Devan Dubnyk is getting an opportunity every goalie dreams of: the chance to prove himself in the best league on the planet. His performance this season has been uneven, and there are as many questions now as there were at the starting gate. Can Devan Dubnyk handle the #1 job?

Dubnyk’s SP (.907) is well down the list among goalies with enough TOI to qualify as regulars. Of the 46 goaltenders on nhl.com’s SP leaders list, Dubnyk sits 33rd overall–just ahead of Toronto’s monsters. Nikolai Khabibulin is tied for 22nd and has outplayed Dubnyk by any reasonable measure.

Or maybe not.


Nah, I leave that to guys like Willis who know their way around a slide rule. The information I’m passing along here is available via nhl.com


  1. Devan Dubnyk .923
  2. Nikolai Khabibulin .914

Crazy, eh? Dubnyk’s number is tied for 25th among NHL regulars. NK’s number is 36th. Oiler goalies are playing in front of inexperienced forwards and disabled defensemen, and I think we can at least wonder about the prevailing wisdom about DD’s season. Jonathan Bernier, a goalie getting some mention as a possible target, has an EV SP this season of .893.

Of course Dubnyk’s SP shorthanded is .836, and that’s one of the worst in the NHL. And the Oilers PK this season is pretty good–13th overall as of last night.


Dubnyk has his foibles, God knows handling the puck is an adventure and his pads seem to be made of kevlar some nights. However, it’s extremely difficult to backstop an inexperienced group of forwards and the blueline has been short all year due to injuries and poor play.

Devan Dubnyk may not end up being the Oilers starter through this decade, but there’s enough evidence for the Oilers to see this thing through.


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  • Dutchscooter

    Does this mean we can stop the love-in for Jonathan Bernier? His career stats mimic Dubnyk (close enough) and he plays with a better defence in front of him!

    • Dutchscooter

      I know and that’s what scares me. We’re going to take an asset like Hemsky and trade him for a player (Bernier) that has the same skillset as a current player.

      That sounds like a familiar dirge around these parts, doesn’t it?

      What I also don’t like is that fans are expecting Bernier to come in and be brilliant. The stats, so far, don’t support that. And then that’ll be management’s fault.

  • Dubnyk is dead to me after that stunt he pulled last night. He lets in WAY too many bad goals. Blunders on the puck handling, that crazy too many men penalty on the pulled goalie mishap, junk save percentage, and a bloated GAA are enough for me to say he failed his audition as a #1 Goalie.

    The Oilers would need to cut the number of shots they allow per game drastically in order to be competitive with this guy in net.

  • Stack Pad Save

    When has Dubnyk been given the opportunity to be anything other than a back up?

    When he has multiple games in a row he shows an increased ability to win games. Every time Dubnyk gets more ice time he does better.

    Last game he was shaky in the first, no lie there. But he came on hard in the second and was outstanding in the 3rd period. He hadn’t played a game in 10 days, and the rust showed, give him another start and I would think he would be stellar.

    However I believe the Oilers management/coaches will give it back to Nikoli and Dubnyk will continue to be mishandled and go no where with this organization.

    If you look at Dubnyk’s career numbers they are good, in my opinion if we want to know the truth about Dubnyk he needs to play the rest of this year as the number 1 for us to actually evaluate him on being a number 1 goalie other wise all a fan can do is speculate yes he can or no he can’t. It isn’t fair to judge him on one bad period last night.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    If Hemsky must be traded and the Kings rumors are true Id hope its Jack Johnson comin back.

    Wait til the off season when a guy like Bishop is availible as a UFA, I still have a flickering hope that DD can be the #1 in the near future, he is only 25, Look at Kippersoft he was traded to Calgary when he was 26 and he’s now the backbone of the Flames and they would’nt be even close to the playoffs without him.

  • South of Cowtown

    Doobie is another one of the youngsters that need time. If we could score a few goals from time to time, he wouldn’t be under the same scrutiny.
    BTW, I know now why I lost all concentration in math class.

  • Reality Check to the head

    Who is this Cam Barker you speak of…I just see a distortion on the screen and rumours tell (Broadcasters play by play) me Barker is playing. If I squint hard enough I can make out a serviceable NHL Defenceman. But my Squint vision is suspect at best.

