Double D

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

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

DEVAN’S UP ARROWS

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

DEVAN’S DOWN ARROWS

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

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

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

  • Hemmercules

    Missed the game. Sounds like DD let in a bad goal (in a pre-season game with our B squad playing) and everyone is already running him out of town? He better play lights out for his remaining time or JDD could be our guy, that is until JDD lets in a bad one and the tables turn.

  • oilslick

    Just to change directions a little bit. Has anybody heard details about a potential blockbuster trade between The Oilers & Rangers I was reading about it on Spectors site but it has no details on players going either way. I would assume it would include Souray. just wondering if anyone had any more details.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    That’s the goaltending I know and love from the Oil.

    Better hope Bulin can give us 55+ games (depending on what you’re looking for out of the team this year I guess).

    Good thing we didn’t beat the Blues package for Halak…

  • Ender

    rindog wrote:

    Whitney looked awesome on TV. He made crisp passes, controlled the PP, jumped into the play, and seemed to be in really good defensive position most of the time.
    From what I could tell, the few things you pointed out were isolated incidents – otherwise he looked really, really good.

    As I wrote last night, Whitney did some things wrong, but he also did some things very right. The good overshadowed the bad.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS wrote:

    Edmonton coach Tom Renney, who moved behind the bench after Pat Quinn was given a front-office job, said Whitney was guilty of a couple of giveaways but made up for them.

    The passes Whitney connected on were sweet; the GWG was a laser beam through three zones. Still, there were some ugly giveaways from him too. I think the jury is still out. All it will take is one bad giveaway in the defensive zone that loses us a real game and tonight’s 3-point effort will be forgotten rather quickly. He better keep working on his game, but if he does he certainly has the potential to be solid.

    rindog wrote:

    Horcoff on the other hand….

    I’m really curious what the rest of that sentence says.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Ya I thought Whitney looked pretty shaky at times too. Though, as mentioned he had some golden moments.

      Horc has look fantastic thus far, I didn’t see the #’s, but it looked like he won the vast majority of his FO (which for the most part were against two pretty solid FO guys) hopefully he’ll continue the strong pre-season and come into regular season with full confidence.

      • Ender

        I hope Horc continues to play like he did last night as well. While I can’t argue that much of his play last season justified slotting him on the third line this year, his play late in the year and again last night has him looking higher on the depth chart.

        I said it last night and I’ll say it again; people reading about the game today might see the names Ondrus and Vande Velde and assume they were the bit-players that made the most noise, but the name they wouldn’t see in the papers would be Colin McDonald. That’s a shame, because he played a very strong game. I had no idea who he was before 8:00PM last night, but by the end of the game I was watching every shift of his closely. The guy hits like a truck and had a lot of very dangerous chances on net. While no one has given him a shot at landing a slot on the roster, I don’t think he’ll be sent down quite as quickly as most would have thought. I think last night’s performance bought him some time and another real good look.

    • Also curious to see what the rest of that sentence said. Outside of 1 missed opportunity Horcoff looked really good.* He had pep in his step and was really good on the dot.

      Now, DD had his obligatory bad goal and Horc had his obligatory whiff, but I have more faith that Horc can get that out of his system before Dubnyk.

      *keep in mind who is saying this!!

    • I guess the same logic I use to dismiss Whitney’s mistakes could be said about Horcoff last night (although I have seen that movie so many times from Horcoff).

      Horcoff simply cannot finish. There were 2 easy goals that he should have had not to mention all of the choppy puck handling on the PP. Nothing seemed to flow once it got to Horcoff.

      I realize he had to lot the PP minutes due to the roster that was iced, but I sure hope he doesn’t get many (if any) minutes on the PP once the regular season starts.

      Horcoff was great in the faceoff circle, but yet again gets over valued for his defensive play. Too many time he gets caught watching the puck and forgets to tie up his check. I understand he plays the “hard” minutes, but I still don’t think he is as solid defensively as people think.

      Offensively, he gave Eberle so many passes in the skates that I felt sorry for the kid. Horcoff doesn’t seem to know how to stick handle to save his life and the play seemed to die a lot of the time when it got to him.

