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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  • 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.

  • 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!!!

    • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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..

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!