Falcons 08-09 G (Reasonable Expectations Reviewed)

Devan Dubnyk got exceptional press in 08-09, but one wonders if he moved his career forward during the year. Many eyewitness reports had him playing outstanding hockey for much of the winter, but his actual numbers are less than stellar. They don’t scream “future NHL starter” but Steve Carlton had a k/w rate of 2/1 and a 3.59 ERA in triple A as a young man so we can dream.

Here’s the bookend post to this one, talking about reasonable expectations for the Oilers minor leaguers last fall.

  • Jeff Drouin Deslauriers: Fall ’08 Reasonable expectations: Solid numbers in 10-15 NHL games and perhaps a quality conditioning stint in the minors. It’s sink or swim time for this player, with the organization seemingly convinced of his ability and the numbers suggesting otherwise. ACTUAL: Pretty close. He had solid if unspectacular NHL numbers (10gp, 3.34 .901) and played 5 good AHL games. The odds are against him historically, but he’ll likely get a heavier workload in 09-10.
  • Devan Dubnyk: Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: More than 40 games in the AHL and a more consistent record. This is a big year for the big man. ACTUAL: He played in 62 AHL games but his record included 41 losses. His SP (.906) isn’t close to the hoped for .915 and I’m inclined to agree with Asia that we’re looking at a probable “career backup” ceiling for him. However, we can still cheer for the big man.
  • Bryan Pitton: Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: Plenty of work with good results in the ECHL and perhaps a few starts in the AHL. ACTUAL: He played 34 games in the ECHL and was not impressive (.886) at all, in fact losing the starting job to undrafted Andrew Perugini. As listless as his regular season stats were, his 3 playoff games were worse. One wonders if he’ll be back.
  • Glenn Fisher: Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: Survival in pro hockey. He may spend the entire season as backup to Dubnyk in Springfield or he might be back in the ECHL helping out Pitton. Either way, he needs to show something this season. ACTUAL: Fisher had a horrible start and ended up in Las Vegas (ECHL) for much of the season. Once there he caught fire, boasting a .930SP in 21 regular season games and then posting a .934SP in the post-season. We need to be aware of 2 things: this is the ECHL and the parent team loaned him out, and Fisher is 26-years old with 4 total games in the AHL so far in his career.
  • Andrew Perugini: I didn’t list him in the fall look but he’s certainly worth talking about now. His SP in the ECHL (.908) was 22 points better than Pitton’s and I think he’d reasonably be rated as the third best goalie in the system at this time (behind JDD and DD).

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51 Responses to "Falcons 08-09 G (Reasonable Expectations Reviewed)"

  1. PDO says:


    So, K/W is the best predictor of ERA, correct?

    What kind of K/W predicts what kind of ERA…?

    That’s terribly worded, but it should make sense…

  2. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I don’t think K/W predicts ERA, in fact ballpark effects are probably a better predictor (if you traded a pitcher from Coors Field to Chavez Ravine back in the day that pitcher might shave 3.00 from his ERA).

    A K/W of 3/1 from a healthy pitcher over the season COMBINED with a subpar won-loss record is an exceptional predictor of a starting pitcher who will improve markedly the following season. If you’re in a roto league and can buy 4 starters at the end of your roster who:

    1. Have been healthy for awhile
    2. Have a 3/1 k/w ratio
    3. Have a 7-13 record

    You’ll win the following year. Not all of them will deliver, but you’re going to get some great value.

  3. Ducey says:

    Figuring out if a goalie is going to have a good year is like picking a tasty watermelon.

    I think DD and JDD will surprise a lot of people. In fact it seems guaranteed they will have some good seasons, its just hard to know when they will be.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Have there been a lot of goalies (whose AHL SP’s are .904 and .906 for his first two seasons) with a similar resume to DD’s who’ve become quality starters?

