Devan’s Time?

Devan Dubnyk made a major error last night on the 2-1 goal, but he also made some enormous saves late in the game as Edmonton took two points from the San Jose Sharks. Dubnyk has been inconsistent this season, enjoying a strong January and then a poor February. Is Devan Dunbyk blowing his chance to be an NHL starter?

When it comes to Oiler goalie draft picks who ended up having careers, there’s Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog and then a massive gap to Jussi Markkanen. Devan Dubnyk is already 4th on the all-time list of Oilers drafts at the position (89) and he’s about one season away from catching the Finn. Fuhr? He’s 779 games behind Fuhr and trails Moog by 624.

Dubnyk’s stats are very interesting. His SP by discipline:

  • EV: .921, tied for 22nd among regulars with Pavelec (WPG) and Varlamov (COL)
  • PP: .843, 59th in the NHL
  • PK: .852, 62nd in the NHL

Weird stats, no doubt. The PP SP is very poor and costly. I wonder if there’s something to the Darren Pang comments David Staples discussed a month ago (I won’t quote the entire item, but Pang said “I did a poll of four NHL GMs about Devan Dubnyk and asked them what they thought his upside would be as a #1 goaltender. The answer coming back is: No.”) in which the former goalie focused on DD’s lack of lateral movement? That might be part of the difficulty on the PP.

Edmonton’s summer 2012 is going to be a big one. The GM and coach of this team are going to need strong goaltending to make up for holes and youth elsewhere. I think the Oilers would be wise to bring back Dubnyk as the number one, but also have a strong option as a backup–stronger than the fading Nikolai Khabibulin. Is it Ben Bishop as a backup who might be better? Cory Schneider, a clear number one for the future? Josh Harding, a player who might emerge?

What say you?

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32 Responses to "Devan’s Time?"

  1. godot10 says:

    Bishop signed a contract in Ottawa. Auld is a UFA. Lehner will still be on his ELC. So Bishop is NOT available. He will backup Anderson next year.

  2. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Bishop signed a contract in Ottawa.Auld is a UFA.Lehner will still be on his ELC.So Bishop is NOT available.He will backup Anderson next year.

    I understand the idea that Bishop isn’t available, but Lehner might force the issue. Bishop is an interesting option imo, and I think he’s one who could be available in the next few months.

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think Dubnyk is worth 1 more contract-1 year 1 way for roughly the same money…but he’s running out of runway as far as I’m concerned.
    We’re getting to the point where what you see is what you get.

    If they can acquire a Bishop/Harding type that’s fine but I think we’ll see the same tandem at training camp and they’ll move Khabi at the deadline for whatever they can get.

  4. nathan says:

    How do those numbers break down by year?

  5. neojanus says:

    I can’t believe you are so warm to Dubnyk after his trial and error play this year.

    Yes, he makes some great stops… so does every other goalie in the world. I saw a nine-year-old rob a seventeen-year-old in a family game one time. I wouldn’t keep putting the little boy up against the men though.

    I can’t reconcile the shitty shitty numbers he has and the insanely bad goals he allows repeatedly. A goalie can have a bad goal here and there. It happens. But Dubnyk hurts Oilers momentum about once a game on average, I’d expect. (Someone must want to volunteer to see how many questionable goals he’s allowed this year).

    No contending team can have goal-tending that inconsistent and win more than .500.

    I send DD on his way, retain Khabi and target someone like Harding. He’s a goalie that was great for the Wild at times and got beat out by a stronger tender. He has something to prove and might flourish in an atmosphere like Edmonton. Bishop was a great choice… too bad someone else thought so too.

    No one wants DD.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk 10-11

    EVSP .921
    PPSP .889
    PKSP 1.000

  7. nathan says:

    Lowetide,

    How does that breakdown compare to ‘Builn this year? Same PK in front.

  8. Lowetide says:

    NK 11-12

    EVSP: .912 (DD .921)
    PPSP: .913 (DD .843)
    PKSP: .913 (DD .852)

  9. Brett Gee says:

    .843 on the power play? How can it be that bad? He must really panic back there.

