend. very real. All you have to do is step out onto the ice/field of a rec game to realize it.

I said they exist. I also said they are blown out of proportion by the media.

Media/fans prefer simple narratives like "team x wanted it more" which looks and sounds like a truism on first glance… but actually contains no information. It explains nothing.

I encourage you to read this and watch the video:

http://blog.bleacherreport.com/2012/06/22/mark-cubans-skip-bayless-smackdown-listen-up-sports-media/

Sports media does an incredible disservice to its consumers when they traffic in vague, impossible to falsify, generalities and narratives.

Again, this doesn't mean that weak goals/clutch saves (etc.) don't exist, or that they don't affect the confidence and performance of players.

It is to say that we are too free in attributing success/failure to them and that we have a tendency to elevate their importance at the expense of more important matters.

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#55 He Who Knows
December 13 2013, 02:51PM
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Doobie is definitely going to take his share of the blame but look at that defense, how can competent manager go into the regular season with that kind of defense? The team is built to fail, which was how clueless Steve went about collecting number 1 picks. Mac should have flipped one or two so called "star" forwards and readjust the blueline. I don't think even Schneider could have made that big of a difference. The damn blueline has been a constant problem since the human rake departed for greener pastures. Either they have too many stay at home d-men or soft puck movers. Justin Schultz is a soft forward disguised as a defenseman. Jeff Petry should play baseball and his voice sounds like a junior high broad hitting puberty. I'm sure the guys on the other side love hearing what he has to say in the scrums..lol I meant while he is hiding behind a linesman. Good grief!

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#56 STIXLER
December 13 2013, 02:54PM
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@2004Z06

269points in 434 career games= .6198ppg .6198ppgX82games=50.824points Over simplified I grant you but true none the less

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#57 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 02:59PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

And by vice versa you mean no good goalies with poor save %'s?

I think there might be a few in the Hall of fame that disprove that theory.

They aren't in the hall because of their SV%, they are there because they won/stole games when it mattered. I don't buy into the equivalencies theory put forward yesterday. Too many variables and changes in the modern era vs. the previous ones. I.E. obstruction, holding, goalie interference etc.

High scoring teams can afford to have a goalie with a less than stellar SV% because they simply score more than they allow.

The SV% is atrocious, yet they get the W.

I am simply stating that SV% is not in your words, "All that matters"

Devin Dubnyk is a prime example.

Yes. that's what I meant.

The Hall is a completely separate issue. They don't have set criteria for performance.

If you want to evaluate a goalie, sv% is the only thing that matters. The rest is just noise.

No team that manages to get the W with a poor, average or slightly better than average goalie wouldn't do better if it had a stronger goaltender. None.

You are simply applying confirmation bias based on team wins to individual players, which has very little predicative value for individual players.

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#58 Zarny
December 13 2013, 03:05PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Please explain your math? Gagner has never reached 50 pts. in a season. His best season was his first where he amassed 49 pts. playing predominantly on the wing! Even if you include the "on pace" B.S. from last year and this year over the rest of the season, he averages 48 pts. a season.

And just a reminder, on pace is not actual. Injuries, slumps etc. are not accounted for in "on pace" calculations. Kind of like how a once in a lifetime 8 pt. game isn't.

Take away that 8 pt. game last year and make it a 2 pt. game (reasonable expectation) and his career average drops to 46 pts.

You need to brush up on your math skills.

Sam Gagner - 269 pts/434 games = 0.6198 pts/gm

X 82 games = 50.824 pts

So yes, it's an "on pace" calculation. If you think that's BS good for you.

And "on pace" BS or not...Gagner finished 34th in league scoring last year. 18th for C which is 1st line production albeit in a shortened season.

You're right injuries are not accounted for in "on pace" but slumps are. Whatever slumps Gagner has had are fully included in the 434 NHL games he's played.

Regardless of whether you want to play semantics, Gagner's production puts him in the top 60 C in the league which is 2C.

He had 38 pts in 48 games last year. Are you really going to try to argue he wasn't going to get 12 pts in 34 games?

