It’s Raining (G) Men

To quote Slim Pickens (and it is certainly a good idea to quote him in this regard) “what in the Wide World of Sports is going on here?”

The Oilers drafted Andy Moog from Billings (WHL) 28 years ago and they picked Grant Fuhr from Victoria (WHL) one year later.

After that, when the Oilers shopped in the goalie bin it was a series of mid-round longshots and a very few guys who failed despite being picked in the general area where hockey players can be found most seasons.

It’s still too soon to tell, but the most recent duo are beginning to show some signs of actually being quality goaltenders. Jeff Deslauriers is having a tremendous (if short) run in the NHL and Devan Dubnyk is having a November for the ages.

As of today, Dubnyk’s November numbers (2-1-1, 1.69 and .949) represent a high water mark for his career. His overall AHL numbers this season (6-5-1, 2.53 and .918) would be getting all kinds of attention from fans and the organization in a normal season. His .918SP ranks him 9th in the AHL and is better than our agreed upon “line in the sand” for Dubnyk (we agreed he needed to be .915 or better) in his big chance in the AHL.

The reason he isn’t getting a ton of attention? Jeff Deslauriers. Slim Pickens would be up in arms over this turn of events. A second round pick whose minor league career has not given an indication of greatness is playing like Bernie Parent. Admittedly it’s a very short sample and with his SP at .951 it cannot last (historically speaking) forever, but for now the kid is 3-0 and making the Prendergast draft era scouting group look like gold.

Good for them. They certainly have endured a shellacking over the 2002 draft (the “Niinimaki Plaza” draft) so this development improves the average at least a little. And who knows, maybe this guy is the real deal. Either way, I’m going to enjoy it while the good times roll.

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19 Responses to "It’s Raining (G) Men"

  1. spOILer says:

    Dawgbone has a nice analysis of JDD and a short history, for anyone actually more interested in JDD than the size of their peepee.

    He’s at After the Green Light, link in LT’s blogroll.

  2. Scott says:

    Wow, this Mike Morrison character is the real deal.
    Wait a minute…. I’ve been had!

    But like you said, let the good times roll… let’s just not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve had stretches of good goaltending in the past couple of years, but not the kind where the play style of the goalie also inspires some confidence. We have to go back to the Stanley run for that.

  3. Black Dog says:

    my pee pee is ginormous and a giver of life to boot!

    nice analysis by db for sure

    I’m glad JDD is having some success although I’m inclined to believe that it will be fleeting.

    Still enjoyable to see and the news on Dubnyk is encouraging.

  4. toqueboy says:

    looks really big and reasonably “sound”…i’m glad to see that his feet are quiet (relatively), which just lets him be big more effectively.

    Mike Morrison … i miss those confident post game interviews through his new england drawl.

    Am I the only one who doesn’t mind the 3 goalie system right now? Odds are one of 3 has got to be playing well, right?

    totally off topic:
    after watching the 7 road games, the oilers definitely have worse ice than many of the other buildings — perhaps a reason for Hemsky’s success recently?

    Anyhow, i have a friend who is out working in NYC for a couple of weeks and he got out to both the recent games in NJ and NYC. One of the first comments he made was about the ice cleaning during TV timeouts. I’m not sure what it’s like in Edmonton as I haven’t been to a game in awhile, but in Calgary they send out a few girls in short skirts, can tops and some little shovels — they clean out the crease and a little in the corners…skate past the opponents bench and really don’t do a whole lot.

    In jersey he said that they had 6 guys (3 aside) who come out and each do an end. At each end they have 2 guys with huge shovels (8′ maybe?) that start from about 6 feet inside the blue line and clean all the way to the corners. The other guy shovels up everything.

    Maybe this is a non-issue and that’s what happens in Edmonton while I’m watching commercials, but it certainly hasn’t been the case in FlamerTown (at least not the games I’ve been to).

    Also, his first comment after seeing the Jersey game was, “Calgary and Edmonton need new buildings.” A common refrain from people lately who’ve seen games out of town. Also, watching the game at MSG, the lighting was just so amazing, you can tell they have world-class events there all the time.

    sorry to thread hog, but i thought his comments were interesting.

