The Long and Winding Road

No matter what happens, the Edmonton Oilers cannot claim any kind of brilliance in the development of Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. Drafted in 2002 (he fell, JDD was the number one NA goalie that season according to several scouting services), Deslauriers has been a nomad and has often been inert since turning pro in 2004.

The Oilers didn’t have a farm team at times, didn’t have a very good farm team at others, and finally had him spend his first NHL season sitting on his bottom for most of the games. Despite being taken pretty early (Oilers dealt Jochen Hecht for the picks that became Deslauriers and Stoll), JDD has taken exactly forever to get here. The questions are many: is he any good? If he is, why didn’t MacT play him? Did last night serve notice to the Oilers and the rest of the league? If JDD’s numbers in the minors are average (and they are) then what does that tell us about tracking goalie prospects using minor league numbers? Does it mean Dubnyk will be an equally large surprise?

By way of example, here’s where I’ve had him rated at various times during his career on the top 20 prospect list:

  • June 2003: #6
  • November 2004: #2
  • Spring 2005: #2
  • Winter 2006: #11
  • June 2007: Not on the list
  • Winter 2007: #17
  • Summer 2008: #17
  • Winter 2008: #12
  • Summer 2009: #15

I summed up my own feelings on him in the winter of 2008 when ranking him 17th:


  • However, his junior and minor league seasons rolling out over half a decade tells us he’s a mid-level prospect, properly slotted after the rocket prospects and a few of the flawed men, but well ahead of the muckers, grinders, imps, Coke machines with questionable hands, the Hail Mary’s and the personal favourites.

If JDD does develop and become a quality #1 starter, guys like me are going to need to take a long look at save percantage and its value. Things like quality of team, number of powerplays surrendered and experience level of the blue may need to be factored in and honestly the idea that AHL save percentage is a number that predicts the future might be called into question.

For their part, I’ve long felt the Oilers needed to make a decision on this player and the management has hung onto him like grim death, bastardizing last year’s roster to keep him away from waivers. I do not understand why they’ve developed him this way, and if he ends up being an actual player then the Oilers organization has to ask some pretty basic questions. Like, do we know what the hell we’re doing.

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59 Responses to "The Long and Winding Road"

  1. Smarmy Boss says:

    I never really felt like Deslauriers took forever to get here. It always seemed like goaltenders take much longer to find their game and seem to reach their peak in their 30's.

    Of course, these days teams are finding tenders that jump right in and dominate. However, there was a time where the Roy's and Brodeur's and Dryden's were a rare site to break out on the league at age 20.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Smarmy Boss: And yet JDD trails many from his own draft year. Here are the NHL games played totals for 2002 draftees:

    Cam Ward 230
    Kari Lehtonen 204
    Fredrik Norrena 100
    Hannu Toivenen 61
    Josh Harding 59
    David LeNeveu 21
    Curtis McElhinney 20
    Mike McKenna 15
    Barry Brust 11
    Tobias Stephen 11
    JDD 10

  3. quain says:

    We remember the New York roadtrip right? .974 vs NJD, .952 vs NYR, and even prefaced it with 26 minutes of shutout hockey in relief against Pittsburgh. He still finished the season with a .901… so let's be a little patient before talking about him coming into his own as a #1.

    And, the question is, why do we have to wait to ask Edmonton if they know what the hell they're doing? They hung onto JDD like he was Carey Price… and then signed Khabibulin for four years. Do good teams worry that damn much about backups who have shown nothing?

  4. Lowetide says:

    quain: Absolutely. JDD's performance last night isn't anything more than a solid outing by a young netminder. But let me ask you this: don't most teams get more out of seasons in which they finish out of the playoffs? The Oilers didn't answer the JDD question so it's left to Quinn to answer it.

    I know many like to bring everything back to Khabibulin but there's not much left to argue. I like the player, not the contract and term. I look forward to 4 more years of "I told you so" but it doesn't really move the conversation forward.

  5. quain says:

    I'm not even hitting you on Khabibulin, I'm hitting the organization. They treat JDD like he's going to be the future of the organization… and then sign Khabibulin to a contract that makes him our starter for the next three years.