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#60 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:09PM
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STIXLER wrote:

269points in 434 career games= .6198ppg .6198ppgX82games=50.824points Over simplified I grant you but true none the less

So you used games played..... I used average per season.

How is it recorded in the NHL's books?

Not going to split hairs with you, but the point is Gagner at 4.8 per is a significant overpay.

If we factor in that he allows 2 goals against for every one he scores, the picture becomes even clearer.

We certainly don't need to mention his face off % or his +/- or his inability to win a puck battle or backcheck.

Love the stats guys!

Points alone does not an effective NHL'er make.

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#61 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How many goals has he been on against for? p>

They gave up perimeter shots. Your perception only using shots for to evaluate him is can be misleading.

Gazdic played three straight shifts against Lucic/Iginla line and they didn't give up one scoring chance. He has improved.

He adds something. You don't have to agree with it, and if you base your argument on one stat, usually that leads to an incorrect assessment. You need to look at entire picture of what he does. I never said he was a major difference maker. I said he does he role very well, and is improving.

How can I prop this a few dozen times?

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#62 David S
December 13 2013, 03:18PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"Last season, despite allowing some weak goals Dubnyk still managed a very good 0.920 SV%, but this year he's still giving up soft goals, but his SV% is 0.890. Teams can accept the odd weak goal, when your SV% is .920, but this season Dubnyk's overall play has regressed."

SV% is all that matters.

The psychological cost/benefit of "weak" and "clutch" probably exist in some manner.

But my suspicion is they exist far more in the ether of media driven narratives than in the results on the ice.

All that matters is W's and L's. Just ask Grant Fuhr.

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#63 STIXLER
December 13 2013, 03:20PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

So you used games played..... I used average per season.

How is it recorded in the NHL's books?

Not going to split hairs with you, but the point is Gagner at 4.8 per is a significant overpay.

If we factor in that he allows 2 goals against for every one he scores, the picture becomes even clearer.

We certainly don't need to mention his face off % or his +/- or his inability to win a puck battle or backcheck.

Love the stats guys!

Points alone does not an effective NHL'er make.

I think this goes back to the right mix of players. I fully believe Gagner is redundant on this team so agree he is overpaid by us...as the money could be better spent on other areas of weakness. Without me doing any research you would probably find he is middle of the pack based solely on point production. but as you said "points alone do not an NHLer make

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#64 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:23PM
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David S wrote:

All that matters is W's and L's. Just ask Grant Fuhr.

Exactly where I was leaning....but didn't want the inevitable...but, but when you correct for todays equivalency...blah blah blah blah!

Based on the SV%...of all goalies that played 30 games or more last year. Dubnyk was 8th in SV%, yet the Oilers finished 26th? Where is the math on that stat!

My head hurts now!!!!

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#65 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:24PM
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STIXLER wrote:

I think this goes back to the right mix of players. I fully believe Gagner is redundant on this team so agree he is overpaid by us...as the money could be better spent on other areas of weakness. Without me doing any research you would probably find he is middle of the pack based solely on point production. but as you said "points alone do not an NHLer make

On that we agree Stix and I do appreciate your opinion!

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#66 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:32PM
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Zarny wrote:

You need to brush up on your math skills.

Sam Gagner - 269 pts/434 games = 0.6198 pts/gm

X 82 games = 50.824 pts

So yes, it's an "on pace" calculation. If you think that's BS good for you.

And "on pace" BS or not...Gagner finished 34th in league scoring last year. 18th for C which is 1st line production albeit in a shortened season.

You're right injuries are not accounted for in "on pace" but slumps are. Whatever slumps Gagner has had are fully included in the 434 NHL games he's played.

Regardless of whether you want to play semantics, Gagner's production puts him in the top 60 C in the league which is 2C.

He had 38 pts in 48 games last year. Are you really going to try to argue he wasn't going to get 12 pts in 34 games?

Nope, but I will happily argue he wouldn't end up with 65!....You know...on pace for.

And my math skills are just fine. My calculations were based on how it is documented in the NHL's books via a per season average, not a per game average divided by games per season, but feel free to manipulate the numbers to your hearts content....

Are you DSF?