      I found myself calling him Shawn Dvorak…

      I will get a better look tonight in person (if he plays – which is doubtful) or the next home game, but they always say that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. I just don’t think the guy has what it takes to play an offensive role (unless he rides shotgun with Ales).

      • Just for the record, I am not faulting Horcoff’s work ethic or compete level. I just don’t think that Renney and his staff should place any offensive responsibility with Horcoff at all. We have the skill now, let Horcoff play a role (regardless of his salary).

      • Wow – I’d love to see your comments on Gretzky’s play back in 1987. Let me guess;

        “I dunno, the guy did have 3 points tonight – but he played a signficiant time on the PP… everyone scores points on the PP. Plus, he never hits and he always dives when people come near him. His cross ice pass was two feet off the ice and Messier had to work hard to knock it down to get alone on the break away. Plus, why is he always behind the damn net? That’s basically cheating…”

        Haha – I’m just kidding.

        Give Horcoff a break, he made a few bad plays BUT HE WAS UP AGAINST THE SEDIN LINE with hardly any experienced support. Don’t get me wrong, Eberle and Giroux are good… but not Daniel and Henrick good.

        I think the key point in Horc’s play was that his line did a great job limiting the Sedin’s chances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            Don’t discount the number of people calling for Horcoff to have a(nother) breakout season this year. The situation is a lot different when you’re not taking 95% of the faceoffs, and there’s more than 1 other two-way forward on the team.

            Toss in a heaping helping of forechecking to the new system, and it should help him out bigtime.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            Everyone is definitely entitled to their opinions on ON… I just hope for the Oilers sake this year that you’re wrong.

            He certainly hasn’t ever proven himself to be a superstar… or even a star, really.

            How many games did you watch last year where the oilers were on the PP and couldn’t win a draw for the life of them? I got sick of watching us ponder away chance after chance because Gagner can’t win a draw to save his life. (PS. I LOVE Gagner so don’t reply with comments about how god-like he is…)

            Horc can at least win over 50% giving Foster and Whitney a chance to set up…

            btw… i think Horc will sport the C this year.

          • Spydyr

            Trust me, I have wanted Horcoff to succeed for a very long time. I was very impressed with the season he had a few years ago (before he got hurt).

            I would love to be wrong about him.

            Horcoff is a great team guy and does a lot for the community.

            That being said, Horcoff has been mishandled (in terms of his role) for quite some time.

            Horcoff is way better of in a defensive role and could fill in on the top two lines should injuries arise.

            With the offensive talent that we have, there is no reason why Horcoff should be used in a role that doesn’t work for him (or the team).

          • Spydyr

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

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

          • Spydyr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            He just hasn’t shown me anything to suggest that he will…

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

          • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

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

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

          • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

            You totally missed the point…

            I dont care what he makes – can’t change that.

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

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

  • What about Horcoff, on the other hand? He was great last night playing with relatively inexperienced wingers (don’t try and sell Giroux as experienced).

    Horc was definitely one of best last night considering they were up against the sisters…

    Unbelievable how any one could think Horc played bad. He wiffed on a screened pass from Eberle… Whci I am not even sure he saw until it was too late.

    • That pass also took a bounce off a stick as it came through to Horc. Now if this becomes a regular occurence (like last year) then by all means it’s fair game for everyone to complain about.

      Just remember, folks, that it is the 1st pre-season game. There are going to be timing issues for most players.

      • Ender

        In other news, there was another rookie that had a decent performance last night. Got an assist in his debut and looked pretty smooth from the clips I saw. He plays center, too; I think you’ve mentioned him before. Can’t quite remember the name . . . rhymes with Beggin’ I think . . .

        😉

  • Could not agree more.

    Just curious if anyone else was a bit worried after Eberle was crunched after that third hit by Edler? Even Edler turned and put his hand up as if to say, “sorry about that kid”.

    I love how Eberle takes avdantage of all his space, unfortunately he just seemed a bit nervous. I hope he builds up his confidence ut there…

  • LT, I disagree with your assessment of the back-ups. Most of your points for DD are really not all that important. For one, his age has very little to do with where he should play this year. Secondly, his 10 good games at the end of the year are no better than JDD’s run in Feb (???). They both played behind the worst defence in the league.