    JDD’s were .888 and .897 btw

  5. Asiaoil says:

    Well I’m a little more optimistic about Dubnyk (potential 2nd tier NHL starter) than JDD (career NHL backup)- but reality is there has been nothing in either guy’s record that shouts top 10 starter. The org development strategy for both guys has been pathetic (and that’s being polite). They played Dubnyk into the ground by Christmas this season and let JDD rot on the bench – could it have been worse? But even with that Dubnyk’s results are mediocre outside a few stretches where he played stellar hockey – and elite goalies are able to sustain those stretches far longer than Dubnyk has shown. He gets a B- from me for the season mostly for his survival skills.

  6. Jonathan Willis says:

    When you lose twice as many games as you win, the numbers are bound to suffer. Jordan Parise and Frank Doyle were the goaltending tandem for Lowell in both 2006-07 and 2007-08; here’s their combined record both years and their save percentages:

    2006-07: 37-36-6, .915, .916
    2007-08: 18-41-5, .889, .903

    We can’t say with any certainty what Dubnyk’s percentage would be on a different team, but I think that 10 points is a reasonable guestimate, and if Dubnyk had put up a .916 SV% we’d be raving about him. It’s not a slam-dunk, but I’m fairly optimistic.

    Other than that, JDD’s a backup and Perugini was just OK as a rookie pro. The other guys don’t matter much, IMO.

  7. Vic Ferrari says:

    It looks to me like Dubnyk may be a good goalie who has rolled a lot of snake eyes in his career. There is always an excuse (and surely some of them were reasons) … his team was in a tough division, his team took an exhorbinant amount of penalties, etc.

    But the fact is, you pay goalies to stop pucks. And goalies that have a history of being able to stop pucks better than their peers (save%) at every level, they are the best bet to stop pucks as NHLers. History screams this in our ear, and then MC79 reminds us again when the ringing has stopped.

    At some point though, the reasons become excuses. And if we’re not at that point now with Deslauriers and Dubnyk, we’re damn close.

  8. bookie says:

    Anyone See Shremp’s comments. Pretty positive overall.

    “Hopefully it’s a new opportunity, but I think the organization has had my best interests in mind since I’ve been drafted. It’s not just MacTavish, it’s the whole organization that has to make plays with my career, they want to develop me and make sure I’m ready.

    “Hopefully next year is the year I make it. I hope that’s what the plan is.”

    But Schremp is realistic enough to know that his future depends more on what he does this summer and next fall than who Steve Tambellini selects to operate the whistle.

    “I don’t know what MacTavish not being there is going to mean. He’s a great coach.

    “I’m not really sure what to expect. All I can do is train, make sure I come to camp in the best shape and we’ll see what happens from there.”

  9. Phil says:

    Totally off topic here…

    Alex Plante scores a PPG in the first period tonight to give him 5-8-13 and +12 in the postseason (currently playing in game #16). Sure he’s on a juggernaut team, but still pretty nice numbers.

  10. Lowetide says:

    The issue with Schremp is still the wide track skating, right? Can you do much with that when the prospect is 23?

  11. PDO says:

    The issue with Schremp is still the wide track skating, right? Can you do much with that when the prospect is 23?How old was Mike Grier when they taught him how to turn?

    Serious question, no sarcasm… I know it happened at some point, but how old was he?

    I think there’s still a huge issue with his compete level for free pucks as well.

  12. Oilman says:

    I’d say Schremp makes the team next season if A) the Oilers management break both Schremps legs and hope for a miraculous surgical anomaly that gives him Cogliano-esque speed or B)hire Steve Ludzig to coach….so there’s a chance!

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    More on Dubnyk: this comment section inspired me to take a look at AHL goalies over the last ten years who played for teams that suffered a drop similar to the one Springfield experienced this season.

    Short version: on average, goalies lost about ten points off their save percentage from year one to year two.

  14. Asiaoil says:

    Vic – with regard to reasons becoming excuses…I’d say we have “passed that point” with JDD and are “at that point” with Dubnyk. Another mediocre season from Dubnyk and there are few reasons to think he has any significant upside.