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#67 Hayek
December 13 2013, 03:32PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How many goals has he been on against for? p>

They gave up perimeter shots. Your perception only using shots for to evaluate him is can be misleading.

Gazdic played three straight shifts against Lucic/Iginla line and they didn't give up one scoring chance. He has improved.

He adds something. You don't have to agree with it, and if you base your argument on one stat, usually that leads to an incorrect assessment. You need to look at entire picture of what he does. I never said he was a major difference maker. I said he does he role very well, and is improving.

That is a fair point. I just don't see anything positive in what he actually does. I understand people like the guy, and like watching him fight, but liking him is different from being an NHL player.

I don't see how you say all the shots are from the perimeter, as that simply isn't true. Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus has compiled shot distances for Oilers over the year. Gazdic when on the ice has the longest average shot distance for at 51.5 feet. When on the ice, he also has the shortest shot distance against on the team at 21.7 feet.

It's not just one stat. He isn't good. He is bad. I wish I could find scoring chance data as well, because last time I saw, he was last in scoring chances for and against too. On top of this, he has 1 goal and 1 assist all year.

I'm all for effective grinders. Gazdic is simply not effective at anything besides hitting people after the puck is gone, and fighting.

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#68 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 03:36PM
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@2004Z06

Based on the SV%...of all goalies that played 30 games or more last year. Dubnyk was 8th in SV%, yet the Oilers finished 26th? Where is the math on that stat!

10th actually. So, above average, but not great.

Now, that number needs some caveats because he had a very good 4x5 save% (a highly unsustainable number) and was 2nd in the league.

His 5x5 save% (more than 30 games played) was 15th, i.e., dead middle of the league.

So, he's a middle of the road NHL goalie who had an incredibly lucky streak on the PK last year.

As far as wondering why DD didn't magically transform his average goaltending into an average team's success… I'll just remind you that this is a team game we are talking about.

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#69 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:41PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:
Based on the SV%...of all goalies that played 30 games or more last year. Dubnyk was 8th in SV%, yet the Oilers finished 26th? Where is the math on that stat!

10th actually. So, above average, but not great.

Now, that number needs some caveats because he had a very good 4x5 save% (a highly unsustainable number) and was 2nd in the league.

His 5x5 save% (more than 30 games played) was 15th, i.e., dead middle of the league.

So, he's a middle of the road NHL goalie who had an incredibly lucky streak on the PK last year.

As far as wondering why DD didn't magically transform his average goaltending into an average team's success… I'll just remind you that this is a team game we are talking about.

It was sarcasm Rom....(it doesn't transmit well electronically). You hit the nail on the head in saying caveats and team game though. Exactly why my original comment of SV% not being the only stat that matters stands.

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#70 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 03:41PM
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David S wrote:

All that matters is W's and L's. Just ask Grant Fuhr.

How about I just ask you?

You're a GM. You can sign two hypothetical goalies. For argument's sake, let's say to the same contract terms.

X plays for an above average team and has above average W-L record but a below average save percentage.

Y plays for a below average team and has a below average W-L record but an above average save percentage.

Now, are you going to tell me, the smart money is to bank on the prior team success of an individual player?

Why pay this unnecessary tax?

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#71 mlcselli
December 13 2013, 03:42PM
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Eakins is full of it. Any goalie getting pulled is a mercy hook. No head coach pulls a goalie that is doing well between the pipes. Dubnyk is not the only player on the team that is inconsistent. My guess is that well over half the roster falls into this category. I think the beginning of the end for DD came last spring, when MacT said the jury was still out on him. MacT then spent the summer looking for a starter. Unsuccessful attempts result in us settling and obviously no one is satisfied with the standings. As far as Eakins and MacT going through the roster looking at who they find as guys they want to keep, I think it's going to be a short list. The challenges will be, finding trading partners and, convincing other players we need to come to Edmonton, without a huge overpayment. The biggest deterrent in Edmonton is Kevin Lowe.

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#72 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:43PM
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Hayek wrote:

That is a fair point. I just don't see anything positive in what he actually does. I understand people like the guy, and like watching him fight, but liking him is different from being an NHL player.