    It's another bipolar organizational move in a long line of bipolar moves.

  6. Lowetide says:

    quain: I think the Khabibulin move makes sense if you plan to develop JDD or DD, makes little sense if you plan to develop both of them.

    The Oilers can protect both next year (by allowing Khabibulin to clear waivers) but are unlikely to do so. In fact, this winter is a lot about the future of the Oilers in goal, with Deslauriers' game last night an impressive argument in his favor.

  7. quain says:

    I think right now we have something resembling a plan (the veteran and the kid), but is it the right plan? I know Edmonton vacilates between 'development year' and 'go-for-it year' every half hour, but when your veteran has a less than spectacular record of health doesn't it makes sense to have a real backup? And if you're willing to forsake that in hopes the kid can be the guy, are we going to stick to that? Or are we going to have DD up here as third wheel next season?

    I don't think there has ever been a minute when Edmonton didn't have a plan, I just think they plan for days rather than seasons.

  8. Lowetide says:

    quain: I agree completely. The Oilers are like that old Dockers commercial about the guy who "meets a girl, falls in love, meets another girl, fall in love.."

    That's why the most galling thing about them is that this beauty Hemsky contract is being wasted.

  9. kris says:

    LT,

    If JDD (Or is it just 'JD' now?) plays 30 games this year and next year plays like a starter, does this mean management was wrong to keep him?

    I'd have thought the opposite, that JDD's success -if it happens- would be evidence the Oilers are making sound judgments.

    We all agree the Khabi contract was too much. And we all agree it sucked that there was no farm team for JDD, though we don't really know what impact that had, really.

    But if JDD can play, the "saw him good" guys and the Oilers pro-scouts may be proving that they know what they're doing.

    That is, wouldn't JD's becoming a solid goalie be -perhaps like the Souray signing- a "told you so" moment for the organization? (Not that they'd bother saying it.)

    Sometimes you have to give the devil his due.

  10. Lowetide says:

    kris: Absolutely. That was my point in the original post where I suggested we'd have to look at the evaluation method among the math people if a player like JDD becomes a solid #1 in the NHL.

    My question with regard to the Oilers has more to do with how he was handled once entering the pro game. By anyone's standards he was robbed of valuable development time because the Oilers didn't have their own farm team.

    Crazy.

    And then, in a season where they felt he was too valuable to expose to waivers, the head coach won't play him.

    I think that may have been addressed with MacT's firing, but really if they're all about development then perhaps the coaching change should have happened earlier.

  11. Spot The Loon says:

    Quain and LT,

    I think that you have both hit on a theme that I find incredibly puzzling. Management seems to lack clear vision that they are willing to stay with. Along the way, they are fascinated by shiny objects they see along the path or they suffer from ADD. The signing of Hemsky to a bargain long term deal was a wonderful thing and left the average fan with the feeling that this is a player capable of building around. But, in all honesty, what have they done to follow that plan?

    LT: Where do you see the Oilers going long term? Do you see evidence of any sort of plan or is more of a reactionary thing where they will continue to change focus and be captivated by shiny objects along the way?

  12. Lowetide says:

    Spot the Loon: My honest opinion is that the Oilers will be saved by the procurement department.

  13. Bookie says:

    The questions are many: is he any good? If he is, why didn't MacT play him?

    He was a coach who was a control freak over the last few years and he was as terrified of making a mistake as he managed to make his players be… He was as fearful with Garon (maybe rightfully in both cases, but you dont know until you play them)

    The reality is that to have to 'put yourself out there' sometimes and see what happens.

    On an added note, Lowe really botched the whole developement system and JDD is part of that. No minor league team=failure.

    I think Tambellini is getting things in order.

  14. rickibear says:

    A true save percentage would be nice. Base it on the scoring potential of each shot by each player. The old nba shot chart.

    See ESPN for the current nhl version. Gamecast gives the context of each shot. Apply the players math to it.