    Using the fact that Springfield fell apart after he left is kind of moot. Any NHL back-up would of been a godsend to Daum. Finally Dubnyks contract works against him not for him, as any team that takes him has to play him in the NHL for two years without sending him down. However picking up Deslaurier on waivers to fill an NHL spot is less binding to the team that grabs him.

    Both goalies are very talented guys who still have a lot of developing to do. They are a product of a horrible developental program. One could argue they are both behind the curve. Devan has a chance to go down and spend a full year developing as a starter. JDD should be given the back-up job for the year with Gerber being the call-up. At the end of the year make a decision. Dubnyk is tied up for another year at 800k and based on 2010-2011 results JDD can be moved or resigned.

  • BBOil

    I like all the nitpicking about the mistakes last night (and there were plenty). At least we aren’t as bad as Habs fans.

    Overall based on the roster we put out, I think the team played really well. This new concept of forechecking is a positive in my book.

    Thought Horcoff was awesome. Petry although he made a couple bad jumps looked great. Think Eberle did well, but may be destined to start in the AHL. The one guy I was torn on was Pecks. Felt like he was running around a bit in his own end and getting out of position. When he did catch someone though, he used his strength well.

  • Ender

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    In related news, how screwed will Montreal be this year with Price in net? Wow he looked terrible.

    Yeah, he was, but his ‘fans’ weren’t helping him out much.

    Arpon Basu – NHL.com Correspondent wrote:

    If a pre-season game in mid-September can be big, this certainly was one for Price. And unfortunately for him it did not go as well as he’d hoped.

    Facing a capacity crowd at Bell Centre for the first time since playoff hero Jaroslav Halak was traded to St. Louis and he was anointed the No. 1 netminder in Montreal, Price allowed a goal on the second shot he faced only 93 seconds into the game, drawing a smattering of boos that grew in intensity as the game went on.

    “It’s about time that people realize they’re not helping him,” defenseman Hal Gill said of the boos. “They’re not helping the team.”

    Montreal is probably a bit nervous about their netminder after last night, but it’s possible that last night’s gaffes were related more to mental focus than ability. He could still settle down for them.

    They better hope he does, anyway.

    • The fans know that trading Halak was the worst move imaginable. He’s been better than Price for the entire time the two have been in Montreal. Trading Halak after that Playoff performance was an even worse decision because now Price has to follow that act. This is doomed to be a failure of Raycroftian proportions.

      Boos for Price are really boos for management. Carey will be a member of some Florida team before the 2012 Stanley Cup is awarded.

      • NsxZero

        Where he’ll shine or flop?

        I want to see him do well, so I’m hoping it’s just a case of him being thrown to the wolves too early.

        On the other hand, it has been 3 seasons already..

        • I’m calling for flop. The name of the NHL game is mental toughness. I dont think Price has what it takes between the ears to be a successful goalie.

          I could be completely wrong, but it’s preseason and his teammates are already begging the fans to stop hurting his feelings. This does not bode well.

  • BBOil

    RE: Habs/Price

    I think its crazy that you would boo Price in the first pre-season game of the year. For me, you can’t expect perfection in pre-season. Guys are still working out the kinks. A weak goal yes, but the rest weren’t exactly his fault. Leave most goalies one on one with Bergeron, and he may just put a few in. Show the guy some mercy. He’s their guy now whether they like it or not, so why boo him into oblivion?

  • BBOil

    On the otherhand, this is a great time to be getting all the nerves out of his game. Dubnyk could be great – just needs to start more often. If he plays starter in OKC I thik his game and courage may develop faster – especially if our AHL team is as stacked as it looks like they might be.

    As for Gerber, this is obviously his las chance and I think he definitely helld his own. I am very curious to see shere he starts his season. I wouldn’t be too rusprised if it was in an Oilers jersey.

    As for JDD, I never liked him. He just over commits to saves and leaves himself a 1990 Bill Randford open net reIbound requiring crazy althleticism. I guess we won a cup with Randford – but look who we had leading our club…

    I hope our starter has a crazy-awesome, take the league by surprise type of year. It really sucks watching crappy slap shots from the blue line from Shaffer go in.