I don't see how you say all the shots are from the perimeter, as that simply isn't true. Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus has compiled shot distances for Oilers over the year. Gazdic when on the ice has the longest average shot distance for at 51.5 feet. When on the ice, he also has the shortest shot distance against on the team at 21.7 feet.

It's not just one stat. He isn't good. He is bad. I wish I could find scoring chance data as well, because last time I saw, he was last in scoring chances for and against too. On top of this, he has 1 goal and 1 assist all year.

I'm all for effective grinders. Gazdic is simply not effective at anything besides hitting people after the puck is gone, and fighting.

All stats aside Hayek, do you feel his team mates prefer him in the line-up or not?

I know what my answer is....

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#73 pkam
December 13 2013, 03:44PM
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David S wrote:

All that matters is W's and L's. Just ask Grant Fuhr.

If W's and L's is all that matters, Dubnyk has 9 wins in 26 games.

Henrik Lundqvist has 9 wins in 25 games and Cam Ward has 5 wins in 16 games. Does it mean Dubnyk is as good as Lundqvist and much better than Cam Ward?

And the two goalies that we tried to acquire this off season both have better SV%, but Jonathan Bernier only has 9 wins in 22 games so only a very minor upgrade. And Cory Schneider is 4 wins in 14 games so Schneider should not even be an AHL goalie?

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#74 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:44PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

How about I just ask you?

You're a GM. You can sign two hypothetical goalies. For argument's sake, let's say to the same contract terms.

X plays for an above average team and has above average W-L record but a below average save percentage.

Y plays for a below average team and has a below average W-L record but an above average save percentage.

Now, are you going to tell me, the smart money is to bank on the prior team success of an individual player?

Why pay this unnecessary tax?

You're not gonna let this go are ya?

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#75 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 03:45PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

It was sarcasm Rom....(it doesn't transmit well electronically). You hit the nail on the head in saying caveats and team game though. Exactly why my original comment of SV% not being the only stat that matters stands.

Sorry I missed your sarcasm… but it was hard to make out as you seem to think Wins are a good measure of goaltending, and possibly a better one than savepercentage

Of course SV% isn't the only thing that matters to winning a team game. No one disputes that.

A hypothetical team that never allowed a goal, but also never managed to score one isn't desirable.

The point is when evaluating goalies, as individuals, what matters?

You have to try to exclude as much extraneous information as possible, like team effects and narrative bias.

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#76 Herbie Versmels
December 13 2013, 03:48PM
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@Jason Gregor

@JasonGregor: So based on Hall's overall performance last night, is he still on the list for Team Canada? I would think at this point with the 200ft effort Eberle puts in, he is already out. No?

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#77 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 03:55PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Sorry I missed your sarcasm… but it was hard to make out as you seem to think Wins are a good measure of goaltending, and possibly a better one than savepercentage

Of course SV% isn't the only thing that matters to winning a team game. No one disputes that.

A hypothetical team that never allowed a goal, but also never managed to score one isn't desirable.

The point is when evaluating goalies, as individuals, what matters?

You have to try to exclude as much extraneous information as possible, like team effects and narrative bias.

I have to admit...this is fun.

I never once said SV% wasn't relevant or important. Nor did I say wins and losses were the only relevant stat when speaking of goaltenders.

My point was to your comment that SV% is "all that matters"

I hate when people cherry pick 'one' stat to justify an opinion. (not implying that you do)

There are so many factors that dictate the outcome of a game or a season.

At the end of the day this is a TEAM game played by HUMAN BEINGS with emotions.

You will never predict the outcome of a game using only statistics.

On any given night a player is having a good/bad game, line mates are juggled, opposition is tougher, game plan is different, referees are calling a tight game, second of a back to back, ice quality is better/worse, night game vs. day game and on and on and on. How do you quantify chemistry? That's why we love the game, because it's unpredictable....Let's leave it that way! Peace out!

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#78 hall the time
December 13 2013, 04:03PM
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Herbie Versmels wrote:

@JasonGregor: So based on Hall's overall performance last night, is he still on the list for Team Canada? I would think at this point with the 200ft effort Eberle puts in, he is already out. No?