  15. Asiaoil says:

    Jonathan…….cutting DD that 0.10 slack only gets him to the point where he’s an average AHL starter. Still nothing to get excited about. If Dubnyk had superior upside he should have been able to put up at least average results (about .915) on a putrid team.

  16. Jonathan Willis says:

    AsiaOil/Vic: With JDD, I think those excuses are still fair enough; he’s had the worst development path of any legit goaltending prospect I can think of.

    That said, it doesn’t matter what his upside was at 17 if his upside at 25 is career backup.

    I guess it could be put clearer this way: it’s probably not JDD’s fault that he hasn’t developed as hoped, but that doesn’t change the fact that he hasn’t developed as hoped.

  17. Jonathan Willis says:

    AsiaOil: I tend to agree, but while I agree that SV% is the best number for goaltenders, I’m not convinced that it’s adequate to reflect development.

    Take Jean-Marc Pelletier; as a rookie pro (age 20) he put up a .909 SV% in the AHL. That jumped to .914 and .924 over the next two seasons. Mike Smith, on the other hand, went .906, .908 and .915 at the same ages.

    It’s the best marker we’ve got, but until we find away to adjust for the (rather large) team effects, we aren’t going to be able to make sweeping statements with it.

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    There’s one thing about Jonathan Willis: he does his own research, and supports his opinions with it – as opposed to taking shortcuts and/or providing generic answers.

    The Oilogosphere is very lucky to have him.

  19. Smarmy Boss says:

    I’d like to see Springfield be average rather then horrible.

    Its kind of funny but in a round about way this keeping Schremp down in the AHL is following that Detroit way of making players earn their dues in the minors.

  20. bookie says:

    My comments on Shremp were more about attitude w/ regards to the Oilers (now he could be massivly holding back and putting on a show).

    Perhaps the comment suggests that the team and the players attached to it are not as dramaqueenish about the current state of the Oilers development process…

    Or not…

  21. Jonathan Willis says:

    The Oilogosphere is very lucky to have him.

    Maybe so, but he’s luckier to have the Oilogosphere.

  22. HBomb says:

    Slightly OT: TSN has their off-season game plan for the Oilers up.

    Iffy work at best. Apparently Sam Gagner didn’t progress this year and Ales Hemsky still doesn’t shoot the puck enough. Oh, and another guy buying into the Ethan Moreau hype – let’s hope there’s other NHL GM’s out there silly enough to do the same.

  23. oilerdago says:

    //Oh, and another guy buying into the Ethan Moreau hype//

    HBomb – speaking of guys who tend to generalize (Scott Cullen).

    It’s always interesting to read a different take on the team, but if anyone wants another very good take on thecaptainethanmoreau they should read David Staples from Tuesday.

    A very solid breakdown of a dissapointing year for #18.

    And I’ll add my kudos to the fact that we’re very fortunate to have some great writers in the Oilblogosphere (LT, JW and Vic Ferrari among others). Hats off to all of you gentlemen.

  24. Hapi says:

    hello… hapi blogging… have a nice day! just visiting here….

  25. HBomb says:

    oilerdago: I saw Staples review of Moreau. I don’t always agree with what he writes (I think the error stat business is bogus, personally), but seeing a local guy take a critical approach to reviewing Moreau’s body of work this year was, in short, a breath of fresh air.

    Lowetide: spam alert!!!!

  26. Lowetide says:

    Got it.

  27. Quinn says:

    Oh, and another guy buying into the Ethan Moreau hype – let’s hope there’s other NHL GM’s out there silly enough to do the same.

    Gregor suggested that Staios was the vet who would see the door this season, which surprised me. I thought Staios was very effective as the season wore on, even if he didn’t get the press. Whereas Moreau seemed to get good press, but was horrible in EV and PK. I guess I hope the same as Hbomb, and there are teams looking for ‘veteran grit and leadership’
    who take this contract off the Oil’s cap for next season.

    Personally, I would take a 7th for him (how many rounds does drafting go?) or whatever it takes to let him exercise his ‘leadership’ somewhere else.