  5. B.C.B. says:

    While JDD is playing good, MacT has to rotate the vets in soon. Or they will rot: not good for next year and not good for trade bait. We have seen what the three-headed monster did to Jussi: ruined his confidence and he started to play afriad. I’d trade Garon before I let that happen to him

    But I have a feeling that we will have the beast till Feb. MacT should embrace his weirdness and start playing a three goalie tandem.

  6. Asiaoil says:

    Wonderful analysis by a db who whose take is usually very sound – and basically I agree with everything he said. I would add one point and this is something I’ve been harping on. JDD does look pretty much the same as he did 4 years ago – same issues with technique that have always been there. The reason for this lack of progress is pretty simply IMHO…

    coaching (or lack there of)

    Problem is the longer you let a guy go on with poor technique the harder it is to change (damn muscle memory) and I would not trust Pete Peeters to change the oil in my car let alone help a young Oiler goalie with his mechanics. Katz really has to step in a do something about this because clearly Lowe and Co don’t see it as important in spite of the profound failure this org has had with goalies. Dubnyk also has a number of issues with technique that have not gotten better – and like JDD – his future ability to be a starter depends on making the most of his size and ability.

    Contrary to what many may think – nothing would make me happier than for this org to actually develop JDD into a star goalie – but it’s unlikely to happen until the team takes coaching seriously at both the AHL and NHL levels. Without decent coaching we might as well not draft any goalies and simply sign older guys from other organizations that are actually willing to develop netminders properly.

  7. Dennis says:

    3-0 doesn’t mean the kid is Tuffy Rhodes or Chris Shelton but the pedigree really isn’t there to expect him to continue to play so I’m not really all that excited just yet.

    And he’s been beaten short side in the last two games and was helped by the posts and that signals all kinds of up ahead trouble.

    It’s nice that he’s doing well but I doubt he’s the answer. The best I’m hoping for is he can hang as a backup and then we can deal off Roli and use that money for a real dman to defend and play alongside 77 in the top four.

  8. Dennis says:

    Two other items:

    1. Not sure if anyone here watches Brotherhood but I think it’s the best show that no one’s watching.

    2. Poor old Lupul’s in trouble in Philly and of course it’s someone else’s fault. No word if Bob Stauffer has taken to bed.

  9. Alice says:

    Without debating AO on goalie development, I do think that when you’re platooning a couple ( the three thing… nevermind ) but my point would be that I think it’s better to play 3 or 4 in a row, like you’re in a no. 1 role, and then take an 7 or 8 day out, rather than alternating games. Gives them a chance to get busy, a full-time feel, get into a groove, but also some time where they know they can study some film, try some new things in practice, without worrying that it will screw up their next start. I don’t like to think he just runs them till they cool off, but rather to establish a longer rhythm. Maybe.

  10. raventalon40 says:

    Well at least we know why they didn’t want to lose JDD on waivers.

  11. raventalon40 says:

    Here’s a thought: hire Patrick Roy away from the Remparts as the Oilers goaltending coach.

    Katz has the deep pockets to hire him, I think.

  12. B.C.B. says:

    RT: Roy may have been a great goalie, but his coaching (and social) skills need work.

    What we need to do is hire two goalie coaches one for the farm and one for the pros (does any one know if any of the finnish coaches speak english, on second thought ‘who cares’ they still would be better then Peters).

  13. doritogrande says:

    Regarding the goalie coach scenario: I’d actually like to see Roli in this seat sometime in the near future. He’s always seemed positionally solid to me but never had the proper physical tools. Plus he’s an ornery fuck to boot and that’s something that really needs to be taught.

    If Dubnyk can continue his November to remember he’s right back on track with Schneider in terms of being a goaltending prospect to watch.

    Speaking of prospects to watch, one has to wonder if the signing of Bryan Lerg this offseason is a pre-emptive marketing tool to sign his brother Jeff Lerg to a contract. Lerg, if you weren’t aware is one of the best goalies in the NCAA. Captains the Michigan St. Spartans, Hobey Baker finalist, but about 5’9″ on a good day. Being small isn’t much of an advantage but he’s got to have some sound mechanics and positioning to be this good. Could be a Legace type of goalie.

  14. PunjabiOil says:

    Dubnyk has been a favourite of mine for a long time. He’s gone through the valleys and troughs, but I remain optimistic he will carve a nice career in the NHL.