  10. Ducey says:

    LT, those PP SP must be pretty small sample sizes. Short handed goals are a relative rarity, are they not?

  11. Ducey says:

    To answer my own question, the Oilers have given up 7 shorties. DD might be responsible for half?

    Not really that useful a stat.

    I would like to see DD around for another year or two to see what he could do with an improved defense.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Yeah, he’s got a terrible SP but extremely small sample–4 goals on 23 shots against.

  13. D says:

    LT,

    On another thread on your website, the commentators were arguing about whether the spectacular play of the goaltending earlier in the season skewed the statistical results of the Oilers’ W/L. It prompted me to recalculate each game for the Oilers as if the team had NHL average goaltending (0.914). I built a spreadsheet tracking every game. If the Oilers had average goaltending, they would likely have 70 points right now – which is striking distance of a playoff spot.

    I’ve been the biggest fan of DD since seeing him play a late season game in Los Angeles a few seasons back. That being said, at this stage, I don’t see DD backstopping the Oilers to a Stanley Cup. For next year, I think this team needs upgraded goaltending, a big minutes defenseman, and a sandpaper player to compete for a playoff spot.

  14. Lowetide says:

    D: I hear you, Leafs just had their goalie give up a softie to go down 3-2. I understand the idea of replacing Dubnyk at #1 and maybe he’s a backup. I’d still give him a full year at #1, 45-50 games.

  15. Dave Casselman says:

    As a former NHL player once told me, there are few things more discouraging than your goalie letting in a softy on a semi-regular basis. The creativity of the forwards, (read reasonable risk-taking,) is curtailed, the defencemen are loathe to jump into the play, and most importantly, over time, the confidence of the whole team begins to decline. Eventually, the swagger is gone and just offhand I cannot think of one single solitary team that won the cup without it. . . DD is not a #1 goalie right now and in point of fact he might never become one. He ‘might,’ become a #2, maybe. Surely even a somewhat uninspired, (and frankly not too bright either, a nasty combination,) as ST recognizes that the addition of a decent goalie has to be at least second on the list of priorities whilst the youngsters in the organization develop?

  16. Lowetide says:

    Paajarvi with a goal and an assist in the minors tonight.

  17. D says:

    Agreed LT. If he gets a solid D in front of him, he may turn out as an Osgood type – enough to backstop a really good team in front of him.

    Lowetide:
    D: I hear you, Leafs just had their goalie give up a softie to go down 3-2. I understand the idea of replacing Dubnyk at #1 and maybe he’s a backup. I’d still give him a full year at #1, 45-50 games.

  18. gogliano says:

    I can see how the Oilers need an upgrade in goal but is DD in a position to ask for the moon when his contract expires? He really hasn’t proved himself as a starter yet so I don’t think he is in a position to bargain for a clear #1 salary. What is a reasonable expectation for a 1 year contract? 1.X million?

  19. SK Oiler Fan says:

    gogliano: I can see how the Oilers need an upgrade in goal but is DD in a position to ask for the moon when his contract expires? He really hasn’t proved himself as a starter yet so I don’t think he is in a position to bargain for a clear #1 salary. What is a reasonable expectation for a 1 year contract? 1.X million?

    I agree with you on his salary demands, but you’re likely to get what you pay for in DD.
    Below average salary = Below average goaltending. So why sign a below average goalie if you want to win games? Next please.

  20. SK Oiler Fan says:

    D: LT,On another thread on your website, the commentators were arguing about whether the spectacular play of the goaltending earlier in the season skewed the statistical results of the Oilers’ W/L. It prompted me to recalculate each game for the Oilers as if the team had NHL average goaltending (0.914). I built a spreadsheet tracking every game. If the Oilers had average goaltending, they would likely have 70 points right now – which is striking distance of a playoff spot. I’ve been the biggest fan of DD since seeing him play a late season game in Los Angeles a few seasons back. That being said, at this stage, I don’t see DD backstopping the Oilers to a Stanley Cup. For next year, I think this team needs upgraded goaltending, a big minutes defenseman, and a sandpaper player to compete for a playoff spot.

