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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#1 Neil
December 13 2013, 12:25PM
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FIST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#2 Hayek
December 13 2013, 01:19PM
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I think there is a disconnect between Gazdic's performance, and your evaluation of it. If last game was his best game it's pretty sad, because when he was on the ice, his line was outshot 6-2. On the year he is 3rd worst on the Oilers, only ahead of Acton and Lander, being outshot 127-83. This is with a majority of his starts in the offensive zone too.

I guess it's entertaining if he fights, if you are into that kind of stuff. But his fights motivate the other team, just as much as the Oilers. Fighting is a wash in terms of impacts on scoring (not my opinion, this was research by people a lot smarter than myself).

Maybe Louie Debrusk has altered your perception (The same Louie Debrusk arrested for assault in Vancouver a couple years back while on the road as an analyst).

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#3 Neil
December 13 2013, 12:26PM
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DOH!!!

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#4 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 13 2013, 01:23PM
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Only in Edmonton could something like this happen. How many kids/coaches/GM's would even have jobs if it weren't for this B market/ nobody else wanting to come here.

Dubnyk @ 3.5, he'll be a 1 mill per season back up next yr.

Gagner @ 4.8 Buy him out. 3rd line at best on a good team. Already been replaced by Arcobello.

Hemsky @ 5.0 Will play for less than half that next season elsewhere.

Chasing hope comes at a price. We supported it, now just shut up and continue to buy the tickets/merchandise for this laughing stock franchise.

Kevin Lowe is the Matt Millen of the NHL. What a putz.

Happy positive Friday all...

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#5 Zarny
December 13 2013, 01:44PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Only in Edmonton could something like this happen. How many kids/coaches/GM's would even have jobs if it weren't for this B market/ nobody else wanting to come here.

Dubnyk @ 3.5, he'll be a 1 mill per season back up next yr.

Gagner @ 4.8 Buy him out. 3rd line at best on a good team. Already been replaced by Arcobello.

Hemsky @ 5.0 Will play for less than half that next season elsewhere.

Chasing hope comes at a price. We supported it, now just shut up and continue to buy the tickets/merchandise for this laughing stock franchise.

Kevin Lowe is the Matt Millen of the NHL. What a putz.

Happy positive Friday all...

Ridiculous.

Your point about a B market is valid. Like it or not, it's hard to convince players to come to Edm.

Dubnyk I'm afraid will play for a lot more than $1M next season. That, quite frankly, is absurd.

Buy out Gagner at $4.8M with only 2 years left? Beyond absurd. It's laughable how some of you hit the panic button. I can only assume you think Phi should buy out Giroux too.

Like it or not, Gagner's career pt/gm puts him over 50 pts which is well within the top 60 C in the league every year. He has defensive and face-off deficiencies to be sure but you're a fool if you think he's a 3rd line C on most good teams. I don't think Gagner compliments Nuge well and I do think he should be traded but half the league will be interested in him considering he's just entering his prime.

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#6 Zarny
December 13 2013, 01:18PM
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This season was always going to be the trial of Devan Dubnyk.

Going into the season Dubnyk had been a middle-third starter without ever having started more than 42 games in a season.

Probably good enough to make the playoffs but not win the Stanley Cup. And so far this season nothing I've seen changes that assessment.

I do think ultimately he should be evaluated on a full season's body of work. Luongo might not play in the NHL based on some of his Octobers.

Of course, we are closer to Christmas than Halloween. If the soft goals and mental lapses continue I agree 100% the Oilers won't resign him as an undisputed starting goalie.

An upgrade though might not be forthcoming. A middle-third start is still better than a lot of G. The list of available goalies better than Dubnyk is a short one.

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#7 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 13 2013, 01:20PM
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Dubnyk and timely saves and proven NHL goalie??? Get off the F&^%in Kool Aid. Name me other teams in the NHL that want Dubnyk as a starter in net please.

The media discourse is so delusional cause seems like no one wants to actually call out management.

Sad state

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#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 01:58PM
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"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.

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#9 Rama Lama
December 13 2013, 12:41PM
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Most teams build from the net out......there is a reason for that. It's too bad Mr. Six Rings has not figured this out.

Dubynk need to go to the light.

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#10 mayorblaine
December 13 2013, 01:07PM
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i can only imagine how Dubnyk feels when mulitple times there have been snipers standing in the slot unattended. you think he gets deflated too?

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#11 David S
December 13 2013, 12:33PM
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It's not that Dubnyk lets in softies as much as when. It always seems to happen at the time when it's most catastrophic to an already fragile team. As a group we're not mentally tough enough to suck up those body blows. Any team is OK with a decent shot going in, but the calibre of the soft shots Dubnyk lets in is shockingly bad and that's what does the damage. Guys are killing themselves to compete and it looks like their goalie was texting from the paint. Buddy lets a flipper go from the blue line and it goes in??? Unacceptable.