    Player X who scores at rate A in shot position A. You sum up the quality of shots faced to get an expected goal total versus goals given up.

    Suddenly less praise for the Netminder who get easier shots.

  15. godot10 says:

    If Deslauriers plays really, really well, the Oilers can perhaps trade Khabibulin to Chicago for Patrick Sharp at the deadline, or next summer.

    Or for Simon Gagne, if Emery falters.

    The thing about Khabibulin is that somebody may come calling for him.

  16. Bookie says:

    If Deslauriers plays really, really well, the Oilers can perhaps trade Khabibulin to Chicago for Patrick Sharp at the deadline, or next summer.

    I would be surpised, but happy, if he played well enough to be able to do that.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Bookie: I don't think we can really talk about MacTavish in a way that might sway the other person's opinions. Clearly you don't think he was much, and I do.

    Having said that, there are some things I wonder about in regard to MacT and one of them is Deslauriers. There is a difference in not trusting a player because he hasn't shown much and not trusting a player because you're stubborn on him.

    I would like to know the thought process on this player, and suspect the words "terrified" and "fearful" weren't among them.

    Stubborn? Yes. Fearful? I didn't see it.

  18. Mr DeBakey says:

    On an added note, Lowe really botched the whole developement system and JDD is part of that. No minor league team=failure.

    I'm not sure you can hang the non-AHL team on Lowe.
    I believe that was a corporate decision.

  19. Bruce says:

    Mr. dB: I'm with you on that. I'm looking at EIG and Patrick Laforge as much as K-Lowe for the discontinuation of the Roadrunners.
    But I certainly agree it was a disastrous decision, and have been outspoken on the subject since Day One. Take a year off to "level the playing field" and the first thing you do is to voluntarily become the Only team without an AHL team? Absolutely fucking stupid.

  20. godot10 says:

    MacT never managed his goaltenders well.

    But it is hard to blame him for what he did with the goaltenders last year, because MacT knew his job was at stake, which made him extremely short term focused.

    The thing about JDD's journey is that he has had to develop some mental toughness.

    And if not for MacT's survival fight last year, JDD's games played would not be that far behind Harding's.

    Plus, goaltender development is alway weird. There are always outliers.

    Statistics are only useful if one knows the error bar or standard deviation. Without that one cannot assign a confidence level in the statistics. These advanced statistics are nice, but nobody is quoting error bars with them.

    Ideally, the Oilers would have found out about JDD last year.

  21. Dennis says:

    I have to take umbrage with the Souray signing being an "I told you so moment" for anyone, let alone the Oilers brass.

    I said I didn't think he could play tough min and that I thought he was an injury concern; and then he went out and missed 75% of his first season.

    Now, last year he was healthy again but if he misses a chunk of the '10 season, no one should be trumpeting the move.

    Regarding 83, I'm not turning on the guy and I still love the contract but would he get a lot more if let's say he was UFA come the end of this season? His cap hit's around 4.3, right?

    I am gonna say this knowing that there are wingnuts out there and that one of them once gave Gomez 7 mill a year and of course there's the Brier contract – so perhaps I am killing myself before I start;) – but would 83 get more than 6 mill a season?

  22. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I'm certainly no goalie expert, but to my eye JDD has most of the physical tools to be at least a platoon starter in a year or two.

    Height, Reach, Flexibility, Reflexes. Needs to improve his puckhandling.

    He also seems to have most of the mental skills down pat as well:
    Keeps his cool, Not overly emotional, doesn't hang head or loose it after a goal, not complaining to the refs every play.

    If he can emulate JS Giguere's positioning the Oilers may have something.

    It appears his athletisism sometimes causes him to over commit to long shots so he is susceptible to deflections and rebounds.

    As for the DD / JDD decision: I can see them with a 3 headed goalie monster next year. They've done this 2 out of the last 4 years and the Oilers MO is to delay personnel decisions as long as possible.

  23. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Just glancing at the stats, but it's nice to see almost everybody with satisfactory to good numbers.

    The only guys that you could say are below expectations with regards to stats would be Horc, Souray, and Gilbert.