    Great info! Always wondered about that. This shows that consistency matters game to game and you can’t solely look at the year’s sv% to compare goalies.

  21. D says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    Agreed.

    Some more info from the analysis I did. The effect of the great goalie save percentage in the early season appears overstated. If the Oilers had average goaltending during that stretch, it would have translated into a few more losses and a few OT points (rather than outright wins). The very poor save percentage during the remainder of the season really hurt the team. What the numbers show is that the extra losses that an average save percentage in the early part of the season would have generated are more than offset by the extra wins (and OT points) that average goaltending would have provided during the other times. I saw one game statistic where the Oilers lost because the save percentage was in the 70s!

    If the Oilers had slightly above average goaltending, the team would be firmly in a playoff spot. Of course, this does not address how much of the poor goaltending was a result of a below average defense. But it does suggest that an upgrade on defense and in goal (not even a major upgrade, just an upgrade) would make this team a playoff contender.

    SK Oiler Fan: Great info! Always wondered about that. This shows that consistency matters game to game and you can’t solely look at the year’s sv% to compare goalies.

  22. SK Oiler Fan says:

    D,

    Of course we’re not considering Team GF in the analysis for simplicity’s sake.

    Logic says if a team had league average goalteniding and leage average GF for every game they would end up in the middle of the pack.
    I’m assuming your spreadsheet could spit this answer out as well?

    Standard deviation is important for any stat that is averaged over a season for these analysis since there are 82 seperate data sets. The season is not 1 long game.

    Maybe the standard deviation for each goalie’s sv% is similar league wide, but I suspect not??

  23. Traktor says:

    Bunz or Roy would be a better option – at the very least they haven’t proven to be mediocre in the NHL yet.

    DD might pan out on another team and Alex Plante might turn into Hal Gill.

    It doesn’t mean you don’t sign a defensemen because Plante could be plucked on waivers or look to upgrade to goalie position. Bulin and DD should both be turfed. Sign 2 European goalies and hope for the best.

    Viktor Fasth had another strong season. He didn’t come over last year because his wife was prego.

  24. D says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    I agree that standard deviation league wide is probably not similar among goalies. That being said, with 30 sample sets (in a 30 team league), we could apply a normalized distribution to calculate the average standard deviation (anything less than 30 would probably fit better with a t-stat rather than a normalized). So even though standard deviation would not be the same league-wide, the average statistic would still give us good information due to the sample size. (On a separate note, when I was at the UofA, we used to complain that the NHL didn’t have 30 teams (at the time) thus preventing us from calculating normalized statistics).

    I didn’t build a calculation for the Oilers with respect to GF. Not sure to what extent (if any) there is a correlation between the Oilers offense and their lack of defense. For sure in the 1980s there was a definite correlation. It might be a worthwhile analysis – but I wouldn’t know how to compute it! I believe you’re right though, if a team has league average GF an GA, the team would be middle of the pack.

    SK Oiler Fan:
    D,

    Of course we’re not considering Team GF in the analysis for simplicity’s sake.

    Logic says if a team had league average goalteniding and leage average GF for every game they would end up in the middle of the pack.
    I’m assuming your spreadsheet could spit this answer out as well?

    Standard deviation is important for any stat that is averaged over a season for these analysis since there are 82 seperate data sets. The season is not 1 long game.

    Maybe the standard deviation for each goalie’s sv% is similar league wide, but I suspect not??

  25. NOTB says:

    5-6 more wins this year and we’re talking about playoff possibilities this year. Better goaltending and recruitment choices on D would probably have this team in that conversation this year, rather than once again talking lottery choices (in Stu we trust). Even if GM and coach can scratch out new contracts, I can’t see either surviving to next years trade deadline if this team isn’t firmly in playoff contention… surely this fan base will have lost all patience by that point and demand that heads roll, no?