    I think you keep Dubes around. They do need to address the need of a number 1 goalie, and it looks to me that we need to do it through a trade. I cannot think of a reasonable trade that would allow the Oil to acquire the right goalie. If there was one out there, I think Chicago, Philly and a few others would have beatan us to the punch by now. There is a quality Goalie shortage in the NHL…and if you have a good one or two, you better keep them (Ie: Canuckleheads)

  • Stack Pad Save

    anything over .900 is good, anything over 9.20 is great. To his defence he has always been on crap teams, A goalie can’t control the scoring chances against him. I put more stock in a goalie with .916% on a crap oilers team (last year) than a goalie with a .925 on a great defensive team anyway.

    • Elliot has a .940 save percentage. He is unquestionably one of the hottest goalies in the league right now. Its totally unsustainable, but you should at least get your info straight.

      And NO, anything over .900 is not good. It is expected as a bare minimum for an NHL backup goalie.

      .900 puts you at 64th in the NHL for save percentage. Considering there are only 60 jobs for goalies in the NHL then what you call “Good” would put you in the AHL.

      • justDOit

        And Elliot is playing in front of the best defensive team in the league right now. Funny, how coaches like Hitch, Lemaire and others seem to produce Vezina goalies, huh?

      • 900 puts you at 64th in the NHL for save percentage. Considering there are only 60 jobs for goalies in the NHL then what you call “Good” would put you in the AHL.

        This isn’t entirely accurate. If you only count goalies with enough appearances to be considered regulars 900 would put you 42nd. Not great but good enough to be in the NHL.

        Josh Harding is 17th with a 920, so I think that saying 920 is a minimum requirement for a starter is overstating things a bit. Last year Detroit won their Division with a 908 starter.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Don’t see DD as much more then a career back-up… Maybe 1B at best. Ditch Bulin this Summer and pick up a real starter/1A this summer and let’s get on with it.

    • My first response was eaten by the Web, lets try again.

      DIGR is not a respected stat at all. It was developed in tandem with an Agent for the profit of his clients. Everything that Rich Winter says needs to be scrubbed with Dawn dish soap to remove the copious amounts of grease.

      The stat is an artificial skewing of save percentage. It assumes performance based on situations that the athlete never actually played in. It is completely fake. It is akin to your GF getting angry with you because you would have definitely slept with her best friend had she hit on you even if the situation never happened.

      It is a fake stat based on fake situations that never happened. You did X in this actual situation, but in this pretend situation you would be Y.

      It would weigh just a slight bit heavier if the poster child of the stat wasnt Ilya Bryzgalov, who is crapping the bed so brilliantly on his new team.

      • justDOit

        I don’t know what Winter’s isolation stats are even about, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Anybody who says there needs to be more teen defencemen in the league obviously has a screw loose, but it’s also in his clients’ interest to try and separate a goalie’s stats from that of the team in front of him.

        And that’s what you can’t deny, is that the quality of the team in front of the goalie has as much or more impact on stats as the player. I don’t have any stats to back this up (so correct me if I’m wrong), but Elliot didn’t look all-world in his time in Ottawa, and I don’t think either St. Louis goalie played well this season before Hitch got there and turned the team around.

        And Bryzie was ridiculous in Anaheim and Phoenix – so why is he all of a sudden not worth and NHL contract?

        btw: sorry to hear about your web gremlins.

        • Sometimes I wonder if you don’t need to be a Psychologist who moonlights as an Oracle to understand or predict Goaltenders. All I know is that DIGR is less a stat and more a completely unproven predictive model made by someone who directly profits from the outcomes.

          • justDOit

            Agreed, and I’m not defending Winter or his system (don’t get me started on people who make a living off of others’ successes), but you need something other than just sv% and GAA to spot the really great goalies.

            The game last night was a prime example. Varlamov didn’t win that game, not even close. His big, imposing defenders kept the Oilers on the perimeter, and his fast forwards swept in and broke up passes and gobbled up rebounds. His sv% was around 0.96.

