For most of us IT is the hardest thing to find in life. We strive for IT, sometimes we have IT, but only briefly, and then we spend countless hours searching for IT again. A few lucky ones find IT and maintain it for years, and just like in pro sports those who have IT are minority.
Can he ever find IT?
He is Devan Dubnyk and IT is consistency.
Dubnyk has been in Edmonton for two and a half years. In 2009 he was recalled after Nikolai Khabibulin’s season ended in November, but he didn’t register his first win until March 19th, 2010. He was in the NHL for four months before he picked up that first win, but he kept battling.
He finished the 2010 season with 16 starts and 19 appearances. He went 4-10-2 with a .889 SV% and a 3.57 GAA. Not great numbers, but not surprising considering how banged up the Oilers were that year.
Last year Dubnyk found his rhythm. He started 33 games, going 12-13-8, with two shutouts, a .916 SV% and a 2.71 GAA. He seemingly found some consistency in his game. In his rookie year he struggled with allowing an "easy" goal every night, or every second night. Last year he gave up the odd weak goal, but it was not a regular occurence.
This year Dubnyk is struggling to find his consistency again. Too often he is allowing a weak goal, and he did it again last night. The Oilers were up 2-0 early in the 2nd period and he allowed a soft shot from Ryan Johansen to slide right under his pad. The Oilers aren’t good enough to overcome a weak goal every 2nd game, and unfortunately for Dubnyk that’s been the case this season.
He was solid v. the Kings on Sunday, but last night he was average.
Dubnyk hasn’t won consecutive starts all season long. He’s started 17 games going 6-11. In the six games after he won his stats aren’t very good at all.
Date and opponent GA SV% shots faced
Oct 15th v. Vancouver 4 .846 26
Nov 05th @ Phoenix 3 .897 29
Nov 26th @ Colorado 4 .857 28
Dec 07th v. Carolina 5 .848 33
Jan 05th @ St. Louis 4 .892 37
Jan 17th @ Columbus 4 .875 24
Now look at his six wins.
Date and opponent GA SV% shots faced
Oct 09th v. Pittsburgh 1 .971 33
Oct 28th @ Colorado 1 .976 41
Nov 22nd @ Nashville 2 .938 32
Dec 02nd v. Columbus 3 .923 39
Jan 02nd @ Chicago 3 .929 42
Jan 15th . Los Angeles 1 .952 21
In five of his six wins he’s faced 32+ shots, yet in his next game he’s faced 29 or fewer four times and lost. He hasn’t been able to build on a solid effort, and that seems like more of a mental issue than physical. If the Oilers are going to become a contending team, they need Dubnyk to find some consistency, and if he can’t they might have to look at other options this summer.
I’m guessing that Dubnyk will start at least half of the remaining 37 games, and he might start as many as 20. He needs to find some consistency in his games, especially in games after he wins. He is still rather young, when you consider that only five starting goalies are under the age of 27, but unless he shows the Oiler brass he can be consistent and reliable down the stretch, they might start looking in another direction.
When Dubnyk is on, he’s proven he can be an excellent goalie, but this year he hasn’t been able to do that in consecutive games.
He has to find IT soon, or the Oilers might start looking for IT elsewhere.
- After Ryan Nugent-Hopkins caught a rut, fell into the boards and separated his shoulder I mentioned on air that Oilers were in serious need of some divine intervention. A few games later Jordan Eberle went down on a freak run in with Jamie Benn, but last night’s skate-to-the-head of Taylor Hall during warmup took the freak injuries to a new level of unbelievable. Whether you believe in spiritual healing, curses or demons, it is clear that something is hanging over this organization.
Last week I received an email from Doug. He has been practicing Shamanish for over 11 years and he offered to perform a "cleansing ceremony" on the Oilers dressing room. I haven’t asked Renney his thoughts on the idea, but last night Steve Tambelllini said he didn’t believe in curses. He might not believe in it, but what harm could it do. The Oilers have been plagued by injuries for over three years now. Something has to give and I wonder if a "cleansing" is the way to go? What do you think?
SMITTY, BATTLE OF ALBERTA AND AUTISM
Today on my show we will help out the Children’s Autism services of Edmonton. They are near the end of fundraising for their new facility on the west end. Did you know that 1 in 110 kids is now diagnosed with Autism. You can help the centre help these kids and their families, and have a enjoy a fun night out.
- Framed and signed Ryan Smyth stick and photo (above).
- Pair of seats to Saturday’s battle of Alberta courtesy of Fred and staff at First Truck Centre.
- $50 in Oiler bucks to use at the game.
Bidding starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 5:45…You can call 780.426.8326 to make a bid. Thanks in advance.