  15. Asiaoil says:

    bcb…actually one coaching splitting time between the young guys in the AHL (development focus) and the older guys in the NHL (stamping out bad habits) makes more sense. We have the money for ***** sake – bloody well spend it in an area that we have be terrible at for ages.

  16. dawgbone says:

    Asiaoil, I’m not so sure that the goaltending coach is the problem. I don’t know much about what Pete Peters does, but what I do know is most of these guys spent 15+ years playing the game before even getting to Peters. Whatever influence he may have in terms of technical play is going to be vey limited. What a goaltending coach at the NHL level can do is help break down your game and figure out where your mistakes are being made. Maybe you are cheating too much on the backdoor pass, or maybe you are dropping your glove too low. Those sort of things. I think technicall speaking once you hit about 25-26 years old, it’s going to be tough to change how you play the game. You know what’s comfortable to you and you also know that during the adjustment period, you are going to have more off nights than good nights which means you’ll give up more goals which means you’ll play less. That’s why a lot of goalies simply can’t adapt.

    JDD simply never got into many games, and it’s hard to change instinct when you get into game situations. Practice is one thing, but you don’t get the same adrenaline rush as you do playing in game situations.

    It’s one thing to practice it over and over again, but you also need to practice applying it in game situations (which is what the minors are for).

    JDD was definitely the one guy who was hurt by the split affiliation. He didn’t do himself any favours, but teams who have their own affiliation don’t need their players to do that. They could have afforded JDD some bad games while he worked on changing how he plays, unlike in a split affiliation. Instead he had to go in and play well to get another start. So not only was he not playing well, he wasn’t able to apply the necessary changes to his game. He lost out on both accords.

    He has made some progress though. He used to literally leave rebounds off every shot. He’s gotten a lot better in that regard. He still gives up some bad ones (and unnecessary ones), but it’s been reduced.

    It’s whether he can keep reducing them. I can live with the odd bad goal providing they aren’t scoring 3+ other ones. Bad goals don’t hurt when you are only giving up 2-3 goals per game. They hurt when it starts becoming goals 4, 5 and 6.

  17. Asiaoil says:

    Hey dawg – sure at the NHL level you are right in that there is not much you can do with basic technique that is ingrained by the time a guy is 25-26. Not many guys can successfully re-invent themselves like Roloson did at that age. But like you said – good coaching can help clean up emerging bad habits or tendencies. You do have to remember that a number of elite NHL guys (like Luongo) demand good coaching as part of their package and they do that for a reason.

    Down in the AHL though I think better coaching is essential – there is still time to mold kids at 20 and our coaching can also have an impact on younger guys we just drafted. We can and should do more with our young guys not in the NHL. Your line about not knowing what Peeters does is telling – he’s been around for years and his contribution is suspect.

    If the team does not want to commit resources in this way -then just don’t draft goalies period. Picking up promising guys at 24-26 through trade or as young UFAs may actually be the most sensible thing going forward. Unless we have the opportunity to draft an elite kid very high (like Price, Luongo, Fluery etc) I would let someone else bear the development costs and uncertainty. Target guys who make it through to the other side of the development pipeline at 25 or 26. As for the AHL team – lots of capable guys available every year to give the minor league squad good goaltending and provide some NHL injury insurance.

    So that’s my most recent take on it – if you can’t pick up a guy who is clearly elite in the draft – then don’t bother with the lower ranked guys. Go for the young UFAs or trade for a guy like Kipper who is stuck in the system. You still need good coaching and scouting to make these decisions though.

  18. dave says:

    I’m quite confused with all the ragging on this issue. Guys, if think pete peeters can’t coach today’s goalies cause he was a stand up goalie. You have MUCH to learn. They watch video and talk. They don’t go on the ice and review how to butterfly. Brodeur doesn’t not play like the current crop Price, Lundquist etc type of goalies. Not only is he a good goalie but he gives the shooters a different look. All that matters is that you stop the puck. Tim Thomas bitches!

  19. Doogie2K says:

    With all this crapping on Pete Peeters, I’m pretty sure JDD said in one of the recent podcast sound bites that he had his own goalie coach (some French name, I’d have to re-DL). So maybe PP isn’t the problem here.

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