Devan Dubnyk: First Good Game of the Season


Another loss is going to be tough for Oilers fans to swallow, and some undoubtedly won’t be in the mood to look for positives. There was at least one important item to note, though: Devan Dubnyk’s solid play. In stopping 37 of 40 shots, not only did Dubnyk give the Oilers a chance to win but he showed he isn’t about to go quietly into the night after struggling in the early season.

The Goals

Notice a pattern here? Like, say, a New York Islander left all alone at point blank range to put the puck wherever he wanted in the net?

Yes, Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals, but all of them were on the team playing "defence" in front of him. Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek and Terry Sawchuk all rolled into one would have struggled with those shots. Sometimes there’s just nothing a goalie can do about that.

Is He Back?

The Dubnyk tonight – the guy who seemed unflappable as the Islanders peppered his net, the guy who didn’t collapse after New York had scored – is exactly the guy the Oilers have needed all season. He skipped the first four games, but if he’s back now it makes life a lot easier for the team, for fans, and for a general manager who reportedly has spent the last week racking up dollars on his long distance bill with calls around the league.

Though it might not make much difference if the Oilers persist in letting the leagues Okposos and Tavares (Tavareses?) have however much time they want in the slot.

  • ubermiguel

    Dubnyk was .925 last night (he’s regressing to his career mean!). His confidence is back, the team will feed of it and play with more confidence themselves.

  • Reg Dunlop

    A veil of tears shrouds oilerville today. Wait until Nov.16. A hockey night in Canada curb stomp administered by the flames could be the final straw. Of course we will have a record like 6-15 by then and the season will have been written off. Thanks again, Mr. Katz.

  • Rob...

    The season has barely started and the Oilers are drafting FIRST again and Colorada and the Leafs are going to meet in the finals.

    I admit I was ready to stop watching, because I had very high expectations. But really what is happening with this team. Lets see, new coach from outside organization with totally new system for the first time since Quinn, several new players: Arco, Peron, Gordon who are major improvements over who they replaced. Jonessu, who is doing very well and I daresay an upgrade. An AHL 4th line – the organization has better players than that, hopefully they will be in place soon.

    Dmen- Belov, Ference. The D has improved. There are proven winners on this team like Gordon, Peron and Ference. They are playing better and will start to win when the PP gets it’s $h!+ together, it has been awful. The goaltending straightens itself out (and it will) and the players tighten up their coverage in their own zone.

    Patience my fellow fans, the ship will be turning around in the next few games.

    Jonathan, I wonder if you could do a comparison of this season’s first 10 games W/L, save %, shots for/against, scoring chances for/against, FO’s F/A, etc as well as key advanced stats vs the previous 5 seasons (or even to 2005-06?

  • Reg Dunlop

    A buddy and I were watching the game last night. I said to him that if we swapped jerseys – only jerseys and nothing else – with Detroit I bet that the new Oilers team of all Detroit players would start to lose consistently and stop making the playoffs every year. And that the new Red Wings team of all Edmonton players would start to win, etc.

    And I think I’m right. That has to mean only one thing.

    We all know what that is.

  • Reg Dunlop

    What I could not understand about last nights game was the powerplay?
    In the second period the Oilers had 3 powerplays all in a row 6 minutes! Yet I did not see Belov on the powerplay at all??
    This is a guy with a good shoot, keeps it low and makes sure it get through. If he was on my team and I had a powerplay I would have Belov out ther as much as possible and just keep feeding him the puck!!
    Or am I missing something????

  • Rob...

    Duby didn’t play bad, Hall broke an Oilers record previously held by Gretzky, and Yakupov was both trying to use his line-mates and his one-timers didn’t miss the net.

    I’m not happy with yet another loss, but I’m an Oilers fan… in order to survive this without losing my mind I need to embrace the positives.

  • Rob...

    Duby didn’t play bad but we still let in 3 goals. When 3 goals is the team record for least allowed, even this early on, I think the team needs to focus on how they’re going to prevent goals.

  • Rob...

    Impressive to watch the rampant speculation coming out of Toronto and TSN regarding Nail Yakupov. Those rumours sure took off in total favour of one team. I’m just surprised it didn’t include the Oilers trading the right to call ourselves 1990 Stanley Cup champions to the Leafs for a couple of Toronto zoo elephants and a bag of peanuts.

  • Rob...

    Dallas Eakins system has to take the balme for everything that has happened. Exactly why are all the defender on the PK not covering the points any more and letting the opposition shoot at will.

    Our PP and PK under this new system have been a joke! Eakins talks about a lot of things but so far …….it looks like a duck.

    I don’t care if the shot differential is better this year, our PP and PK look like a 5 year old drafted that plan.

    • Geitus Maximus

      I am of the mantra don’t fix it if is not broken. Frankly I concur the penalty kill is passive and terrible. Its somewhat personnel and its passive nature. I wish someone could break down why its foobared. It seems like the players don’t know what their coach wants them to do. If there is one thing that should of been left well damn alone was the penalty kill. If your going to waste 4 million on players, give Jones and Smyth more minutes on the penalty kill. Then Eakins should ask Bucky and Smith what the hell they were doing right last year. Smyth should be off the power play.

