Double D

Entering this season, Devan Dubnyk’s career progression could best be described as glacial. As the big man exits the 10-11 regular season it looks like the number one job in Edmonton is his to lose. And there’s very little competition in sight.

In the 2009-10 season, Devan Dubnyk played in 19 NHL games but did not impress. His boxcars (3.57 .889) were subpar, the worst of any rookie goalie who played 1,000 minutes or more. If you looked closely there were some underlying numbers that implied some good things (he enjoyed a .912 SP in his final 10 games last season) but little that suggested he’d emerge this year.


Dubnyk’s stats over the years (previous even to his draft day) suggested there was a chance he’d emerge as an NHL goalie. He was certainly outside the "elite" prospect group and as often happens with goalies he progressed by sundial. However, each season of his career saw him competitive in terms of save percentage:

    • 2002-03: 26gp, 3.10, .907 2so (SP 8th OV in WHL)
    • 2003-04: 44gp, 2.51, .917 6so (SP 10th OV in WHL)
    • 2004-05: 65gp, 2.69, .912 6so (SP 12th OV in WHL)
    • 2005-06: 54gp, 2.54, .912 1so (SP 12th OV in WHL).
    • 2006-07: 43gp, 2.56, .921 2so (SP tied for 3rd OV in ECHL)
    • 2007-08: 33gp, 3.12, .904 0so (SP 33rd OV in AHL)
    • 2008-09: 62gp, 2.97 .906 3so (SP ties for 28th OV in AHL)
    • 2009-10: 33gp, 3.02 .915 0so (SP ties for 14th OV in AHL)
    • 2009-10: 19gp, 3.57 .889 0so (SP 72nd out of 83 goalies in NHL) 
    • 2010-11: 34gp, 2.72 .915 2so (SP 20th out of 44 qualifying in NHL)

Devan Dubnyk’s rookie season (he didn’t play enough to qualify a year ago) has gone unnoticed because of the three kids up front, Omark and Petry, but there it is and it looks very good.

The Oilers have been dismal at the draft since the Reagan years. After plucking Moog and Fuhr in the entry draft, the Oilers made like Barry Fraser on a Cancun weekend and made some cross-eyed selections. We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but on a night when he shut out the Vancouver Canucks and beat them for the second time in a row, I believe Oiler fans can raise a glass to the big man and consider themselves fortunate he’s on our side.

  • Dan the Man

    Wonderful! Back to back wins over Canucks. But this doesn’t mean anything if the Oil loses to Calgary again, and again, and again, which they have consistently done. Kill the Flames’ playoff chances, or suffer the terrible consequences.

  • D

    I was in Los Angeles near the end of last season for what I consider to be Dubnyk’s breakout game. He has what it takes to put up spectacular performances. If he can do it consistently, he has a bright future.

    On a different note, two end-of-the-regular-season losses to the dead last team in the NHL should put the Canucks in a great frame of mind for the playoffs.

  • Dan the Man

    Who wants to bet on Vancouver winning the cup now? They sure look like they have that grit and moxie that you need to win in the playoffs. That rugged determination. They don’t pout and go home at all when things don’t go their way, they get right back up on that horse.
    They showed us what a playoff team looks like. Sigh, if only we could someday be that good….

  • EasyOil

    Dubnyk certainly is looking very impressive, and with a D corps of Vandermeer, Petry, Smid, Strudwick, Gilbert, Foster and Peckham… hardly the class of the league (not that I’m saying the likes of Gilbert, Peckham, Smid and Petry aren’t/won’t be good, but Vandermeer, Strudwick and Foster shouldn’t be more than 6th/7th d-men).

    LT: the thing about Dubnyk is that whilst his numbers have never been stand-out, he’s ALWAYS played for crappy teams. Imagine what he’d be like with a decent blue-line and decent 3rd line defensive specialists in front of him. Not saying he’d be Vezina-standard, but he’d be a number-one no doubt, especially if he can get more consistent (which is the big thing). I’d be more interested to find out whether its true that he has bad practice habits, which has been floated about before… I’d be very surprised given his character and popularity in the room, but you never know.