            And Doobie didn’t loose that game either. Sure, his one flub with the puck was really bad, but he can’t exactly score any goals either. His sv% was about 0.87. Ouch, but only 1 goal for isn’t going to win you many games.

            If the PK breaks up that cross-crease pass, and if Landeskog is on his butt instead of potting that ridiculous goal, it’s a 1 – 1 tie after 60 minutes. That’s what good defensive teams do, and that’s what the Avs did last night.

            Until the Oilers get their excrement in a pile, it’s going to be impossible to say that Doobie’s sv% must be xxx in order for success. The real problem is the team and the defence.

  • Stack Pad Save

    Right now Dubnyk is playing with a very very poor defensive team… secondly he hasnt played enough games. Having said that, he dosnt appear to be a NO. 1 goalie, yet. Need to replace HaBBY, this summer , possibly Josh Harding.
    I think OIlers bigger problems at the moment ..yawn .. is defense and not being able to score goals..

  • Quicksilver ballet

    As much as we all know Dubnyk isn’t the answer here, the last 25 games should seal his fate/confirm his future as a starter in this league. Throw him into the fire tommorow night against the Canucks and watch him squirm again. The Oilers will benifit greatly from another premium pick coming in June in both 2012 and 2013. Fill the two holes in the top six as well as the 1 and 2 positions on the blueline. Once those positions are filled if someone hasn’t grabbed the job in goal the Oilers could always go out and buy one.

    8 yrs into Deslaurier and 6 into Dubnyk…..what a waste. The Oilers mis managed them both. Devans last two yrs here has only hurt his cause when he should’ve spent all this time in the AHL. Make an effort to bring Holtby or Bishop in this summer.

    Like Paajarvi, Dubnyk was just another kid given a spot on a weak club without having to earn it first.

  • Gitagrip

    Save % ? Should be calculated on legitimate scoring chance stops. All of them can or should make the routine stops. Blocked shots skew the numbers anyway. The better measure is against his peer group…..goalies. Is he top 10, middle 10 or bottom 10, notwithstanding great netmiders play on really bad teams….ask Kipper, however his play sez he’s borderline top 10.

  • I think the reason his save percentage on pk is so bad is because of lack of agility.
    On the pk there is way more side to side movement of the puck.Lateral movement is a problem for Dubnyk and it really shows when killing penalties

    • a lg dubl dubl

      I agree withthat statement. Hemsky should be a Ranger. The Rangers first round pick next year and a conditional 2cd round pick next year. Or to Chicago for Mark McNeil and a 2cd round pick this year.

      • Good plan.

        In other words…Let’s trade Hemsky for 2 players that will be lucky to be good enough to crack an NHL lineup one day or a a guy who will certainly never be as good as Hemsky plus a guy who might never make the NHL.

        What a steal.

  • Dubnyk is not good enough and has never shown that he can be good enough. The only time he’s looked good is when the team keeps every shot to the outside. Khabbie is old and done he isn’t the answer either. It’s time the team brings in a number 1 goalie. The team has to pay the price and get a real goalie. Maybe that guy is Miller or maybe you have to overpay and get someone else but these two guys that are here are not NHL goalies so please make a change

    • Gitagrip

      Dithers needs more backbone and less wishbone. However, 20 other teams are saying the same thing you have expressed. Until we get that sensational, outta nowhere guy, we are destined for middle pack status even with all the kids. I absolutely agree with you!!!

  • Last year Devan Dubnyk’s 0.889 SV% on the PK was *miles* better than Khabibulin.

    But we’re talking a stretch of 200-odd shots either way, which isn’t nearly long enough to get a firm read on a goalie.

    In other words: no, I don’t read anything into Dubnyk’s poor PK SV%. Just like I didn’t last year when it was quite good.

  • Devan Dubnyk has out played Khabibulin over their respective Oilers careers.

    Further, the only reason Khabby’s SV% looks better than Dubnyk’s is because of that nine game stretch of awesomeness. Other than that nine game stretch, his average (as an Oiler, or just this season) is hovering around 0.900 – AHL-calibre goaltending.