    When is the last time the Oilers had only 4 players as minus players? Smid's +4 is particularily impressive.

  24. oilerdiehard says:

    They are saying on Oilers Lunch that Pouliot will have hernia surgery and could be out 8-10 weeks. Ouch.

  25. Bendelson says:

    I think you nailed it GoDot.

    I'm not an all out MacT hater by any stretch, but we all know we handled his goaltenders poorly. Does anybody remember our #3 goalie playing in the Stanley Cup Finals not-so-long-ago?

    So JDD didn't get a fair chance last season. Hang it on 'MacT the desperate' and move forward.

    Sure the lack of a legitimate farm system has likely stalled JDD and Dubnyk in their 'ideal' progression, but the difference in confidence with JDD this season seems obvious to me anyways. Let him play 20-25 and evaluate at seasons end.

    I'm confident when all is said and done, JDD will be a superior back-up to McElhinney (not a stretch), and give the Oilers some interesting decisions next summer when it comes to getting Dubnyk to the NHL.

    A solid veteran goalie and two enormous young up-and-comers?
    It's not the worst scenario in the world.

  26. Bendelson says:

    I think you nailed it GoDot.

    I'm not an all out MacT hater by any stretch, but we all know we handled his goaltenders poorly. Does anybody remember our #3 goalie playing in the Stanley Cup Finals not-so-long-ago?

    So JDD didn't get a fair chance last season. Hang it on 'MacT the desperate' and move forward.

    Sure the lack of a legitimate farm system has likely stalled JDD and Dubnyk in their 'ideal' progression, but the difference in confidence with JDD this season seems obvious to me anyways. Let him play 20-25 and evaluate at seasons end.

    I'm confident when all is said and done, JDD will be a superior back-up to McElhinney (not a stretch), and give the Oilers some interesting decisions next summer when it comes to getting Dubnyk to the NHL.

    A solid veteran goalie and two enormous young up-and-comers?
    It's not the worst scenario in the world.

  27. spOILer says:

    It's the lack of a record of PP shots in the AHL that's driving me nuts right now. Damn you AHL! Why don't you use an NHL style scoresheet? Don't you know we have prospect goalies to eval over here in the Oilogosphere?

  28. Black Dog says:

    Bendelson's so excited he had to say it twice.

    A nice start for JDD. We only need, oh, a couple more dozen of those please.

    What's interesting about the Oilers' start is that it reflects the way Quinn's Leafs used to play. Those clubs would often get outshot and quite regularly outchanced but they had good goaltending and they certainly won more games than then lost.

    I think the one positive I have taken from these first five games is that this club seems to have no problem scoring and that there is balance there.

    Three guys with five points, another four with four.

    Horcoff, Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert with very little in the way of counting numbers on top of that.

    That's a good sign.

  29. Black Dog says:

    Oops, wanted to add one last point. While there have been times where they've been outplayed and there have been some dummy mistakes they haven't had any stretches where we can say 'man these guys just aren't into it' imo.

    And after last season that is refreshing.

  30. Bookie says:

    Bookie: I don't think we can really talk about MacTavish in a way that might sway the other person's opinions. Clearly you don't think he was much, and I do.

    Fair enough, I used to defend MacT a lot, but like an ex smoker, once you switch sides…

    One thing that I strongly believe is that there is not enough info to really know with a lot of uncertainty what impact MacT had. It does largely come down to educated guesses (assessment?). If we knew an insider who could give us a fuller picture, we would know more. If he had more coaching gigs (like Keenan), we would know more.

    I think perhaps pressure would be a better word than 'terrified' (maybe I was melodramatic this morning). Pressured to win, and not just for his job. Maybe stubborn is even more accurate though. You have to wonder if the moves with Penner were an effort to get more out of him in the long run as opposed to reuniting Horpensky which may have added a couple of W's to the win/lose column.

    Again, hard to know with a coach. I feel more confident assessing GMs than I do coaches.