  28. bookie says:

    I hope its a ploy to use the media to hype up Moreau so that we can dump him…or after a year back from injury can we expect Moreau’s play to improve?

  29. Quinn says:

    Does a guy like Moreau, who plays like he does, improve at 34?

    I know that Staples felt he was trying to do too much and be everywhere, which was causing him to make the mistakes he was making. Still, I think that he has slowed down and I don’t know how he can get that step back into his game at his age.

  30. dubya says:

    JW – don’t have time to sign up at SB now, so I’ll pout it here. FYI…small error in your (excellent) post over there. You have Brochu as -.008 but should be +.008. Changes the average change to -.009.

  31. Vic Ferrari says:


    I can’t log onto SBN, so I hope that LT doesn’t mind me posting this here.

    I don’t see the connection between your data and your conclusions.

    You could just as easily titled your post “Springfield weren’t as bad as we thought, Dybnyk just sucks!”, and used your same data to make the argument.

    Teams that see a big drop in save% year over year SHOULD see a drop in winning%, unless the rest of the team improves,or has a better year shooting%-wise.

    Which is the horse and which is the cart?

    I mean if a team gets worse in terms of shots-for, then inevitably they’ll also get worse in terms of shots against, and probably take more penalties as well. That will affect the AHL save% a bit, PP shots are harder stop, as a rule.

    Did these teams get worse in terms of shooting numbers, or even goals-for?

    I mean there is a lot of randomness in Save% over two seasons. Random chance says that a robot goalie programmed to stop 92% of pucks, facing 1000 shots per year, he’ll average a change in Save% of .010. That’s if he is playing on a robot team in a robot league … i.e. no team effect on EVsave%.

    And in those years that his number drops, there is a good chance that his team will do worse at winning games.

    BTW: What do you think the average season to season EVsave% change is for NHL goalies with career evsave% numbers in the .920 range? when the playing filed is levelled by using a thousand shots?

  32. Vic Ferrari says:

    Also, if anyone is interested in defending Dubnyk, imo they should really use relative save%. Tyler has shown this to be far more effective with the AHL, surely because the AHL has been used as a testing ground for rule changes a lot, goalie equipment, crease rule, a lot of obstruction attempts, etc. And EVsave% isn’t available for that league, or at least it wasn’t last I checked.

    Also, that league historically has a lot of disparity in team quality, and a wildly unbalanced schedule. So there are likely some goalies who played a lot more against skilled shooting teams than other guys, and vice versa.

    And if the Falsons took a whack of penalties and 5v3′s … well you have to expect a lower overall save% in that case.

  33. oilerdago says:

    Quinn: A lot of the issue that people have with Staios revolves around his contract (overpay).

    That said, at this point in his career he’s a decent 3rd pair d-man who blocks shots, will hit someone and is more effective playing 15 minutes a night than 22-25. He’s also been a good mentor and except for 06-07 he’s played 80+ games 4 of the last 5 seasons.

    Contrast that w/Moreau who’s been hurt a lot the last 3 years, played when he should not have and hurt the team as the season went on. I just don’t see him having any trade value at this point and I think given Tambellini’s comments it’s not likely that the team will buy him out.

    Consequently, if anyone were to go, it may very well be Staios (and one of the top 4 D).

  34. Jonathan Willis says:

    Vic: The cart-and-horse argument may be applicable for a bunch of the goaltenders I’ve used as references, but looking at Springfield’s goaltenders I get this:

    JDD – went from .912 to .906 (in limited duty for season 2)
    Dubnyk – went from .904 to .906
    Sabourin – went from .898 and .904 over the past two NHL seasons to .904 in Springfield

    There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Springfield is affecting it’s goaltenders rather than vice versa, since in the 20 games Sabourin/JDD played they should have posted better numbers based on their career.

    I’m not sure what the odds are that it’s random chance for both of them over 20 games, but it seems much more reasonable to assume that it’s a collapse in team quality rather than goaltender quality given who these three guys are and their records season over season.