Wasn't gags Halls center last night.

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#79 RexHolez
December 13 2013, 04:05PM
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This article almost made me cry I was so happy! I thought the beginning of the end for Dubnyk was a couple years ago, but if this is the last year I have to suffer thru watching him, I'm happy!

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#80 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 04:10PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I have to admit...this is fun.

I never once said SV% wasn't relevant or important. Nor did I say wins and losses were the only relevant stat when speaking of goaltenders.

My point was to your comment that SV% is "all that matters"

I hate when people cherry pick 'one' stat to justify an opinion. (not implying that you do)

There are so many factors that dictate the outcome of a game or a season.

At the end of the day this is a TEAM game played by HUMAN BEINGS with emotions.

You will never predict the outcome of a game using only statistics.

On any given night a player is having a good/bad game, line mates are juggled, opposition is tougher, game plan is different, referees are calling a tight game, second of a back to back, ice quality is better/worse, night game vs. day game and on and on and on. How do you quantify chemistry? That's why we love the game, because it's unpredictable....Let's leave it that way! Peace out!

I didn't cherry pick one stat. I said sv% is all that matters in the comment I cribbed from Gregor, i.e., talk of soft goals at the end of the day doesn't matter.

If two goalies let in 10% of all their shots, but one gets beaten by "clutch" scoring and the other lets in "soft" goals… it doesn't matter.

That's my point.

I never said you could predict any outcomes, or that games can be controlled by stats or anything else. This is a complete straw man.

Some stats have more predicative value than others (i.e., sv% vs w-l record for goalies). That says nothing about the outcome of a particular game, season, etc. All it says is, in the aggregate x will give you y chance to win.

That doesn't threaten the emotion of sports nor does it remove chance from sports.

it has been fun though!

Cheers and enjoy the game. Let's hope Kassian falls awkwardly at some point and cries on tv.

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#81 Herbie Versmels
December 13 2013, 04:12PM
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hall the time wrote:

Wasn't gags Halls center last night.

What are you getting at? Regardless of who his center is, Hall still only plays on the offensive side of the red line.

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#82 Hayek
December 13 2013, 04:15PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

All stats aside Hayek, do you feel his team mates prefer him in the line-up or not?

I know what my answer is....

Honestly, I feel his teammates prefer him out of the lineup because they would rather have a teammate in the lineup that can help them win. Even they would prefer a teammate on the 4th line who could kill penalties so top 6 guys wouldn't have to.

There could be an argument that some like him in the lineup so he could fight instead of them, which is probably true to some extent. But when he is out of the lineup, it's not like other teams pick on us any more or less than when he is in the lineup. Also, most guys never fight anyway, so I don't see fighting as a big deal.

Just my opinion there because I have no clue what other individuals think. Obviously if someone in the media asked, they would never say bad things about a teammate.

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#83 Naky
December 13 2013, 04:19PM
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I'm at the point where I want Dubnyk to go somewhere else and thrive like he will simply by virtue of playing behind a far better team just to shut up the naysayers. I also want to see those same naysayers chase every other goaltender we sign in the meantime out of town. We will become the Philly of the west, mark my words, until this team starts playing better in front of him.

Every single goaltender these people trot out as examples of far better goaltenders on far better teams have ALL had past examples of either bad seasons where their play regressed or bad stretches of play where they are doing poorly before starting to improve. Every. Single. One. The Oilers-Only blinders prevent them from seeing it.

So by all means, let's run him out of town. Let's hope the next one is the messiah that takes us to the Cup. Because that's all we really need right now, you see. If we had that goaltender that could stop all those pucks and not let in that mystical, magical 'deflating' goal that all of our skill can't overcome, we'd be so much better. That one goal that these professional athletes being paid millions of dollars simply can't find the mojo to rise above and simply give up because, oh man, a puck went into the net. Crap. Doom. Gloom.

Give me a break. If that's all it takes to break the back of this team, it's never going to see a Stanley Cup. It quite simply doesn't have the mental fortitude to do what it takes to gut it out to the final prize. And that ain't on the goaltender.