  31. PDO says:

    Three rules regarding drafting young goalies…

    #1) Goalies are witchcraft.
    #2) Never use a high pick on one.
    #3) Goalies are witchcraft.

  32. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Yeah, they seem to be a spirited bunch. Part of it comes from MacT leaving and fresh air being let into the room, but there are some very specific changes.

    One that has had a huge impact is the controlled breakouts. The Oilers are (at a guess) spending a lot less time fumbling around in their own zone than they did a year ago. On top of that, although they are predictable passes, they're shorter and have a better chance of succeeding (higher percentage passes).

    After watching Staios rip it around the boards for the last three seasons I thank God Almighty that option doesn't appear to be in the playbook.

  33. Bookie says:

    THe following is from an article on the Flames. It reminds me a lot of the Oilers at this time last year. Big Hopes and Dreams for the team, but questions starting to form about committment. I hope they follow the Oil's pattern of last year.

    Sutter was succinct the morning after the night before.

    "I want a team here tonight that's willing to compete in tough areas," said Sutter, who was all business.

    "A team that's committed to doing things the right way and a team that wants to be on the program."

    Sutter has been trying madly to get his team to buy into a 60-minute game, and it hasn't happened.

    Maybe blowing such a lead will hammer the message home.

    "You can hear it from coaches. You can talk about it. But until it actually happens to you, that's when it starts hitting you. Last night was just an example of too much inconsistency, too much non-team play," he said. "Not a big enough commitment.

    "We're 4-1-1 and it's not acceptable the way we're playing."

  34. Lowetide says:

    Bookie: How many rookie centers do the Flames roll every night?

  35. Black Dog says:

    LT – yes agreed

    Its interesting. Its early but there is no doubt that the coaching change has paid dividends, a new voice and all that.

    MacT lost me last year, I have no doubt that he is a good coach but so is Pat Quinn – it seems that shortterm anyhow he has made the difference for a number of guys

    Of course one might say that these guys (Smid for example) were ready to turn the corner anyhow.

    At the very least so far Quinn does have the club playing with enthusiasm, which one would hope, considering they are generally a young group.

  36. Bill Needle says:

    When the quantitative analysis doesn't help you, it's time to set the numbers aside and use your eyes.
    The Oilers appear to like what they see out of Deslauriers and keep seeing what they like whenever the scouts and coaches check him out.
    One big plus: despite all of the hurdles that have been thrown in his way, Deslauriers continues to cope and get better. You don't hear him whining about playing time or when he gets sent down for a conditioning stint. He just keeps practising and playing ass well as he can when he does.
    He's got the attitude that everyone in these parts wished unmentionable aspiring pros would have had.
    I didn't have the chance to see Monday's game, but it sounds like his best as an Oiler. It appears he's developing just fine.

  37. B.C.B. says:

    Dennis: Hemsky is not worth over 6 million, But he is under paid at 4.3 millon. Here are the 4.0-5.0 million dollar forwards in the NHL.:
    ANA: Lupul: 4.25
    ATL: Antropow 4.06
    BOS: next year Lucic: 4.08
    BUF: Connolly 4.5, Roy 4.0
    COL: Langkow: 4.5
    CBJ: Hulelius 4.75
    DAL: Morrow 4.1, and next year Erikson 4.3
    EDM: Penner 4.25
    FLO: Booth 4.25, Horton 4
    LA: Handzus 4
    MIN: Bouchard
    NAS: Erat 4.5,Legwand 4.5, Dumont 4
    OTT: Fisher 4.2, Michalek 4.3
    PHI: Hartnell 4.25
    PHX Doan. 4.5
    PIT: Stall 4
    STL: Boyes 4
    TB: Malone 4.25
    TO: Blake 4
    VAN: Demetria 4
    WAS: Semin 4.6, Nylander 4.9

    I would say Hemskey is a bit under payed, but I would see Hemesky get more then 5.5 million a season for 4-5 seasons.

