Sunday Minor League Report

Devan Dubnyk played well last night for Springfield. The Falcons lost 2-0 but DD stopped 33 of 35 shots and his December SP now stands at .910 (and .903 overall).

For those of us who follow draft days closely , Dubynk will forever be associated with Marek Schwarz. In that 2004 draft, Schwarz was rated higher than Dubnyk but the Oilers took the big Kamloops Blazer over the Czech keeper. Since then I’ve followed both of their careers and of course hoped like any fan that the Oilers made the better choice at #14 in 2004 (Schwarz went to St. Louis at #17).

The year after the draft it was easy to follow the two goalies since they were playing in the same league (WHL). Dubnyk went 2.69GAA, .912SP with the Blazers and Schwarz was 2.67GAA, .900SP with the Vancouver Giants. The Giants were the better team, so in 2004-05 the bet looked a little better than even for the Dubnyk camp.

05-06 saw Dubnyk running in place (2.54, .912SP) and Schwarz played in the Czech League (2.57, .920SP) as a backup (the starter had better numbers).

06-07 saw Schwarz make his NHL debut (2gp, 3.00GAA, .880SP) and play a full season in the AHL (2.76, .899). Dubnyk played mostly in the ECHL (2.56, .921) and did get into 4 AHL games (2.94, .855) but that isn’t much of a look. Either way, neither goal lit it up at 20 in the minor pro leagues.

07-08 has seen them both playing in the AHL and gives us a chance to compare their seasons. Schwarz has played 13 games for Peoria Rivermen, going 2.24 and .903. Dubnyk has played 12 games for Springfield, going 3.34 and .903 in those games.

Save percentages are a match, but the Dubnyk is letting in an extra goal per 60 minutes. There are some other differences. Per 60 minutes Schwarz is facing 23.14 shots and Dubnyk is facing 34.25 and that’s a pretty large difference. The Rivermen’s other most used goalie is facing 23.4 shots per 60, and Deslauriers currently sees 30.2 shots per game. Does that speak to quality of team in front of the goalies? Probably. Does it speak to individual goalies and things like rebound control? I have no idea.

In terms of quality and win-loss records, the two teams look about the same.

The other thing to consider is the number of powerplay opportunities and goals given up. Both teams (28 for Peoria and 31 for Sprngfield) are mid-level in the league but Dubnyk seems to be especially prone to giving up powerplay goals. Dubnyk has given up 13 of the 31 man-advantage goals (42%) despite playing only 31% of the Falcons minutes. Mudcrutch mentioned a week or so ago that he has a working theory on big goalies and ineffectiveness on the powerplay (I think he calls it the Roman Cechmanek rule) so that’s something moving forward.

What does it all mean? Hell if I know. I think we can say with relative authority that neither player has clearance on the other and that neither player has established that they are ready to take on a role at the NHL level anytime soon.

We wait.

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