  35. Jonathan Willis says:

    Also, if anyone is interested in defending Dubnyk, imo they should really use relative save%.

    How does that work, exactly? I haven’t seen it but I’d like to.

    I’m not interested in defending Dubnyk; I’m interested in getting an accurate read on where he’s at, and I don’t think straight save percentage is giving it to us.

  36. Traktor says:

    “Apparently Sam Gagner didn’t progress this year”

    What area did he improve on?

    For every statistic that implies that he’s improved you can find another stat that showed he has stagnated.

    So just forget the stats and tell me what area in his game he has shown marked improvement?

    I’d say he’s a little faster but other than that I don’t know where you’re seeing the progress.

  37. Vic Ferrari says:

    Without doing the math, jonathon, I’d guess about a 40 to 50% chance of changes in SV% coming by chance alone.

  38. Vic Ferrari says:

    Gagner has improved dramatically imo.

    He wins more battles, loses the puck less at boh blue lines, but especially his own, is vastly improved at supporting the puck in his own end. He cheats for the breakout less when he’s the weak side winger (granted he played mor at centre this last year I think). He’s harder on the puck as well, though he still has a long way to go. The play died with him less in the offensive zone.

    I mean he’s still a work in progress, but the arrows are all pointed the right way IMO.

  39. Traktor says:

    That’s a pretty good assessment, Vic.

    I’m not sure I agree about the blue line play though and not sure how different his battles won/lost ratio was either but he’s much more tenacious which caused plenty of turnovers and chaos.

  40. Ribs says:

    I agree with the improvements Vic mentions. MacT will turn him into a checker in no time! Oh wait….

    Part of me does wish Gagner would have kept cheating and scoring and let the defense come with time. Cullen is right in that the second line scoring dried up with the kids.

  41. Vic Ferrari says:

    “not sure how different his battles won/lost ratio was either”

    Bob Johnson used to track that back in the 80s, I’m pretty sure that Constantine did as well. Probably dozens of others, if not most, now.

    Andy Murray, in his brief stint as monotone colour commentator, actually kept track of those during the broadcast.

    Another thing to add on Gagner, is that his shifts ended better a lot more this year, something that’s looking to be even more important to winning than we’d realized.

    I haven’ checked the zoneshift for him, but I would think it would be better.

    I think all the young guys improved their games. I mean that 20-4-1 stretch at the end of the 07/08 season was a short film financed by shot luck. Most of us weren’t expecting a sequel.

  42. Vic Ferrari says:

    Also, the underlying numbers for the team improved from disasterous to merely bad. And this without much in the way of veteran depth up front.

    And the historically bad faceoff year, plus the seeming unwillingness to ice the puck, they contributed as well.

    And especially near the end of the year, they had a few games where they managed to get an early lead on superior teams (SJ, DET, ANA, CGY, CHI) and then hung on for dear life while they got dominated the rest of the way. The team Corsi took a pounding in those ones.

    I’m sure that they will continue to improve next season as well. If they weed out a couple of the kids, add some solid veterans up front … then the playoffs are likely methinks, hockey gods willing.

  43. HBomb says:

    Traktor (RE: Gagner): what Vic said. Stats didn’t improve, but the kid is drastically better in other areas. He no longer looked like a boy lost among men.

    He’s well ahead of Hemsky when Hemsky was the same age. That alone is huge.

  44. rickibear says:

    //For every statistic that implies that he’s improved you can find another stat that showed he has stagnated.//

    Traktor for you: Doom And Gloom
    Ganger what ever will we do?

    From My Oilersnation comment:

    Gagner made the NHL at age 18 and averaged over .5 pts/GM.