  38. Doogie2K says:

    I've always believed that save percentage as the first and last measure of goalie quality, as it's often treated, is flawed. I said it with regard to Dubnyk's .906 last year (final paragraph here), and to a lesser extent about Khabibulin's Chicago years, but I think you need to consider the quality of the D, and what the ratio is of EV:SH:PP time. (Fun fact: the Blackhawks were 2nd, 2nd, and 4th in Times Shorthanded from 2005-08.) Even if you don't think individuals in a vacuum bump the needle much on SV% (the conventional wisdom in these parts), playing behind shitty D is going to cost you more goals than playing behind a good D; that's blindingly obvious. If we hold goalies to a different standard for SV% on the PK (.900 being a good number) than we do for EV (.900 being putrid), why don't we hold them to a different standard for good teams (.910-.915 cumulative being expected) versus bad teams (as a guess, .900-.905)?

    It's ironic that a lot of the math guys are all about context in skater numbers, yet no one seems much interested in context for goalie numbers, at least not that I've seen. Surely we can look at stuff like Corsi and Zonestart, at least at the NHL level, and get a rough idea of which way the puck's going for certain teams and give goalies more or less rope for SV% based on that?

  39. Bookie says:

    Bookie: How many rookie centers do the Flames roll every night?

    I don't care if they have Jesus and Buddha on their team, I still want them to lose!

    I don't really expect them to fall to 11th place, because as you have indicated, they are a team with lots of good parts. I wouldn't mind however if those parts never really find their way to being a team. If that causes them to struggle a bit that would be fine by me.

  40. Woodguy says:

    After watching Staios rip it around the boards for the last three seasons I thank God Almighty that option doesn't appear to be in the playbook.

    The point that I knew this season would be different was a post game presser early in pre-season.

    Steady Steve had used his tried and true panic button off the glass and out move a few times.

    Paraphrasing Ole Timey Coach he said "I don't know where these guys are getting their breakouts from. We had guys ripping it around the glass…I don't know where they learned that, but it wasn't from me"

    Then Quinn taking Moreau to task for his idiocy at the end of the Calgary game was refreshing too.

    Not to pound on those two guys, but they were the biggest beneficiaries of the MacT vetern slack, and OTC seems to only give slack if you do exactly as he asks.

    His team wins 6-1 and he talks about a "fancy dan" causing the odd man rush for the one goal against.

    I think OTC also knows when to back off a bit, too much criticizing will wear on everybody. But its early and he's drilling it into the guys that you are going to play his way, win or lose.

    I like that.

  41. Schitzo says:

    "Sutter was succinct the morning after the night before."

    That's quite the phrase, right there. I wonder how often the morning after follows the night before.

  42. flamingpavelbure says:

    I think goalie is the most erratic and unpredictable position in all major sports.

    I personally think, a 1st round pick on a goalie is waste, total waste. It's so unpredictable, and all previous super high goalie picks have been under what we could expect. (Fleury(Minus this year's playoffs maybe)Lethonen, Dipietro, Al Montoya etc.)

    I personally think Price will never be worth it.

    Anyways, fact is, in that domain, it feels so random, most of the time, the guys that seem in advance get shafted by other random guys coming out of nowhere. Goalies can be found litteraly everywhere. So i don't think you should panic about that, at worst you can get an European goalie rocking theyr leagues, it seems guys like Lundvist, Gustavsson and Backstrom are doing just dandy.

    Hiller, Thomas, Kiprusoff, Mason, Miller, Huet, Anderson, Turco, Khabibulin, Vokoun, Quick, Backstrom, Rinne, Lundqvist, Emery, Bryzgalov, Nabokov, Smith.

    Pretty much a huge list of actual Number 1 Goaltenders, all outside of first round, and all followed a pretty irregular path (tough i think it's normal to be irregular for a Goalie). And they are all pretty neat goaltenders.

    Sometimes, it's just a matter of them seeing a lot of icetime or not. Givin' a crack at it or not.

    Let JDD play, if he fails to get reasonable numbers, then you can call DD.

  43. quain says:

    If we hold goalies to a different standard for SV% on the PK (.900 being a good number) than we do for EV (.900 being putrid), why don't we hold them to a different standard for good teams (.910-.915 cumulative being expected) versus bad teams (as a guess, .900-.905)?