    Dubynk’s no great shakes but based on actual performance over the last few years Khabby’s probably the third-best goalie in the organization.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    I’m excited by what might take place this trade deadline, or even in free agency in regards to goalies.

    My two cents is this:

    We don’t know enough about Dubnyk yet. Over the years, bit by bit the increase in his ice time he has met with improved play. Is he there yet – hell no! That doesn’t mean he won’t be later though…

    It’s clear Khaby will NOT be here for the Oilers prime years, I think that’s fair to say. Being we don’t know how good Dubnyk is going to be in the future it makes it all the more important that we find that other prospect that can play with him by next season’s beginning.

    It might be found this trade deadline. I can’t shake the nagging feeling we are going to get a goalie back that hasn’t been talked about at all.

    I wouldn’t mind if we did it this off-season, though, and would love it if we gave Josh Harding the chance to be that guy.

  • Dubnyk needs to vastly improve his puck handling / passing ability. He gives away way to many turnovers moving the puck. Habby isn’t much better. The Oilers need to work with him on this aspect of his game. turnovers kill and it was demonstrated again last night by his soft pass around the net which was intercepted by a Avs player and two passes later nesting in the twine!
    The Oilers breakouts also need a great amount of work…this is where the forwards and D have to work together to overcome forecheck pressure. Firing ther puck up the boards is not working!!!!

  • It stuns me that most around here are more than willing to give Dubnyk the benefit of the doubt like this is some sort of house league team. The fact that he hasn’t demonstrated any consistency or ability to take the bull by the horns seems to be lost on pretty much everybody.

    Out there in the real world, young goaltenders earn their starts based on wins and outstanding play. If they aren’t good enough their teams go out to the goalie market and pick up somebody who they think can do the job better. There’s no logical reason a team that places any emphasis on winning keeps a mediocre, forever developing goalie on its roster.

    Aw crap.

    • justDOit

      Chris Osgood? Ty Conklin? Maybe the Oilers should pursue those guys in the off season?

      Edit: Or maybe Jose Theodore – the Panthers seem to be doing really well with him in net. He’s 15 – 10 and 5. They are employing two other guys (who probably last earned most of their money working side jobs) and Clemmenson as backups to Theodore.

      It’s the team first.

        • Mike Modano's Dog

          I don’t agree with you on Dubnyk, but that was really funny!

          Are you saying trade him then?

          Actually your argument backs up what I think is so important. We don’t know how Dubnyk is going to turn out we need another NHL ready prospect, and soon.

          If Dubey turns out – great…but if he doesn’t at least we’ll have a plan B (unlike our current D)

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Bernier looks impressive to me. It’s alright if other disagree with me, but by my eye the guy looks like one fantastic prospect. He has excellent athletic ability and potential. Beyond that, it’s simply exciting to watch his style in net. Watching him reminds me of when goalies used to make dazzling athletic saves instead of wearing pads up to their ears and having the puck just hit them.

    As an old goalie and a lifelong fan of the position seeing someone play the way he does is a welcome change, and a breath of fresh air!

    Here’s his stats. For people on either side of this fence you can see things that would back your opinion…


  • 24% body fat

    hypothetical nhl 12 trade here.

    oilers second overall to buffalo for 3 and 33 overall.

    smyth to Florida for there first rounder (and 4th rounder conditional of cup win) and hope they tank or win the cup

    Peckham somewhere for a third or fourth

    32 and 33 overall and 20th (hopeful estimate) and what ever it takes that we have left (Anaheim 2nd round, the extra 3rd or 4th rounds

    all this put together to get into 7th or 8th and the draft and really bolster our d with murray and reinhart (or maybe dumba drops)

    Anyone any ideas on what we could do to get into another top ten pick

    EDIT: teams like buffalo and carolina should be trying to get another pick asset as I am sure the oilers would be listening to them if the price was right about trading from two down. Buffalo has d. They would really like grigorenko.

    • It is extremely hard to just get into the top ten in the first round.


      If the Oilers take a high first rounder for someone like a Hemsky and start packaging that pick with certain prospects, and slowly move up its very possible something can be done.

      It’s what I campion for every time we talk about trades.

      For the record I’m not advocating Hemsky gets traded.