    How many in the last 45 years:

    1 Sidney Crosby 2006 2007 PIT 1.39
    2 Dale Hawerchuk 1982 1983 WPG 1.22
    3 Jimmy Carson 1987 1988 LAK 1.16
    4 Ron Francis 1982 1983 HAR 1.14
    5 Steve Yzerman 1984 1985 DET 1.1
    6 Brian Bellows 1983 1984 MNS 0.95
    7 Ed Olczyk 1985 1986 CBH 0.87
    8 Bob Carpenter 1982 1983 WSH 0.85
    9 Jaromir Jagr 1991 1992 PIT 0.84
    10 Pierre Turgeon 1988 1989 BUF 0.83
    11 Ilya Kovalchuk 2002 2003 ATL 0.81
    12 Kirk Muller 1985 1986 NJD 0.76
    13 Trevor Linden 1989 1990 VAN 0.72
    14 Marian Gaborik 2001 2002 MIN 0.69
    15 Rick Nash 2003 2004 CBJ 0.62
    16 V Lecavalier 1999 2000 TBL 0.59
    17 Sam Gagner 2008 2009 EDM 0.58
    18 Craig Simpson 1986 1987 PIT 0.53
    19 Patrick Marleau 1998 1999 SJS 0.5
    20 Rick Hampton 1975 1976 CGS 0.5

    How many in the last 15 years.

    1-Sidney Crosby—2006 to 200—PIT—1.39
    11-Ilya Kovalchuk—2002 to 2003—ATL—0.81
    14-Marian Gaborik—2001 to 2002—MIN—0.69
    15-Rick Nash—2003 to 2004—CBJ—0.62
    16-V Lecavalier—1999 to 2000—TBL—0.59
    17-Sam Gagner—2008 to 2009—EDM—0.58
    19-Patrick Marleau—1998 to 1999—SJS 0.5

    Yeah I am real worried about his less than perfect production rates at this age.

  45. PDO says:

    What does the math say about this Swedish goalie who is putting on a show….?

  46. Jfry says:


    - big ice is nice
    - cajanek would look good as a depth center and PK option
    - omark is more than just youtube highlights … it would be amazing if he could step in as a top 6 option in two years. it would be even more amazing if we could condition all our prospects that they’re 3-5 years from getting a sniff.

  47. Bruce says:

    Sam Gagner +/-:

    2007-08: -21
    2008-09: -1
    I’d call that an improvement. Also consider these 5v5 numbers:
    2007-08: 2.33 GF ON/60
    2008-09: 2.59 GF ON/60

    2007-08: 3.19 GA ON/60
    2008-09: 2.35 GA ON/60

    2007-08: -5.6 Corsi/60
    2008-09: -0.9 Corsi/60
    I like the direction of those arrows.

  48. bookie says:

    1-Sidney Crosby—2006 to 200—PIT—1.39
    11-Ilya Kovalchuk—2002 to 2003—ATL—0.81
    14-Marian Gaborik—2001 to 2002—MIN—0.69
    15-Rick Nash—2003 to 2004—CBJ—0.62
    16-V Lecavalier—1999 to 2000—TBL—0.59
    17-Sam Gagner—2008 to 2009—EDM—0.58
    19-Patrick Marleau—1998 to 1999—SJS 0.5
    Clearly an abject failure

  49. Vic Ferrari says:

    Just to pile on:

    0708 zoneshift: -50
    0809 zoneshift: -20

    Still no hell, but a vast improvement.

    And Cogliano:

    0708 zoneshift: -54
    0809 zoneshift: +9

    That’s a dramatic change for Cogliano. Damn, I wouldn’t have guessed it was that much.

    The pucks didn’t go in for him and his linemates much in the back third of the season. But that’s an indicator of a dramatic improvement in his overall game I think.

  50. Vic Ferrari says:


    Looking at the wrong stuff, 0809 zoneshift for 89 and 13 should be -37 and -19.

    Improved, but not by nearly as much as I thought.

  51. Fishskin says:

    Let’s face it…the Oilers system is a graveyard for young goaltenders. When’s the last time we have developed a goalie from within the system….early 80′s??? None of our listed prospects will ever hit the ice on a regular basis. BTW…Glenn Fisher never had a bad beginning to the season in Springfield…he just never got to play. Our expert ex coach played Dubnyk every game basically…including weekends where the team would play 3 in a row Fri thru Sun.

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