THE PANIC ROOM

Edmonton Oiler fans have suffered more than any other NHL fangroup since 2006 spring, and we’ll bitch and moan when we want to, thank you very much. It is however important to look before we leap, to assess before coming up with a new slogan or sign. In regard to the Dube, patience is the key.

Devan Dubnyk has played 141 NHL games (that’s about three seasons for a "regular" and has a .912 career save percentage.In the last two seasons before this one (2011-12 and 2012-13), Dubnyk ranks 15th among 38 goalies in save percentage

I don’t think it’s reasonable to suggest that Dubnyk (at .917) is less likely to post a strong SP in this season than most of the goaltenders in his range, or even several spots above. Whatever else we know about goalies, predicting consistency is fickle, borderline insane. Devan Dubnyk has a track record of stopping pucks, has his fingers and toes, and is not 50.

Beyond that, what honestly do we really know? Do we KNOW that Pekka Rinne is going to have a .919 SP this season? Of the 47 goalies who’ve played at least one minute this season, 20 of them have a SP under .900. Do equipment changes mean we’ll see a lower average SP this year? I don’t know, but it might be a factor.

I DON’T WANT EXCUSES, BUSTER

Me either. God I hate them. Either you did or you didn’t. And goalies drive me nuts. Stop the puck! You know what’s worse than staying with your goalie when he’s struggling? NOT staying with your goalie when he’s struggling. Because if you go chasing goaltender rainbows, you’re the Philadelphia Flyers and we all know where that gets you.

The best route? Give Dubnyk the start, pat him on the ass, say nice things, get his mind off things. Send him to a movie, re-shoot that commercial he did that everyone loved (remember, we’re helping Dubnyk here) last season.

I will bet Jonathan Willis’ paycheck that Devan Dubnyk will be inside the top 15 among regular goaltenders in the SP category this season. Why would I say that?

Because despite appearances, Devan Dubnyk did not forget his job. Sht happens, and then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Do me a favor: watch this 10 times. If you can tell me this puck didn’t change directions (this Zapruder angle is really pretty good) then I’ll buy in to the Dubnyk panic.

Otherwise, I’m onside with the Dube.

  • Batfink

    Err, the puck, like, totally changed direction, like toward him, or something. Like, he totally has to make that save, or something. And he was, like, totally too deep in the net. Dude.

  • Batfink

    I did. I pointed out that it’s a team game and that his past body of work is solid. While Dubnyk’s been shaky, so has the rest of the team. He deserves better than to be thrown completely under the bus after two frigging games of bad hockey played by the entire team based on his body of work. As backed up by, oh, I don’t know, every single person who’s actually qualified to discuss this topic from virtually all of the columnists on this website to the panelists on TSN.

    Plug your ears and go LALALALA all you want but no matter how anyone ‘spins’ it, because apparently all these qualified people are just simply shoving spin stories down us more qualified fans, 2 games is too short a body of work to be demanding that the witch be burnt.

    You know, I could see all this making sense if the team was actually playing GOOD in front of our goalies. But they haven’t been, barring about 15 minutes of the last game played. It’s absolutely ridiculous how this has even become a thing this early on.

  • SimmerDownBoys

    It’s frustrating how people hate on Dubnyk, they can only remember the bad goals he let’s in and not the good work he does. Don’t forget that his 15th overall save percentage over the last two years came behind one of the worst defences in the league. The Oilers defense handed their opponents multitudes of glorious scoring chances every game and Dubnyk still came out of it comparing favorable to some high end goaltenders. The guy is a legitimate number one goalie.

  • vetinari

    Looking at the save percentage graph, Schneider was a bargain for NJ at only a first rounder… and it also explains why MacT went after him pretty hard at the draft and dangled our first rounder as part of a package for him. In the long run though, I think we’ll be happier with Nurse on the blueline than with Schneider in net.

    Also, switching horses in net at this stage is impractical and unlikely– any other goalie in the league would cost and arm and a leg at this point in the season and the better course would be to give the Dubnyk/LaBarbera tandem the reins until Christmas and if they are still struggling at that time, then explore trade options. However, I would rather see an internal (i.e. Dubnyk rebounding) or external long term solution (young goalie– a la Bobrovsky #2) in net than a quick fix (Miller or Bryzgalov) that can walk away at the end of the season.

          • Spydyr

            Schneider would not have been my first choice but Mac-t only had so many options.They problem should have been addressed before Mac-T’s reign .There were a lot of quality goalies available for not much a couple years ago for example Bishop was traded for a second round pick.At this point the team is dealing from a place of weakness brought on by their own inaction.The other GM’S sense this weakness.