He may be an OK goalie, but I think the reality is that this team needs an above average goalie until the point where we can address some of our defensive "deficiencies"*.

*Sucky D-men who wouldn't play on alot of top level teams

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#12 ooj
December 13 2013, 12:40PM
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ride bach and bryz rest of the year...getting tired of seeing dubnyk let in those softies...Dubnyk is single-handedly reducing my life-expectancy

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#13 Rod from Viking
December 13 2013, 12:41PM
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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.

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#14 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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#15 Puck_In_Throat
December 13 2013, 12:28PM
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Honestly I believe that the "beginning of the end" happened about 20 games ago when the Oil recalled Bachman, gave him a couple starts, then went and got Bryz.

I'm a strong believer that actions speak louder than words, and MacT made a serious statement this summer by signing a career backup (LaBarbera). That said "Dubnyk is the man, and we expect him to carry the load".

MacT made a serious backtrack on that statement when he went and got Bryzgalov. That move says "Dubnyk cannot handle the load, and needs to split time with a 1B goalie".

Dubnyk will not be back.

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#16 Danger Pay
December 13 2013, 12:29PM
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dubnyk = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM-7Ts-3wmY

Or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytCEuuW2_A

I won't be posting these for a while, so check em out and laugh while you can! To quote Def Leppard ' it only takes a minute of your precious time"

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#17 Old Timer
December 13 2013, 12:41PM
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I've been a supporter of DD from day one but just can't be anymore.

These soft goals are killing us. I thought he would get over that by now but ....

Looking forward to finding someone better in free agency or a trade.

There has to be someone out there who's available.

Is There??

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#18 Rod from Viking
December 13 2013, 12:44PM
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@Dog Train

If I was Oiler GM for a day I would only be targeting players that have been successful on teams that have had long term winning culture.

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#19 nunyour
December 13 2013, 01:00PM
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ooj wrote:

ride bach and bryz rest of the year...getting tired of seeing dubnyk let in those softies...Dubnyk is single-handedly reducing my life-expectancy

I thought it was just me,good to know I am not alone,i don't even want to watch when dubnyk is in net,it's gotten that bad,so yes please start anybody but him already.

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#20 Spoils
December 13 2013, 01:02PM
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My hope was that the Oil could ride Dubnyk until they became a contender.I've always seen him as a clutch backup. He has tended to play best when there is another viable goalie in the mix.

Hopefully Bryz can get healthy and take over, because at this point Dubnyk is dead to me. Brutal to say, seems like a great guy, but we beat the Bruins without him. And if he had stayed in I felt like he would have let in a couple more.

Remember when Jusse got the oilers to game 7, and LaBarbs last night, that is CLUTCH backup and Dubs was going to be that guy, back story etc.

Brutes.

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#21 Dalg
December 13 2013, 01:20PM
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It feels like Dubnyk has gone past the point of return. He's shown the capability, but the pressure and expectations here in Edmonton from the fans, from the management, and ultimately from the team (as things have progressed to the point of exasperation) has become too much. I think it would take an exceptionally resilient goalie to develop successfully under this sustained lack of success. We need someone who can just come in without the baggage and do the job. Dubnyk has too much baggage now - I hope he gets a fresh start somewhere as he seems like a really good guy. Either way, he wouldn't be doing himself any favours going on twitter ever.

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#22 andrewmk20
December 13 2013, 01:25PM
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@emonkee

Given they handed out 3.5m to Dubnyk you'd have to think that they'd be willing to give out 6-6.5m/year for a consistent proven starter like Hiller.

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#23 Lil Breezy
December 13 2013, 01:26PM
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Continuity Error:

"He's also being forced to learn how to play defence courtesy of the St. Louis Blues"

Alert, alert. Editor - Please display your editing skills, or we will lose faith in you to be a starter in this league. You let in another softie there.

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#24 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 01:53PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

Dubnyk and timely saves and proven NHL goalie??? Get off the F&^%in Kool Aid. Name me other teams in the NHL that want Dubnyk as a starter in net please.

The media discourse is so delusional cause seems like no one wants to actually call out management.

Sad state

You can call out management until you are blue in the face. Clearly they aren't interested in anyone but Tier 1 fans opinions. That does not include media.

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#25 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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#26 v4ance
December 13 2013, 12:28PM
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I was thinking over the night that Dubnyk is the modern day version of Patrick Lalime. Good goalie who appears great for stretches and then lets in that one key deflating soft goal at the worst time to derail his team's hopes.

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#27 John Chambers
December 13 2013, 01:30PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

You're 100% correct on all accounts.