    What comes first though? The chicken or the egg? Is a team bad in part because of a goaltender, or is the goaltender bad because of the team? Also, why would we use Corsi/ZoneStart to evaluate goaltenders? They're essentially tied to shooting, which is already a factor in SV%?

  44. LMHF#1 says:

    "Saw him good" is going to win this argument in the end I'm thinking.

    I'm a Deslauriers fan; he's big, moves well, and is never out of the play. He's always looked a fair bit better than Dubnyk to me and it seems as though he just may prove that this year.

  45. Master Lok says:

    I read the same article Bookie, and I thought the same thing – that Sutter reminded me of MacT is some ways.

    For all those criticizing MacT's "poor" handling of the goalie, I think I need to remind people that he was stuck with THREE goalies in two of his years. I don't know how many coaches could make the handle a three goalie system without any criticism.

  46. Dennis says:

    BCB: OK, fair enough. All I'm saying is that, heretofore, 83 hasn't been the bargain that he looked to be.

    Sure, that might change over the last three years but right now I don't think he'd get past 6 mill on the open market.

    So, let's say he was available and we did have to give him 6 mill for this season. That would only mean we'd have to stash 18's pact in the minors and replace with him a guy making Reddox money.

    On Quinn: I also love how contrary he is and how he shows no signs of letting guys off with mistakes; and I think that's the way he's gonna have to play things this whole season.

    But I would give his shelf life with this club at three years tops.

  47. DeeDee says:

    So the Oilers get a chance to develop Deslauriers and bring him along slowly and let him grow into the job.

    Let him play 20 or so games this year and see what happens.

    Better than the usual Oiler rookie treatment of throwing them overboard and seeing if they sink or swim.

    They will be neding Dubnyk as well if Khabibulin gets injured, which is pretty much guaranteed at his age.

  48. speeds says:

    Kris:

    If the Oilers were sure Deslauriers was going to be a reasonable #1 goalie, why would they have signed Khabibulin to the contract they did?

  49. kris says:

    Dennis,

    I agree on 83, entirely.

    Regarding the Souray signing, I didn't mean you specifically, but I do remember lot's of people -myself included- saying that Souray couldn't defend at ES, especially in transition, that he would be destroyed by tough comp., and that therefore he wasn't worth the money. The numbers didn't make Souray look great at ES, so we had evidence.

    In interviews MacT and Lowe said they thought the guy could really defend, despite the evidence. They "saw" it in how he played. He isn't a perfect player, but they were right.

    Now don't get me wrong, I think the numbers tell us a lot about the players, and if GM's paid more attention to them, they'd be way better off. But Souray isn't the player we thought he would be, regardless of injuries, no? I didn't see it anyway. Maybe JDD is some evidence of the organization's ability to see talent, just like the Souray signing. That's all I'm saying.

  50. kris says:

    Speeds,

    It's better to have two good goalies than one?

    Right or wrong, the thought process was of management in this was simple: JDD has talent, therefore there is a strong chance he will be ready to be a good backup now, a decent chance he'll be a starter soon, and a small chance he's ready to start now. No prospect is a sure thing, especially a goalie, and that's how they saw the odds, IMO.

    So they say to themselves: If we only have JDD and someone similarly unproven, we could blow the whole season. The odds of him being ready to start now are too low. So let's sign a proven guy to cover our bases. If JDD plays like a starter, it's win-win. If he can't start, we're still okay, cause he's the backup. And if he can't be a backup, which we think is improbable, we waive him, sign a cheap FA and try something else.

    I'm not saying the Tyler/Red Wings goalie approach isn't a better strategy, but the strategy here is reasonable. Have a sure fire guy as starter and a young guy as backup. Worst case scenario, JDD so outplays Khabibulin that JDD demands big bucks and we can't find the money to pay him and we can't deal or waive Khabibulin because of his contract. (Or they both suck…) The Oilers think the worst case scenario is highly improbable because of what they see in how these goalies play. That's all.