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#84 BLAKPOO
December 13 2013, 04:23PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I have to admit...this is fun.

I never once said SV% wasn't relevant or important. Nor did I say wins and losses were the only relevant stat when speaking of goaltenders.

My point was to your comment that SV% is "all that matters"

I hate when people cherry pick 'one' stat to justify an opinion. (not implying that you do)

There are so many factors that dictate the outcome of a game or a season.

At the end of the day this is a TEAM game played by HUMAN BEINGS with emotions.

You will never predict the outcome of a game using only statistics.

On any given night a player is having a good/bad game, line mates are juggled, opposition is tougher, game plan is different, referees are calling a tight game, second of a back to back, ice quality is better/worse, night game vs. day game and on and on and on. How do you quantify chemistry? That's why we love the game, because it's unpredictable....Let's leave it that way! Peace out!

You're both right, and you're both wrong.

Save % is really the only stat available to accurately judge a goalie on paper. Wins and losses don't really reflect the quality of the keeper.

However, there is a huge tangible that is not recorded that determines whether a goalie is worth his salt, and that's the quality of the shots he faces.

If two goalies stop 30 of 32 shots during a game, they obviously have the same save%. But if goalie #1 is facing quality in-close shots from proven scorers, and goalie #2 is only seeing perimeter muffins.. it's obvious that goalie #1 is outperforming #2, as #2 is letting in Dubnyk-like goals on poor quality shots.

Until they develop some sort of "shot quality" stat, which would honestly be almost impossible unless every shot, every game, was analyzed and judged based on set criteria, then the best thing we have to fall back on is save%.

When you look at Dubnyk, sure judge him by his save %, but if you're not taking into account the fact that he lets in ridiculously terrible goals at the worst possible moments, you're only fooling yourself.

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#85 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 04:30PM
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@BLAKPOO

Shot quality is endlessly debated but needs a lot more work.

You'd probably be interested in Parkatti's recent work:

http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/11/26/testing-the-predictive-value-of-expected-goals-vs-other-metrics/

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#86 Rod from Viking
December 13 2013, 04:32PM
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@Hayek

Did you not notice, that not only the Oilers played better after the fight the crowd really got into it. Gadzic works in the of season with Gary Roberts and on TV the other day Gary said that Luke is a player and will keep improving. If you played contact competitive hockey everyone feels better with a Luke Gadzic on their team and at least you have to admit he can skate and doesn't take dumb penalties.

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#87 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 13 2013, 04:38PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This has simply never happened.

There are no bad goalies who in the aggregate have great save percentages or vice versa.

In a game, the psychological cost/benefit of a "weak" or "clutch" goal or save is probably a real thing.

It is not nearly as important, in the same game, as stopping as many shots (regardless of quality) as possible, i.e., save percentage.

It is dramatically not nearly as important in the aggregate.

And it is has none of the predictive value of save percentage.

The psychological benefit of the clutch save is not "probable"it is certain.....the degree of its effect is what is in question.

It's predictive value not being the equivalent of save percentage is, among other things, a result of the fact that it's value has not been, and perhaps cannot be, easily measured.

Once again, you are making the mistake of assuming that because something either can't or isn't being measured that it has no weight, value or correlation to specific events.

Now, if you're generalizing, then that's ok and you may be correct....but don't make the mistake of drawing a conclusion that you state as a certainty. For that, it is not.

Not being presented to defend my argument, but just as an aside, Mike Keenan is on record as stating that given a choice of all the great goalies in history to have in 7 game playoff series, he would choose the low career save percentage of none other than Grant Fhur, because says Keenan...."Fhur could let in one or even several bad goals....but when the chips were down...Fhur would shut the door....I knew it ..and his teammates knew it and it's why I would choose him"

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#88 ?
December 13 2013, 04:41PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

All stats aside Hayek, do you feel his team mates prefer him in the line-up or not?

I know what my answer is....

Oilers players are clueless on playing hockey. You wanna trust their judgement on who plays and who doesn't?

