Double D

This is Devan Dubnyk. Not much about him is “normal”, from the spelling of his name to the 6-5, 205 frame he uses to stop rubber for a living. He looks a bit gangly, and has an “aw, shucks” smile in pretty much every photo on the net.

Dubnyk was awarded the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year award a few years ago. Does anyone know what that means? It’s probably a very fine thing to win, but it’s easy to joke about it and say he was probably the one WHL player who did all his homework in 2004.

I’m always hesitant to list scouting reports on goalies, because they have the same words they’ve been printing since Bernie Parent: positioning is good, has a quick glove, plays angles well, aggressive, controls rebounds, helps ladies across the street, looks respectful during the anthem. Non-drinker, nickname “saloon doors.”

However, here’s what Guy Flaming from Hockey’s Future writes about him: Above all, Dubnyk possesses the one great talent no coach can teach: size. At 6’5, Dubnyk gives very little of the net up to opposition shooters, and often looks like NHL goaltenders Olaf Kolzig and Sean Burke between the pipes with his hulking size. Very strong positioning and great rebound control are two other strong characteristics of Dubnyk’s play in the net.Consistency is an issue and Dubnyk, despite taking up as much of the net as he does, still has a tendency to let in a soft goal and can get visually shaken by it. Mental maturity will help overcome that flaw.

What does it all MEAN? Look, goalies who are confident can look like Larry King and get the job done, and I’ve seen HOF goalies look like they’re Tommy.

Save percentage is the one thing we can hang our hats on, that and previous resume. Here, as of this evening, is the list of the top active AHL rookie goalies in terms of save percentage:

  1. Devan Dubnyk .912
  2. Tuuka Rask .894
  3. Erik Ersberg .888
  4. Cory Schneider .878

Jonas Hiller had a higher SP before being recalled, and Dubnyk is tied for 17th in the AHL (Deslauriers has a SP of .923 and ranks 7th overall). Dubnyk’s 1st month in the league was terrific and he’s tailed off since, but JDD had one of his “Hyde” nights this evening and one suspects DD will get a few more chances moving forward.

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12 Responses to "Double D"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Is it fair however, to compare DD with 20 year old rookies?

    He’s a 1st year AHLer, but he’s also 21.

    That being said, the guy has to start picking up his play. .912% is okay – .920 and we’ll talk.

  2. Lowetide says:

    It’s an interesting point. I don’t the answer, but it also follows that Hiller’s age and experience make him a ridiculous “rookie” as well.

  3. PunjabiOil says:

    I’m not sure of the answer either. Is the ECHL sufficient experience that helped him develop as a goaltender? Is that enough to put him par with a guy who played a full year in the AHL at 20?

    It should be noted he was at .922, 3rd best in the ECHL last year.

    Actually .912 isn’t that bad – I’d still like him to be closer to the .920 mark. That would signature him closer to the elite corps..

    I’m a fan of DD – but eventually he’s going to deliver results.

    RE: JDD – it’s the ”hyde” moments like you mentioned, that bother me. That being said, he’s played very well in the last 6 or 7 games (since the call-up). Also recall him lighting up the ECHL back when he was demoted from the RR – he’s got the toolbox, lets see if he works it out.

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Just wanted to mention – nice pic.

    Damn is he big.

  5. PDO says:

    Mentioning non-drinker while describing a goaltender among a fan group that hates Ed Belfour as much as this group does is just asking for trouble Lain ;-)

  6. James Mirtle says:

    Dubnyk was the best goaltender to wear a Blazers uniform in the decade or so I watched that team. He made an impact as a 16-year-old (and boy was he gangly back then) and never got enough credit for backstopping some pretty awful Kamloops teams into the playoffs.

    I think he’ll have an NHL career. You wonder if the adage about big defencemen holds true for netminders; it would certainly make sense that it takes longer for these guys to figure things out.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Mirtle: I think it’s probably especially true for big goalies. Dryden came out of Cornell and was a phenom but he was 23 before he played a game in pro.

    His brother Dave (6-2) didn’t stick for an entire season until age 27. John Davidson came right away to the NHL at age 20 (he was also a first rd pick, and 6-3) and played very well for St. Louis.

    I always liked the idea of a big goalie being more effective if he could stay healthy (there would seem to be similarities between goaltending and catching, and there aren’t many Johnny Bench or Carlton Fisk types because wear and tear is incredible), but Roman Cechmanek ruined me for the theory.

  8. mc79hockey says:

    Mirtle just has a soft spot for the tall, gangly guys – one wonders why he was beating up my boy LaBarbera earlier this year.

    Interesting discussion about the ECHL. My suspicion is that the quality of play is lower than the NCAA. I wonder what Desjardins says about it.

    Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an easy league for goalies, but I don’t think it’s very good. I’m still pretty bullish on Dubnyk – he’s putting up numbers. I’ll run that line in the sand test that I came up with for AHL goalies at some point for him, maybe over Christmas.

  9. dubya says:

    I think the large goalies take longer to develop idea likely has merit. He seems to be progressing every year, and if he continues to do so I don’t care whether he makes the NHL at 24, 25, or 26, as long as he’s good when he gets there.

    As for JDD, I’ll accept ‘hyde’ moments like last night if he plays the previous 6 games like he did. Inconsistency is easier to take when he’s delivering a high end game in his good games (as opposed to consistent .890-.900).

  10. Jonathan says:

    I think the Oilers must have a soft spot for players who are intelligent off-ice too – Shawn Horcoff, for one, was twice an All-Academic Team player in university.

  11. Dennis says:

    Ty, don’t you think an admission like that is something that Mirtle would’ve wanted to make at the appropriate time;)

    I’m not certain that DD will get much of a push this year and I’m not certain that I want him to, to tell you the truth. It might’ve taken awhile for JDD to get here, though he does have the excuse of having previously played for split affiliate, but now he’s putting up some fine numbers and from what I’m reading from the Falcons daily, I’m assuming there’s just the one;) that PCT is bought and paid for.

    So, I wouldn’t get cute here if I were the Oilers. DD’s only in his second year of pro action so we can afford to let him pine a little more this season while we gave the vast majority of time to JDD to see just what we have in him. Next year’s the time to break in DD as the guy getting the bulk of the carries and hopefully by then we can have Roli’s pact moved with JDD up top and either have a vet helping along DD in SF, or we can bring in young Fisher.

    Unless a guy blows you away, age and draft class, which of course leads to questions of how long a guy’s waiver exempt, should be the leading factors in regards to playing time. Personally, I hope that’s why Nilsson’s getting a push and the quality of linemates that a guy like Pouliot never did. He’s a third year guy so hopefully they’re gonna give him a bit of a long look and when that’s done, they can do the same for Pouliot or perhaps even Thor.

    Kids like Schremp and Reddox, we’ve got our hooks in them for awhile yet so there’s not really a hurry to give them a push unless they totally blow you away with their play.

    Then again, that plan’s probably giving the Oilers org too much credit.

  12. Dennis says:

    BTW, Dubnyk got ripped tonight for six goals vs one of the worst teams in the league.

    it was on the road and in the second half of a BTB but, still, I’d hoping for JDD first and foremost

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