          • Craig1981

            Thats not fair to say. Bishop worked out, but thats hindsight. At the time I don’t believe Bishop was any more regarded than Dubnyk and even now I think it open who turns out to be better

          • Craig1981

            Thats not fair to say. Bishop worked out, but thats hindsight. At the time I don’t believe Bishop was any more regarded than Dubnyk and even now I think it open who turns out to be better

          • Craig1981

            Thats not fair to say. Bishop worked out, but thats hindsight. At the time I don’t believe Bishop was any more regarded than Dubnyk and even now I think it open who turns out to be better

          • Batfink

            If you are asking if I would trade Darnell Nurse for Schneider, it would be a big fat NO! That is what the asking price was (plus a 2nd and a prospect I believe). To me, Schneider hasn’t proved anything yet…he has only played 100 games behind one of the best teams in the league. We’ll see what it looks like in NJ behind a much weaker team.

  • If I looked at Devan’s situation, I can’t help but think that if it were me who constantly fails at my job, my boss would have handed me my pink slips with no explanations required. You see, athletes these days gets pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions sometimes, to play a game he’s supposed to be good at, and he has constantly disappoint his team when he is counted upon, it is therefore an inconceivable conclusion that he should held accountable, don’t you agree?

    • DarkLinkCosplay

      Are you saying that Dubnyk is bad at this game? I’m bad at this game. You’re bad at this game. Don’t underestimate how hard the NHL is.
      Moreover, Dubnyk does not “constantly” fail his job. I don’t know about you guys, but I remember a whole bunch of games last year where the only reason we won or didn’t lose 10-1 was because Dubnyk bailed us out.

      • **

        Yep, he was pretty darn good in some games. Oilers were terrible last year, got outplayed 90 percent of the games, but all people remember are the soft goals, the robotic play.

        Ya he’s stunk pretty bad so far, but people are panicking after 3 games. Give it couple more.

      • Gkpoil

        I can remember a few games where Dubnyk totally stole a game for the oil, but I also can remember quite a few games he lost for us. Dubnyk frequently lets in soft goals, usually at key times. Dubnyk has only 6 shutouts (I believe) in his NHL career (141 games), Khabibulin has 5 with the oilers, playing less games (119), to put in perspective. Yes the oil have been brutal defensively but such a low SO% shows that Dubnyk cannot shut opponents down as often as we need.

  • Not sure if this has been said yet… My apologies if it has.

    Dubnyk problem is fundamentals right now, I believe he’s over compensating right now and that’s part of the issue.

    Being a goalie a couple things I’ve noticed.

    That puck should have hit Dubnyk right in the Oilers logo, instead Dubnyk tries to use glove hand and the puck dips on him.

    He’s not square to the shot, another thing I’ve noticed early is Dubnyk is over committing and far to deep in his net.

    Simple little things that can get worked out by video and one on one coaching.

    The mental part us what worries me going forward, a goalie can really mess with his own head.

    Then there is always the Oilers going after two goalies in the off season doesn’t help your confidence much.

    • Batfink

      Very accurate and if someone has never played goal they don’t get it. The mental part is 70% of it Career save percentage means nothing in this case because this is the first year of the pressure of being the #1 and the team needing to take the next step. Devon hopefully get’s in the zone against the Hab’s tonight,It could be as easy as a save on a breakaway, not allowing a goal on a 5 on 3 power play or a couple big saves early. I’m pulling for the kid but I’m not betting on him, he just isn’t athletic enough or use his size to his advantage.

  • Spydyr

    The problem I have with Dubnyk is that he relies almost solely on positioning his big body to stop pucks rather than having great reflexes and athleticism. So, if he’s the least bit out of position or his angle is a bit off, he’s pooched and isn’t good enough to make a reactionary type save. This is what keeps him from being a true No.1.

  • If you we’re have the analyst you claim to be, you would note that Dubnyk’s struggles this year are directly related to the size of his new pads. He was warned many times last year not to rely on his butterfly, to stay on his feet and play the shooter and to get his angles right because the pads were going to be smaller this year and his weaknesses would be magnified. He ignored his own coaches and is now paying the price. Goals go in short side and five hole because he thinks he is bigger than he is. Reality is he is slow now that his body doesn’t naturally cover half the net. He may want to be better but he simply doesn’t know how to be better. Anyone who thinks Dubnyk will magically show up one day and be “fixed” is in for a seemingly inexplicable season. He will never have the stats he had before, because his fundamentals were flawed last year. He has to re-learn the position … Maybe in three or four years he will reach those stats, but unlikely much before then.