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#89 Hayek
December 13 2013, 04:48PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Did you not notice, that not only the Oilers played better after the fight the crowd really got into it. Gadzic works in the of season with Gary Roberts and on TV the other day Gary said that Luke is a player and will keep improving. If you played contact competitive hockey everyone feels better with a Luke Gadzic on their team and at least you have to admit he can skate and doesn't take dumb penalties.

Disagree the fight had any impact on the game. If it did, every losing team would be fighting more often, and winning teams would never fight. Oilers were playing good before the fight, they played good after the fight. Saying a fight impacted another player is pretty ridiculous.

I don't think Gazdic will improve. His skating is blow average. I do agree he doesn't take dumb penalties, and he has drawn more than taken this year. But if that is what you are pointing to as his positive qualities, he is obviously a bad player. For a good player, even a grinder, we say they have x points, at least some offence. We say they take on tough competition, and hold their own. We say they win faceoffs, kill penalties, are good on the forecheck, generate chances. Gazdic does none.

Why can't people just admit they like watching him as a fighter? The case for him as even close to NHL replacement level is laughable. I ask you, if he didn't fight, could he make a single NHL team?

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#90 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 13 2013, 04:51PM
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Hayek wrote:

Honestly, I feel his teammates prefer him out of the lineup because they would rather have a teammate in the lineup that can help them win. Even they would prefer a teammate on the 4th line who could kill penalties so top 6 guys wouldn't have to.

There could be an argument that some like him in the lineup so he could fight instead of them, which is probably true to some extent. But when he is out of the lineup, it's not like other teams pick on us any more or less than when he is in the lineup. Also, most guys never fight anyway, so I don't see fighting as a big deal.

Just my opinion there because I have no clue what other individuals think. Obviously if someone in the media asked, they would never say bad things about a teammate.

You're right....you have no clue.

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#91 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 13 2013, 04:54PM
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@Hayek

You feel his line mates prefer him out of the line up.....you feel it?

Do you feel this.?............................

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#92 hall the time
December 13 2013, 04:54PM
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Herbie Versmels wrote:

What are you getting at? Regardless of who his center is, Hall still only plays on the offensive side of the red line.

He thinks offence all the time and is trying to be defensively sound but when your line mates don't play as hard as he does the goals wont come.

My point is you wouldn't have said anything about Hall if he scored the game tying goal last night.

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#93 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 13 2013, 04:57PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I didn't cherry pick one stat. I said sv% is all that matters in the comment I cribbed from Gregor, i.e., talk of soft goals at the end of the day doesn't matter.

If two goalies let in 10% of all their shots, but one gets beaten by "clutch" scoring and the other lets in "soft" goals… it doesn't matter.

That's my point.

I never said you could predict any outcomes, or that games can be controlled by stats or anything else. This is a complete straw man.

Some stats have more predicative value than others (i.e., sv% vs w-l record for goalies). That says nothing about the outcome of a particular game, season, etc. All it says is, in the aggregate x will give you y chance to win.

That doesn't threaten the emotion of sports nor does it remove chance from sports.

it has been fun though!

Cheers and enjoy the game. Let's hope Kassian falls awkwardly at some point and cries on tv.

No ....it doesn't threaten the emotion of sports......but you on the other hand, do threaten the validity of statistical analysis.

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#94 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 05:08PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

No ....it doesn't threaten the emotion of sports......but you on the other hand, do threaten the validity of statistical analysis.

How so?

BTW, what statistical analysis have I been conducting or defending?

We're talking about sv% here… we aren't running regression tables or anything remotely complex.

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#95 AdamfromOilfans
December 13 2013, 05:09PM
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@Jason Gregor

Gazdic is a very weak NHL player. His on-ice save percentage has been unsustainably high, which is why his +/- isn't massively negative. However, he struggles with receiving hard passes, and he regularly ices the puck because he struggles to exit his own zone.

He provides almost NO scoring threat. He produces almost no scoring chances night after night. As MacTavish said at the end of last season, you can't be a fourth liner and contribute to only one aspect of the game. You need to be a threat to score at least occasionally, and Gazdic just isn't.

I do applaud his courage, and last night's fight was a benefit to the team, because we took a fourth liner off our roster in favour of a first liner for the other team. It's the first of Gazdic's nine fights that really adds much to the team, because the rest have pretty much all been fighting by appointment against another team's designated puncher. There's no advantage to the team from that.