      I would seek out NJ (they have to get rid of a first this year or next) Wash who has two.

      • 24% body fat

        totally agree. keep trading up and adding something. I am fine with giving away our middle picks, we have enough for a while and stu will make decent picks in the later round.

        Ways to get extra picks?

        Tuebert has passed peckham and is on two way contract. Peckham for a 3rd or 4th rounder

        Cornet for a third rounder

        Smyth as a rental for a first rounder

        Should have rented out sutton for a second rounder

        milan kytnar to an ahl team that wants centre depth for a 6th rounder

        rajala for a 7th round

        motin for a 7th round

        Clean up the garbage you don’t need. And amass picks for MBS. the trick is getting someone to clean up the trash (purely an analogy, these people are not equivalent to trash)

        Could you imagine if all these were pulled off?

        Top 3 pick,
        1st Rounder,
        2nd rounder,
        2nd rounder,
        2nd rounder,
        3rd rounder,
        3rd rounder,
        4th rounder,
        5th rounder,
        6th rounder,
        6th rounder,
        7th rounder,
        7th rounder,
        7th rounder

        Definitely some pieces here to try to move up

        • BigE91

          So you would choose to decimate any organizational depth the Oilers have developed since reaquiring an AHL franchise. Cornet leads the Barons in goals and is going to be relied on for a playoff run. Tuebert may be ahead of Peckham on the depth chart in your opinion but that doesn’t mean he should be in the NHL yet, I think we’ve all seen that with the games Tuebert played here earlier, there is great promise for him to slot in as a 4-6 dman in the future but not yet. Finally, in case you missed the memo, Smyth isn’t going anywhere and that is the way it should be, the Oilers need him around mentoring the young kids teaching them how to be professionals and scoring 15-20 goals a year for the next 2 years.

          Picks are great but the urge to dump assets for unproven commodities needs to be tempered with the continued development of players in the system. UFA’s like Hemsky need to be parlayed into picks but you don’t undo three or four years of work for 2 or 3 late round draft picks.

          • 24% body fat

            yes cornet adds AHL depth, but as seen in the past there are AHL veterans out there that the oilers are willing to pay high salaries to. His position is replaceable and if we sold him high and got a pick the leads to moving up in the draft it is worth it.

            I honestly believe if a deal is worked out with the Rangers Smyth would go. He wont win a cup here and if it better the oilers he wouldn’t stand in the way. (and yes i did hear ST say he wasn’t going anywhere, the politically correct thing to do.

            Next years D, 1. Whitney, Smid, Gilbert, Petry, Sutton, Potter, (one Free agent and or Murray), Tuebert (and fedun was pushing to make the team). Peckham wont clear waivers, therefore in no way will this hurt the oilers depth. He is either on our NHL team or on another NHL team not the AHL.

            Raajala is not going to play for OKC and kytnar most likely wont either. Pitlick and hamiltons icetime next year will be increased and a spot open for martindale. So move them or lose them next year anyways.

            So other than Cornet leaving OKC, nothing else would hurt us. Barker will continue to be played and we do not waste any depth.

          • BigE91

            The Oilers want to see their affiliate go on a long playoff run this year, hence the reason they traded O’mara the other day. They are going to need Cornet’s finishing skills if they hope to be successful. IMO achieving a high level of organizational success is just as important going forward as gaining extra picks. Cornet himself isn’t going to garner a high pick and. Getting a third for him means you are just trading the. Present for what in all likelihood is a future ahler.

            You honestly believe that the guy who bled Oiler colors and wept when he was traded away, then forced the Kings to trade him back HOME for a pail of pucks in the summer and further indicated that he would not waive his no trade clause as he felt it would be breaking his word and the commitment he made in coming back to Edmonton. I don’t know Ryan Smyth as a person, my guess is you don’t either,but my sense after watching him for basically his entire career is that he is as honest and honorable a player as there is in the league. He didn’t want to leave the last time he got traded from Edmonton but he couldn’t do anything about that. This time he controls the situation and he isn’t going anywhere.