Hemsky has impressed me this year, but I also think they could easily get much greater value out of $5M than he.

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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 ?
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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 Dog Train
December 13 2013, 12:35PM
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Far too often this season Dubnyk has been only the second best goaltender on the ice. Goaltending isn't the only issue but it is an issue. Like some other Oilers who have been around for lots of this losing, maybe a change of scenery is needed.

Perron's experience and time with the Blues has definitely helped him become a better player. I'm hopeful that he rubs off on players like Hall, Yakupov and Eberle. I'm not sure what Gagner's excuse is at this point, he's Perron's age and he looks incredibly lost out there right now.

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#35 mayorblaine
December 13 2013, 01:18PM
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David S wrote:

It's not that Dubnyk lets in softies as much as when. It always seems to happen at the time when it's most catastrophic to an already fragile team. As a group we're not mentally tough enough to suck up those body blows. Any team is OK with a decent shot going in, but the calibre of the soft shots Dubnyk lets in is shockingly bad and that's what does the damage. Guys are killing themselves to compete and it looks like their goalie was texting from the paint. Buddy lets a flipper go from the blue line and it goes in??? Unacceptable.

He may be an OK goalie, but I think the reality is that this team needs an above average goalie until the point where we can address some of our defensive "deficiencies"*.

*Sucky D-men who wouldn't play on alot of top level teams

i originally propped this cause you made some really good points. then i re-read and saw "Guys are killing themselves to compete......." ha.

where are all these guys? we could use them on the Oilers.

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#36 CMG30
December 13 2013, 01:20PM
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DD has the physical tools to be a decent #1 in the NHL but it's true that he loses the mental focus occasionally. It's no secret that MacT wanted an upgrade in net over the summer but obviously he was unable to find one. So he gave the ball back to DD and let him run with it. With the signing of Bryz it must be obvious that the Oil were no longer comfortable with that.

My only concern is that the Oilers need to be cautious about who they bring in. Even with these softies that keep floating in DD still brings more to the table than some would-be trades out there. As frustrating as it may be, I would still stick with DD unless a clear upgrade in net comes along. However, until he really shapes up his next contract must reflect his performance. The Oil can use the extra money to try and shore up their defense.

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#37 ooj
December 13 2013, 01:23PM
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I will confess...there was a bit of sadistic joy when I watched gazdic's knuckles land on lucic's obtrusive face

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#38 Zarny
December 13 2013, 01:33PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Most teams build from the net out......there is a reason for that. It's too bad Mr. Six Rings has not figured this out.

Dubynk need to go to the light.

That's more urban myth than reality.

No question you need goaltending to win the Stanley Cup but it doesn't have to come first and often doesn't.

Chicago has won 2 of the last 4 Stanley Cups with different goalies. Neither were in place for long before the Cup run.

LA didn't build from the net out. They had Kopitar, Brown and Doughty contributing before Quick. Bos stumbled upon Tim Thomas after landing Chara. Detroit certainly didn't build any of their teams from the net out.

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#39 Ducey
December 13 2013, 01:53PM
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Call me crazy but I actually am pretty happy with the way the team is playing the last few weeks.

The certainly have their lapses but there are some notable improvements. The shot differential reflects this.

Last year over 48 games they were second worst in shots against (32.75 /gm)and 5th worst in shots for (26.72).

This year, they are 15th in shots for (28.78) and 9th worst in shots against (30.54).

The difference is being narrowed and it is reasonable to think that on average they will be soon be at the point where they get as many shots as they give up.

As pointed out, the thing that has killed them is goaltending. They have the 2nd worst save % in the league. Only NYI are worse.

The solution might be as simple as getting a new goalie in the offseason.

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#40 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 02:06PM
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Zarny wrote:

Ridiculous.

Your point about a B market is valid. Like it or not, it's hard to convince players to come to Edm.

Dubnyk I'm afraid will play for a lot more than $1M next season. That, quite frankly, is absurd.

Buy out Gagner at $4.8M with only 2 years left? Beyond absurd. It's laughable how some of you hit the panic button. I can only assume you think Phi should buy out Giroux too.

Like it or not, Gagner's career pt/gm puts him over 50 pts which is well within the top 60 C in the league every year. He has defensive and face-off deficiencies to be sure but you're a fool if you think he's a 3rd line C on most good teams. I don't think Gagner compliments Nuge well and I do think he should be traded but half the league will be interested in him considering he's just entering his prime.

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.

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#41 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 13 2013, 02:23PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I beg to differ. A goalie can have an unreal SV% if he faces 40 shots a night from the blue line with no traffic in front. Shot quality and/or making the crucial save that gives your team a boost and keeps you in the game is a bigger testament to a goalies overall performance.

But the stats don't vet that out.

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.

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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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