Like Acton, Gazdic is a player who struggles to contribute in a meaningful way at the AHL level (20 point career high in the minors). As such, it's no surprise that he is over his head in the NHL.

If he could take a first liner out of the mix for five minutes on a regular basis, he'd probably be worth keeping, but as it is, I think the Oilers should still be looking to upgrade their lineup and find a better fourth liner than him. Courageous or not, he's just not a good hockey player. Without that, what does courage matter?

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#96 Zarny
December 13 2013, 05:10PM
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Naky wrote:

I'm at the point where I want Dubnyk to go somewhere else and thrive like he will simply by virtue of playing behind a far better team just to shut up the naysayers. I also want to see those same naysayers chase every other goaltender we sign in the meantime out of town. We will become the Philly of the west, mark my words, until this team starts playing better in front of him.

Every single goaltender these people trot out as examples of far better goaltenders on far better teams have ALL had past examples of either bad seasons where their play regressed or bad stretches of play where they are doing poorly before starting to improve. Every. Single. One. The Oilers-Only blinders prevent them from seeing it.

So by all means, let's run him out of town. Let's hope the next one is the messiah that takes us to the Cup. Because that's all we really need right now, you see. If we had that goaltender that could stop all those pucks and not let in that mystical, magical 'deflating' goal that all of our skill can't overcome, we'd be so much better. That one goal that these professional athletes being paid millions of dollars simply can't find the mojo to rise above and simply give up because, oh man, a puck went into the net. Crap. Doom. Gloom.

Give me a break. If that's all it takes to break the back of this team, it's never going to see a Stanley Cup. It quite simply doesn't have the mental fortitude to do what it takes to gut it out to the final prize. And that ain't on the goaltender.

I don't think you can really say Dubnyk would be "run out of town". He was drafted 9 years ago. This is his 4th season getting significant minutes.

His SV% over the last 3 years has been good for 22nd, 24th and 14th in the NHL behind teams that finished 30th, 29th and 24th. That's why he's been given the chance.

You're right the players in front of him are not good enough. That doesn't explain the soft goals from 40 feet and the mental lapses.

When he was handed the reigns to start this season he folded. He didn't just play bad; he was awful. And a big part of it looked mental.

Does that sound like the kind of G who wins the Stanley Cup?

Dubnyk has certainly played well enough historically that with the right G tandem you could make the playoffs. But if you don't think Dubnyk has the mental make-up to win the Cup don't you have to find a G who can?

And if after being groomed to be the #1 guy Dubnyk doesn't grab the brass ring is Edm the best place for him to play? Likely not.

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#99 Oiler Al
December 13 2013, 05:22PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Did you not notice, that not only the Oilers played better after the fight the crowd really got into it. Gadzic works in the of season with Gary Roberts and on TV the other day Gary said that Luke is a player and will keep improving. If you played contact competitive hockey everyone feels better with a Luke Gadzic on their team and at least you have to admit he can skate and doesn't take dumb penalties.

Interesting, didn't know Gadzic was in Roberts program...[ which is very strong ].

With all do respect I think someone like Nuge and Eberle would benefit from signing up with Roberts... he has helped others including Stamkos.

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#100 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 05:22PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I didn't cherry pick one stat. I said sv% is all that matters in the comment I cribbed from Gregor, i.e., talk of soft goals at the end of the day doesn't matter.

If two goalies let in 10% of all their shots, but one gets beaten by "clutch" scoring and the other lets in "soft" goals… it doesn't matter.

That's my point.

I never said you could predict any outcomes, or that games can be controlled by stats or anything else. This is a complete straw man.

Some stats have more predicative value than others (i.e., sv% vs w-l record for goalies). That says nothing about the outcome of a particular game, season, etc. All it says is, in the aggregate x will give you y chance to win.

That doesn't threaten the emotion of sports nor does it remove chance from sports.

it has been fun though!

Cheers and enjoy the game. Let's hope Kassian falls awkwardly at some point and cries on tv.

You Too!!!

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