  • NsxZero

    From twitter,

    # Dubnyk to start tonight for #Oilers vs #Lightning. Deslauriers will back up.

    Lineups are also posted

    Taylor Hall (4) – Sam Gagner (89) – Ales Hemsky (83)
    Magnus Paajarvi (91) – Andrew Cogliano (13) – Dustin Penner (27)
    Liam Reddox (85) – Colin Fraser (16) – Gilbert Brule (67)
    Steve MacIntyre (33) – Tyler Pitlick (68) – Linus Omark (23)

    Ladislav Smid (5) – Kurtis Foster (26)
    Richard Petiot (37) – Tom Gilbert (77)
    Shawn Belle (45) – Alex Plante (48)

    Devan Dubnyk (40)
    Jeff Deslauriers (38)

    Hoping Omark gets mixed in with the second line for a few shifts tonight. Looks like a good game to be going to.

  • Arch and Ender are having a bit of a mutual love in here.

    I’ll agree, Horc looked really good. Of course it probably means more coming from Arch as I have always been a pretty staunch Horc supporter.

    The fella in beantown also looked really good. I guess we’ll have to stop wishing for what might have been and simply embrace the fact that we’ve got Hall instead. There’s a lot to like about this kid too.

    Anyone else disappointed by the fact that the headline said “Double-D” and we got a pic of Dubnyk? I recognize that it is probably more appropriate than what I had hoped for but LT usually makes me happy with his photo selections.

    Just sayin’

  • NsxZero

    Eklund has souray going to the rangers in a blockbuster deal. Says he has five sources and three of them say souray is involved. Can we start the parade now? Eklund is always right, right??? Hello??? Right?!?!?

      • Ender

        As you so rightly point out, this is Ecklund and so not worth the time it takes to type this, but could you really expect the Rangers to take on Souray without unloading Redden? They’ve done some questionable deals, granted, but this isn’t Milbury we’re talking about here. And any deal that brings Redden’s contract to the Oil is not a helpful deal IMHO.

        • I might consider Redden if it included 2 1st rounders and a prospect as well.

          No, actually, even then Redden at 6.5 for 4 seasons is not welcome.

          I WOULD consider Drury for 2 years at 7 million if there were 1st rounders/prospects included.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I felt we wasted a great opportunity to send a message to those Canuckleheads in this nothing game. We should’ve line brawled them and sent a message that would stick with them the whole year. Cranking Loungo in the mask 3 times or ruffling the Sedin sisters skirts may have done the trick. Pre season wins are over rated, everyone should be talking about the Big Bad Oilers spanking the Canucks today.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      See, I don’t know. There wasn’t a line brawl, but I thought the Oil held up really well as far as fights are concerned. The young guns have guts and grit and jam and something something.

  • Re: Price and DD

    I met this guy while waiting for my plane out of Victoria. He had just signed an AHL contract for the Bruins farm team. (Monarchs?)

    We talked for about 45 minuts about hockey and one of the interesting things he said about Price who he knows is that Price has a bit of trouble saying no to a bottle of whisky. This guy thinks this is his problem. He also mentioned that DD couldn’t believe that he was dressing in Oilers silks and in the NHL. Has the tech skills but at that time didn’t have mental part nailed down. This conversation happened in April. Hopefully DD has come to grips with his potential.

  • Ender

    I’d say the 3 Rats from last night would be
    1. Dubnyk (for that second goal and his fumbling around the net late)
    2. Horcoff (for missing on those scoring chances)
    3. Whitney (for a giveaway and little physical presence)

    Those are pretty undeserving Rat nominations, as they all actually had decent to good games here. They’re getting the nominations for the one-time events that did not go well.

    It’s hard to call out Taylor or Stuart when you can’t gauge their skill level and probably won’t see them again until next year’s camp.

  • Spydyr

    What does Horcoff do that Marchant didn’t? Well, um, score more than 0.7 points per game over a sustained (five year) period. That was kind of the point of my post.

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

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