            Peckham being able to clear waivers means nothing with regard to whether or not Tuebert should be in the NHL. Even if Peckham is gone it is my opinion that Tuebert should spend at least another year in the AHL playing top 4 minutes. There is no need to rush him.

            Rajala isn’t an rfa until 2014 so losing him isn’t a risk but is he really going to bring a return? Kytnar is an rfa this year but again his return would be minimal and it may be prudent to keep him around if he is needed in OKC in he playoffs.

          • 24% body fat

            the point is maybe smyth would want to go to win a cup, (yes he has said otherwise but this is politically correct and ups his value if someone wants him, he is harder to get), rajaala has said he doesnt want to play in the echl. cornett can be traded at the draft not doing any damage to the team and be replace be a high priced veteran ahl player next year, and same thing with kytnar, opening up ice time for hamilton, martindale and pitlick. These are prospects that fit more in with what the oilers are missing. Yes on these players the return would be minimal, that is why i suggested a 7th round pick. With the exception of cornet the players add no depth to the AHL franchise.

            As for tuebert, you are missing the point. I had him listed 8th on the depth chart, meaning he will be in OKC. Peckham as 9th can not go up and down the roster without clearing waivers. So with no spot on the big club he is gone either way. Get something for him.

          • BigE91

            There isn’t a spin doctor in the world that could rationalize to the Oiler fan base the reasons Smyth would be traded (obvious benefits aside) after both sides have indicated that he would be going nowhere at the deadline. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice……

            Also you keep mentioning replacing Cornet with a high priced AHL veteran. He is currently in his second professional season on an entry level deal making $55,000 in the minors. The vast improvements he has made from last season to this year indicate that the Oilers might have a diamond in the rough here. Giving up on him for a third round pick that is an unknown commodity doesn’t seem like good asset management to me.

            Finally, I realize that draft picks are gold this day and age and to this point Stu has done an amazing job but in think the Oilers need to be mindful that eventually this guy is going to swing and miss, that is inevitable. I don’t think emptying the cupboards for continual picks is the answer as the next Jason Bonsignor is lurking somewhere.

            By the way thx for the dialogue…..whatever happen the banter is always fun.

          • BigE91

            [quote]There isn’t a spin doctor in the world that could rationalize to the Oiler fan base the reasons Smyth would be traded (obvious benefits aside) after both sides have indicated that he would be going nowhere at the deadline. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice……


            At the game tonight, they had a 90 second Smyth montage they threw up on the big screen. Can’t imagine them doing that if they’re planning on moving him.

            By the way, compare that to the season ticket holder event yesterday – a 3-4 minute highlight video, and no Hemsky in it. Read into that what you will…

          • Wax Man Riley

            So if they aren’t good enough to play on a 30th place club, then another GM is willing to give up their 1st round pick for them?

            Come on now…..we can be better than that.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      Smyth already stated that he doesnt want to go anywhere “going against my word” were his words in an interveiw about getting traded not to long ago.

      Your right though Peckham is pretty much on his way out of town in a package at some point imo.

  • Count me into the not sold on Dubnyk. I have no advance stats to back me.

    I agree with @ Arch and I agree with @ Sam the Record man.

    I have seen Dubnyk with my own two eye’s, most people who post here at one time or another have mentioned that Dubnyk gives up a bad goal! You don’t need advance stats to know he gives up a bad goal or two almost every game.

    I’m also more sold on going at Harding as a # 1 going forward and not as much sold on Bishop.

    The Oilers need to get a bonafide # 1. The more you play Dubnyk and Khabby the more we stay 2nd worst overall.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The veterans? fawk the veterans on this hockey club. They’re the reason we’re in the botton third of the league this year. Get us more new kids plucked right from the tree. Get your top six set, along with something that resembles a decent top 3 on your blueline. Then, and only then should you bring in complimentary veteran support.

    The Oilers have one line right now. It’s made up of exclusively a first and 2 second yr NHL’ers. Fawk them vets, liquidate them. If it costs 5 or 6 quantity veterans for a shot at another lotto pick then so be it. We’re not losing anything shipping 5 or 6 guys on this club out of town. Similar to last summer, the Oilers could bring in another 5 or 6 players next summer if need be.