Frosted Bunz


Today Team Canada’s decision makers gave new meaning to the word curious.  

Entering the Canadian WJ camp, Mark Visentin was the odd-on favorite to win one of the two goalie jobs available for the Christmas tournament. Visentin’s experience along with the lack of experience along the projected blue meant that he was close to a lock for the starting job.

Some–certainly Oiler fans–felt that Tyler Bunz had an excellent chance to win the other job based on performance at the summer camp and early in the CHL season. Let’s compare the 4 goaltenders using Save Percentage, generally accepted as the best available comparison for goalie quality:

  • Tyler Bunz .922 (backup .886)
  • Louis Domingue .922 (backup .916)
  • Scott Wedgewood .904 (backup .934)
  • Mark Visentin .899 (backup .931)

In the game last night, all four goalies played well.  Don Hay: "All four goaltenders played really well and I thought there was more jump than last night. Obviously we’d like to see more goal scoring, but the goalies played really well."

Based on what I’ve read and heard, the Team Canada brass put a lot of importance on the short training camp results and made their decision based on those performances.

Before we go too far, I’m not suggesting any of these goalies was a poor choice (although I would think the pressure on Visentin would be immense after last year’s event). However, I do believe it’s worth pointing out that larger sample sizes are more reliable and 25 games in the CHL is probably a better tell for individual performance.

I doubt it’ll make a difference, Canada could pick three teams and the third team could give the top team a run for its money in a sudden death tournament like this one. Still, for future training camps one would hope the coaching staff invites a logician into the room.


Nothing really, the list of kids who didn’t make this team and then went on to stardom is endless. Still, I think in this specific case we can reasonably suggest that the process may not be ideal. In a period or a game of hockey, strange things can happen.

The more sorties flown by a goalie the better the data.

  • Lot of questionable cuts this year, as every year really, but this one (obviously) sticks out the most. I know Visentin played last year but if my foggy memory serves me correctly he left a lot to be desired. And looking at those numbers it seems like we may be in for the same story this year.

    Oh well, if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has taught us anything it’s that getting cut from the WJC team just means you’re going to be a superstar in the NHL the following year. It’s science!

  • Wanyes bastard child

    no surprises with Prendergast making the decisions. Unfortunately it is looking like this team has FAIL written all over it. I hope not, but it’s looking that way.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Basing any decisions strictly on this short of a training camp is insane. I wonder how much input Prendergast and the rest of the scouts have when it comes down the the cuts or if the coaches have the final say?

    • Craig1981

      i have no idea why anyone that drafted Jesse Niinimaki, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, and had only 6 out of 61 draft picks play 200+ games (including zack stotini) can get a job of Prendergast stature. Leaving RNH of last year?! And how Visentin get grandfathered intothe role concidering last year they said goaltending was a weakness (and it was) makes no sense to me.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    The biggest surprise IMO is the automatic inclusion of Visentine.

    Experienced? – yes, but how’d he look when the pressure was on last year again?

  • Rob...

    Good video. Music like this isn’t dead though, check out The Sheepdogs, LT. They won a Rolling Stones magazine contest for the best band you’ve never heard of… and they’re very reminiscent of the great old Canadian rock bands.

  • OilerLand

    Ugh, I’m actually really frustrated when interesting “known” players get cut. I could care less about winning or losing, I just want to see players that i’ve heard of and who we all expect to go high in the draft.

    With that being said -Matt Dumba got cut?? Really?? Are you for real? Bunz?? Are you kidding? ummmmm…. okayyyy.

    watching the World Jrs is a lot more fun when they pick players that are good and are already making a name for themselves.

    Interest lost.

  • Dumba! I can’t understand! The kid is a pure hitter and an overall good choice. Bunz on the other hand is complete lunacy! Don Hay and Prendergast better win gold or pack your shat up and don’t come back west for a few years!

  • RexLibris

    Might I suggest a title for a future post when Tyler Bunz goes on his imminent hot streak through the WHL: Hot-cross Bunz. Just saying.

    My hope is that Bunz can somehow model himself on some other goalies that were cut from the world junior teams of years past. Someone within hailing distance to a Brodeur or a Roy would be nice.

    I think as an Oilers fan I’m more interested in watching the performances of our many other prospects who will be playing under different flags: Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Reider, Musil, and Pelss. The upside is there will almost always be a team playing, at least at first, that has some Oiler content on it. I’m really looking forward to contrasting Gernat and Marincin’s playing styles in the tournament. I only hope Marincin can last a few more games than last year. It’d be pretty entertaining to see him flatten Bartschi, just to start the rivalry early on.

    I know Flames fans were disappointed that Michael Ferland and Max Reinhart were cut during the first round. I think it’s been awhile since they’ve had something like that to look forward to. And they’ve only got four other prospects in the tournament in Bartschi, Arnold, Gaudreau, and Granlund. In comparison to many teams, while I don’t think you could say their cupboard is bare, it isn’t far from the soup kitchen, either.

  • ItsTheBGB

    i was really hoping they’d base the decision based on performance during this entire year, Tyler has been the best goalie in the CHL for the last six months.

    seems they went on camp only. i was at all three games, and the practices, this weekend, and he was terrible. had a couple flashy glove saves, but let in some really suspect goals. he’s the best puck handling goalie in the CHL by a LONG shot, and it looked like he was banking on that ability to set him apart from the others. unfortunately, he was forcing it way too hard. playing pucks he shouldn’t have, making risky plays that didn’t pay off.. was disappointing to see that he had an off week, but that’s how it goes.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Not to put too fine a point on it but I’d say it could be ‘toasted’ bunz. Sometimes a disappointment like this can be a real motivator for a young athlete. It sounds like the players left off this team may be its undoing anyway. Right on K.P. you ‘da man.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Chip on his shoulder. It certainly can’t hurt him more than Olivier Roy’s World Juniors experience.

    I think it’s pretty ridiculous to base the decisions so heavily on the camp results. Anybody can have a good or bad day but it’s how consistently you have good days that matters. Visentin’s #s probably suggest that he doesn’t deserve the job but I can certainly understand them wanting his experience, good or bad. The backup might be needed on this team though.


  • LT,

    i find that generally, imo, roster decisions for WJ’s in Canada are made fairly superficially. meaning that they tend to focus so much on today they overlook yesterdays body of work.

    i think although the story of redemption that can be created WHEN Canada wins the gold and (maybe) Visentin back stops them to it will be heart warming and such, i don’t believe he desereved the spot without discussion.

    bunz as a whole has been a superior goalie this season and even in the summer camp. again the brass tend to seemingly forget those things and i’m not sure a continuation of this policy will leave us with anything but another summit on why we aren’t winning the gold every year.

    i thought Brett Bulmer and Ryan Murphy based on their body of work should have been on the team as well.

  • stevezie

    This ignorant bystander is even more shocked by Tyler Toffoli getting cut. He’s scoring a goal a game in juniors; a goal a game! We couldn’t use a goal a game? Then again I’ve never seen him play; can’t trust math to make these kinds of decisions.

  • stevezie

    There were a few surprising cuts from the team in the past few years. I totally understand the value of a bigger and stronger player, but they cut a lot of smaller and very very skilled guys. The leading OHL and WHL scorers were cut from the team too.

    I think Bunz is an amazing goalie from what I saw in the preseason… but I guess he didn’t have a very strong camp.

    I was very shocked when RNH was cut last year too. Especially because he had such a huge camp. They said he didn’t show enough strength… I suspect that after his first 30 games in the NHL he indirectly told them where to shove it.