  • Batfink

    can you imagine if we watched other goalies in the league and spoke to their fans, i betcha they would let in some “soft” goals as well. heavens to mercatroid.

    i don’t think the problem is with Dubnyk. of course there can always be an upgrade, but we don’t need it.

    chicken little would LOVE this site.

  • Batfink

    With his size, he just has to come out of the net 5-6 ft and you have a “total eclipse” of the net. But he is already inside the crease when the play evolves.

    • oilerjed

      You are absolutely right the days of a stand -up goalie are gone………now we have the dreaded ” drop and flop”, generation of goaltenders taking away the bottom of the net…….yipeeeee!

      Watch Devan closely, before the shot is even taken, he is on the ice flopping around like a landed fish. Just how does one move around and cover angles when doing the drop and flop.

      I hope he gets some sage advice from the coaches like……..STAND UP DUBBY!

  • Batfink

    I’m with you Lowetide. On the CBC broadcast, they played an angle that clearly showed the puck hitting Petry’s stick, then begin to flutter and drop. Nobody seems to acknowledge that. It’s the same reason why curve balls are so hard to hit.
    I guess Dubey is this year’s whipping boy. We Oiler fans are passionate, but we gang up on certain players, make them miserable, then boo them when they come back after a trade. I’m talking about Poti, Grier, Arnott, Comrie, etc, etc. I feel bad for Dubey. I hope he doesn’t suffer the same fate.

  • oilerjed

    Quick- 12
    Dubnyk-10
    Thomas-9
    Smith-9
    Lundqvist-9
    Crawford-9
    Luongo-8
    Price-8
    Mind you all have played one game more then Dubs, all are off their career pace. Its early in the season, goalies always let in more goals then they normally would. That is a list of some pretty impressive goalies with some pretty ba numbers. This is sure to level out. Relax

  • oilerjed

    There are worse starters in the league than Dubby. I would suggest that he has not really improved his game over the past two years. Areas like puck movement, lateral moves,long shots being misread. Now he is also spending too much time on this knees , might be the new pads, I don’t know.

    So is it Dubby at his apex or is it the goalie coach not making efforts to improve or change his game.

    I know one thing for sure, if the the team could cure the circus in front of him, he would be a much better tender.

  • oilerjed

    On the Trouba goal, I could care less if the puck changed direction 8 times. It was shot from the blue line, and Dubnyk was way back in his crease. A fundamental error which cost a goal. He comes out where he should have been, and that puck hits his body harmlessly.

  • Zamboni Driver

    I think Dubnyk is an okay goalie. He doesn’t do ANYTHING spectacular and there’s no way he’s the goalie when they’re competitive (someday, hopefully).

    But….

    Stop giving a pass, people defending the first two games listen to Louie Last-place-team-has-never-had-a-player-make-a-mistake-ever Debrusk on tv way too much.

    Sure the puck changed direction.

    From 50 feet away.

    Stop it.

    No. SAVE it. That’s why it’s CALLED a ‘save. Because he ‘saved’ the team.

    Not panicking because I don’t think he’s a great goalie. But it’s 100% fair to say he has been lousy his two games so far.

  • 916oiler

    I have faith in Dubes! Until our defense is solidified there are going to be many a night where he endures a shooting gallery. He’s done pretty f—ing well with what’s been in front him the past few years. He’s EARNED some patience from the fan base!

  • I’ve always defended Dubnyk to naysayers and think he’s an adequate NHL goalie. He’s had decent numbers on bad Oiler teams. One thing I’m curious about though is his past success. Like, real success. I know he was drafted in the first round (14th overall I think) but I don’t remember why, exactly. I just had a look at his career stats and based on those I am actually a bit alarmed/confused as to why he was ranked so highly? The only year I can see where he had great success was in the ECHL in Stockton. If you look at his numbers in Kamloops he’s about even in the win/loss column and his GAA & SV% are good but not great. Did he win a playoff series?

    Can someone enlighten me?

  • Easy to see that the puck deflected off of Petry’s stick.

    But why was Dube so deep in his net? Why does he have to crouch down and get small on a shot coming from the blue line? If he simply came out a bit further and stood tall there is no way the puck goes past him.

    So I still hang that goal on Dube.