      In regards to the Power play it seemed like the puck movement is good, However the two things I’ve noticed is the team misses Gagner down low making sweet dishes, and that RNH has been less effective. Seems like the Nuge is handling the puck on the side boards less.

      Other then big holes in the slot, and constant overplay leaving guys wide open, and bad goaltending I honestly think think this years problem 5×5 is this stupid system. It should of been kept simple for these kids. Too many damn changes for two years for a team to get acquainted with.

      • I’m not sure why Eakins would have thrown the baby out with the bath water as it relates to the PP and PK??

        You are right they should not change what is working……..having Hemsky and RNH killing penalties just makes no sense to a hack like me. Maybe I’m missing something……..his genius is without question.

        RNH, Perron, Schultz, Hemsky, Hall, and Ebs look totally lost on the PP ……once again we are back to moving the puck around the perimeter without actually shooting it. I thought we solved this issue in the latter part of last year?

        Eakins wants his finger prints on everything…… he has changed everything.

  • Bucknuck

    Finally Dubnyk wakes up, but the Oilers are playing like the 2010 version. So if they play the way they played against Pitt and Wash, and Dubnyk plays the way he did last night… then the team will start winning.

    Sounds like a plan. Go Oil.

  • Rob...

    I used to be okay with the fact that my team sucked. I often thought that we had the best worst team in the league. But now, watching our prime time players take nights off when the team is in such rough shape is unacceptable.

    Now I find myself reading about the oilers daily, When I don’t even care about the outcome of the games

  • Bucknuck

    At the press conference which introduced MacT as the new GM, which reporter asked the question (paraphrase) “This is the same management team that sunk the Oilers over the last few years, what makes you think this same team will bring them back into contention?”?

    It was this question which Lowe responded with his infamous “I have six Stanley Cup rings, I think I know how to win.”

    I would love to see this reporter ask this question again. And again, and again……

  • vetinari

    The Oilers are like going to a car dealership and talking to a slick salesman. They tell you that the old model that you currently are driving needs to be upgraded and you should really buy a new car– it looks shiny and pretty and new, and so you do.

    You take it out on the highway and motor quickly blows up so you go back to the dealership, they tell you that they fixed the problem and that there’s a new engine under the hood so you go out again and the same thing happens. They tell you that they really fixed the problem this next time and that everything should be fine because they also put a new navigation system in the car. Again, you go out on the highway and the same thing happens. This goes on and on until either: 1. they really fix the problem; or 2. you leave the lemon at the lot and move on to something more trustworthy and reliable.

    You, Oilers, are that lemon of a car, and your customers are getting impatient. Either fix the damn problem already or join the AHL, where you seem to fit in better. The shiny and pretty and new is wearing off at this point and there better be something under the hood that can get us to our destination and soon.

  • The whole fanbase needs to take a breath. The core of this team is 24 an under. Hockey players generally don’t hit their prime until 24-26. Obviously there are notable exceptions (Crosby Stamkos Ovechkin etc) but unfortunately we do not have any of those caliber of players on this team. Great players our guys will be, but not superstars like the 3 above. But that’s ok, teams have won cups with much less than we have.

    Expecting playoffs at this point is a tall order. Realistically this team is too young to be really successful at this point. Expecting them to win cups with their core players barely leagal to drink in the USA is unrealistic and causing panic in the streets.

    • New to town?

      Excuse me, but we don’t need to take any breaths. We have been losing since Game 7 of the ’06 run. That is too damn long. And since we are paying their bills we can do whatever we damn well please.

      If only we could organize better in North America. Then they’d listen. Not a single fan-base in Europe would ever, ever, stand for being treated like Edmonton fans do.

      • @Soccer Steve.

        I think you missed my point a little bit. Fans have EVERY RIGHT to be pissed off and angry at ownership/management. I am a season ticket holder and feel the way you do about that for sure. The rebuild started in 2009 but should have started much earlier…

        But the point I was trying is not that we shouldn’t be pissed off and frustrated at all the losing (see above). My point is that we cant put unrealistic expectations on our young core just because of what happened long before they got here.

        The reality is that our core players are all very young and I hate that they are getting crucified in the main stream media and social media because they aren’t a top team in the NHL. Its unfair and unrealistic for them to carry this team to the top of the NHL in their early 20’s. They need time to develop and that can take 5-6 years easily (see Tavares). Its unfortunate management is putting them in a position to fail.

        TO SUM UP – ownership and management should be receiving all the hate, anger and frustration. Not the young players. They are in an unfair position. Now, if they all hit their mid-20s making their $6M per year and STILL not winning, that’s a different story.

        PS – The #1 thing I have read that made me post this is all the “Yak hasn’t progressed, Yak was not a good pick, Leafs wouldn’t trade Reimer for Yak” BS. The kid led league in goals and points for a rookie last year yet he is being made out as a bust already??