    I think LT is right that, and I'm guessing here, the reason things went sour is that MacT wouldn't play JDD and Tamb. wanted to give him a shot. That's why the JDD stuff looks insane.

  51. Asiaoil says:

    Every year it's the same – JDD starts hot and and the hype starts – then he falls flat on his face or doesn't even see the ice the second half of the year. Rinse repeat. Still think he will be a decent backup or bottom end starter eventually – not much more – and nothing in his 5 years of pro hockey suggests anything else. Sure a handful of guys follow bizarre development paths – but you don't count on that or even worry about it with the excess number of goalies around. Third round seems like a nice place to grab a goalie regularly – the quality of skaters takes a dip around that number and you get lucky occasionally.

  52. Doogie2K says:

    What comes first though? The chicken or the egg? Is a team bad in part because of a goaltender, or is the goaltender bad because of the team? Also, why would we use Corsi/ZoneStart to evaluate goaltenders? They're essentially tied to shooting, which is already a factor in SV%?

    I don't have an easy answer for that, other than "watch the game," though maybe the measures I mentioned, the measures that see consistent use around here, might help. But I think we can all agree that, for example, Springfield's defence was kind of bad last year, because it was beset by injuries and ECHLers, and I think that has to be a mitigating factor when discussing SV%.

    Also, I'm not sure I understand the other comment. Corsi is tied to shot attempts, whereas SV% is only a factor of shots on net. Zonestart is tied to faceoffs.

  53. the 0 in 0rca is for 0 cups says:

    there's no way we would start the year with just jdd and dd. or passmore. hopefully khabi and jdd make a good one-two. tough call on playing the old goalie against his old team or old 40 saves.

    i'd like us to throw in georges with his harem. probably good for turning away a few pucks.

  54. raventalon40 says:

    @quain:

    MacT never really gave JDD a chance to start and play a full game except during that road trip.

    If I recall correctly, most of those later games came in relief of Dwayne Roloson in games where the rest of the Oilers team was absent.

  55. raventalon40 says:

    @speeds:

    I think that was an issue of what the market was dictating for goaltenders in terms of price and term.

    Term was standard but price varied a little bit.

    Khabibulin was 3.75 and most of the other decent goalies were signing for 2.5. Emery is an exception because he probably wanted to join a good team that was going to compete. But the Oilers overpaid because they spent early – like buying a brand new PS3 or TV the day it comes out as opposed to waiting until Boxing Day.

    Either way, his term is still long for a goalie his age but within the expected standard range of 2-4 years for a UFA player.

    I think it doesn't really say much about what the organization thinks of JDD other than the fact that they don't think he's going to be ready to carry the team, which is not something you expect a guy with 10 GP under his belt to do anyway, no matter how highly you think of the player.

  56. Doogie2K says:

    like buying a brand new PS3 or TV the day it comes out as opposed to waiting until Boxing Day.

    At least launch PS3s could play your old PS2 games. Unless you figure Khabibulin's going to teach the kid something, I'm not sure what you're getting by jumping first, other than Your Guy.

  57. Icecastles says:

    Doogie: I think that's exactly what you get with Khabi, actually. I've heard mentioned a couple times (once from one of the Journal writers and once in an interview with Khabi himself) that he really enjoys mentoring young goalies. That's probably the intangible he brings that other FA goalies lacked: if he can mentor JDD and help his development, that is a major plus for the future of the Oilers' goalie situation.

  58. raventalon40 says:

    @Doogie2k:

    You're getting "your guy" and the guarantee that you won't be going into the season with JDD (GP = 10) and… I don't know… Wade Dubliewicz or some other bum.

  59. jonathanjoyce says:

    I think I agree with FlamingPavelBure though it is just a gut feeling. I would almost rather JDD and DD get a shot to prove that one of them is an elite goalie. To always sign aging guys and play them is to ensure we never find our own Miller, Lunquist, etc.

    The issue is that the Oilers have historically played poor team defense and given up high quality shots. Without Roli heroics last year we might have battled the Avs for last place.

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