  • D

    Sick game! Haven’t sat on the edge of my seat for a while during a game.

    Is it odd that when we start dressing bigger role players that we start to win even if the talent is lacking?

    (1) Vande Velde is offensively a 4/10, however, he wins 60% of his draws and he plays solid in his defensive zone. He can also throw huge hits – which I love seeing.

    (2) Hartikainen is a pure work horse. That boy can drive the net, control the puck, and lay down the huge bombs when he’s going into corners. He is a bit weak in the d-zone… but he’s 20! HUGE upside for that young man.

    (3) O’Marra is a confusing player because he never stands out offensively. However, he can hit and play marginal defense – as well as drop the mits against head hunters.

    It’s weird, but ever since we’ve started dressing bigger players who have defined roles we start winning the battles in all zones on the ice. Hmmm… hopefully the Oilers brass were taking notes.

    As for Dubby, the man is a thing of beauty. 12-12-8, 0.916 and 2.67 gaa on the worst NHL team. Imagine what he’d be like if you threw a couple veteran D-man in the mix…

  • Reality Check to the head

    I would not look too deeply into either of these two wins. If we can beat Calgary, I think that this could be a better measuring stick for the Oilers for next year. Calgary will be motivated and need the win. Canucks just do not want to get hurt.

  • Hemmercules

    Met Dubby down in Lethbridge last summer. I asked him for an autograph and he didn’t have anything to sign so he said to come back to that same store the next day. He dropped off two signed pictures for me. Nice guy, cute girlfriend 😉

    Hope they keep him, I think he will only get better.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      That is such a thoughtful move by the young man so many players in so many other sports are so “I’m the Man” Full of self I pray hockey never goes that way. Is is such a team game that I am always in awe during playoffs when I see incredible sacrifice made for TEAM Smyth and Smith come to mind. Hockey is indeed the king of sports.

  • SuntanOil

    Does anyone know if it was just coincidence and timing that resulted in O’Marra not seeing another shift after going after Torres for his hit on Eberle.
    Personally, I was impressed. O’Marra didn’t hesitate for one second. He may have been caught off guard a bit by Torres jumping back at him, still I couldn’t help but think that guys like Jacques should have just felt really embarrassed that O”Marra did what no Oilers role player seems to have done in quite some time.
    I hope the Oilers brass remembers this when handing out contracts this summer

  • geoilersgist

    Dubby is the man. I agree that he better get the start tonight against Calgary. There is no way the coaching staff can say they don’t want to “hand” him the starts when he has earned it that last two games. I for one would like to see how he handles back to back starts like this.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Loving the Oilers game(s) lately, however I can’t help but be irrationally afraid they might turn tanking into a terrible season by placing 29th. If Dub plays all remaining games and we thus (obviously) win out, and COL dumps all remaining games. We sit second worst and Terry Jones doesn’t have to eat an article at center/likely hood of RNH go down. Both bad things 🙁 . My dream – Dub finishes off the flames hope like a champ, Rekhab downs the second last game of the year like a 60 of Alberta Premium Vodka (his liver should handle one shot per minute – Gladiator style). Then Dubs posts an SO against COL to finish the year with style 9-0. Omark, MPS, and Eberle all with natural tricks. Anyone wants odds on this dream?

  • geoilersgist

    “Anyone wants odds on this dream?”

    If you leave out the shot per minute in the crease and the triple naturals, that loss against the Wild is probably the best chance at #30.

    The Flames will be eliminated tonight and the Avs won’t get a point out of the Wild or Oilers. So DD had better not start against the Wild.

  • we need to see those same numbers over say 45-50 games for next year and then we might be ready to hand him the reigns for the 2013 season.

    right now his biggest enemy looks to be his concentration because he can still be beaten by medium range shots that don’t off the hop appear to be worrisome.

  • Pretty sad that he didn’t get more games this season. Was hoping for 40-45 and he certainly earned more starts.

    Maybe Khabby and Renney are drinking buddies?

    Anyway, guess next season we get to see if salary or talent left in the tank determines number of starts…