  • pkam

    October 04 2013, 06:41PM

    It matters not whether Nuge returns Oct 10th or Nov 10th because the Oilers are not close to being a playoff team. They simply have too many holes throughout their lineup.

    4 years into the re-build and we have Ryan Smyth on the 1st line, we have named no less than 6 alternate captains and the coach believed there were others that were deserving, that almost had me throwing up in my mouth.

    For a team that has played as soft as the Oilers over the past number of years one of their biggest problems is they don’t have an identity, they often play with fear and fold-up quicker than a cheap polyester suit when the going gets tough.

    The culture that has existed in that locker room is toxic and as long as some of the core veterans remain I’m afraid that we’ll stay on the periphery despite drafting 1st overall three years running.

    Many here at Oiler Nation believe that because they have been able to draft top prospects that other prospects and quality NHL players would be jumping at the opportunity to come aboard. That my friends isn’t going to happen very often, Schultz signed but others will simply move on to other teams.

    It’s a little discerning when Jesse Joensuu is the best Oiler forward on opening night. The Oilers will probably finish ahead of the Flames in their division but not by much. MacT simply couldn’t get enough deals done, We are the worst run organization in hockey today, sorry Florida.


    This was posted October 04,13 and I’d like to retract what I said about the Calgary Flames.

  • ok folks,time to panick,mact needs to do something BOLD now!yaks,klefbom,justin schultz,first round pick,hemsky or what not to get us some top d.with eberle hall and hopkins,along with perron,gordon gadzik we are starting to take form up front,get us d!(and a goalie)

  • Doctor Smashy

    Ok….positivity…here it goes.

    Only 7 teams have scored more goals than the Oilers.

    Gordon is 62% in the dot, Arco is 60% (so is Ebs!)…Acton is 54%…Nuge is…ok I’ll stop there…

    Ahhh let’s see here…we beat the Devils BUT they beat…oh wait….

    Here’s one…we are ahead of not one but TWO teams in the overall standings…

    Finally, we are only one game under .500 at home!

    That should get us through to Saturday right!?

  • Dan 1919

    Let’s not get carried away and all remember why Dubnyk faced 40 shots. He is accepted around the league as a weak goalie, therefore the opposition puts EVERYTHING on net, often slanting his save% in his favour.

    None the less, he played average (as mentioned in prior posts, he should have made a big save on at least one of the three goals).

    I do not blame Eakins as the Oilers are again at a similar point to last year. They often show great signs of improvement overall, but at the end of the day the defence is just too weak to cut it in this league.

    If Dubnyk continues mediocracy, it moves the main area of concern from goaltending back to defence. If Dubnyk plays his average style and the Oil had solid defence, it would be enough to make the playoffs with a first or second round exit, eventually hoping Dubnyk improves, or having no choice to trade for a legit goalie once the team is a contender.

    I feel the upcoming move to make (assuming Dubnyk is average), is trading a key piece (current roster player and/or this year’s first round pick) for a key defence-man. Then with Nurse, Klefbom etc coming, the team will continue improve. Bonus for our young Dmen’s development also.

    Nashville continues to be handcuffed offensively. Do they really need both of those allstars back there? Look what the Oil did with one Pronger…

    We’ve seen enough of this stuff, popcorn is fresh, writings on the wall, WE ARE READY FOR THE BLOCKBUSTER MR. MACTAVISH!

    • pkam

      If Dubby was universally acclaimed to be a bad goalie, then there is maybe 12-15 better goalies better then him based on three years of data. And based on just stats his numbers were better then Price, Brodeur, Luongo, Kipper, Miller, Ward last year. We all know stats aren’t everything but he really was not considered weak except for eastern media until this year. Before that he was just not considered elite, but average. Teams put shots on net because he has shown a propensity for the odd softy. If you’ve watched Luongo for the last couple years he’s done the same thing, but people look beyond that cause of the team, track record, etc. Track record buys you a lot of rope. Dubby is close to the end of his at the moment. Remember how brutal Luongo has been at times over the last three years. Canucks should have a cup.

  • vetinari

    There were mistakes on all three goals. Arco skated right by Bailey on the first goal but without knowing the system I can’t say if that was a mistake on his part or a winger not picking him up after (no one ever picked him up)? The second goal unfortunately was all Arco, bad clear and then caught on wrong side of Okposo (hope he learns from that). Third goal was J. Schultz being J. Schultz. He was caught between watching the man in the corner or helping Gordon (a more physical defender would have hit Tavares and we would have gotten the puck)(yes it is that simple, if you’re going to support do something). Also had his stick been facing the puck carrier instead of flopping in the slot he probably would have deflected the pass.
    These are all little things that seem to be killing the oilers but I am seeing fewer of them and that what you get with a young team.

  • pkam

    Question is… How long will season ticket holders keep selling out the REX??? I love my Oilers but there is no effin way I am paying to see this team. Its hard enough to watch them on tv…. It will get better…… wont it?