    Interesting analysis D. As armchair GM, I wouldn’t want to gamble on my future by not making a firm off-season upgrade between the pipes to better assure me valuable points. Can Dubnyk get you there? Not sure I would make that bet.

  26. PunjabiOil says:

    Not a fan of Dubnyk. Lets in too many softies, and seems to sink under pressure.

    I’m OK with bringing him back as a backup, but a clear #1 is required.

    Harding or Vokoun.

  27. asiaoil says:

    Oh hell I just can’t help myself on this one. Mostly just lurk now since watching Oiler mgmt bumble around is just painful – but a Dubnyk thread will get me going usually.

    Honestly people – what do you expect? DD is not an elite goalie prospect – that was obvious years ago. What he can be is a guy who has a long solid career after the standard apprenticeship period – which for a goalie lasts years. Far longer than the attention span of your average fan who wants results NOW and is bored after 20 games if it doesn’t come. Goalies – like defensive dmen only more so – require years to hone their focus and technique. Unlike forwards – a mistake by the goalie usually means a goal and it’s obvious – and there is no offense to make up for it. So unless you are elite guy with unreal talent to cover for the mistakes in the early years – it takes a long time to work those out of your game.

    Everyone love Smid this season – but very few had the patience to wait for his game to develop. Lots more wanted him gone when he wasn’t a 22 year old all-star. Dubnyk is fine as this is only his 3rd season – he’s a 1B next year – just get a better 1A. As for those with the Josh Hardon – tell me how these numbers are so wonderful playing behind the Wilds suffocating defense? He’s another guy with work left to do.

    2007-2008 Wild 29 11 15 - 2 1 77 838 .908 2.94
    2008-2009 Wild 19 3 9 - 1 0 32 453 .929 2.21
    2009-2010 Wild 25 9 12 - 0 1 66 692 .905 3.05
    2011-2012 Wild 27 9 10 - 4 1 69 769 .910 2.85

  28. Beaker says:

    PunjabiOil,

    Voukon I’m fairly certain is NOT coming here. He just gave up a big payday to stay away from a market like this and to try and win a cup. Besides, didn’t we just go through 3 years of aging goalie? No thank you, we need to find something for the future, beyond next year.

    asiaoil,

    Agreed on Harding, he may pan out but right now people need to lay off him as anything more than another promising goalie.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    What say I? What say I is, that Lowetide you appear to have your goaltending number 1 and 2 mixed up. Khabibulin’s not a back up goalie, no matter how much you and all the rest want to think. He’s won the Stanley Cup, and on a good night can still stone any team.

    Dubnyk? Ty Conklin 2.0 after that 2nd goal. That’s simply the mark of a 100% out of his depth, 3rd rate goalie.

    Dubnyk is terrible. He a throwback to the giddy days of “hoping” MA Pouliot will suddenly emerge as a number one centreman. This is a clumsy, slow to react athlete (like would be NY stud for hire Joe Buck having a body odour problem), which is a major handicap in a goalie.

    Khabibulin has another year to go on his contract. Stop the hate ffs, he’s not terrible just old. Find the guy a decent NHL backup and focus on finding the next Cam Ward.

  30. Dipstick says:

    Since this team does not have the assets to contend for the cup next year, DD and Khabby will be sufficient for another season. If Khabby has value at the 2013 deadline, they can trade him as a rental. By then either DD will have developed into a #1 or they can find one for the 13 – 14 season. The missing pieces necessary to turn this team into a contender will either have to be bought with assets or developed. Either way, this will take time. Looking for a top end #1 tender for next season is not a worthwhile endeavor.

  31. ashley says:

    hunter1909,

    Agree Hunter. I’m not too worried about it though. I think the Oilers management has a handle on where they are at with goaltending. It’s only the Oilogosphere that is slow to understand the situation.

    Last year, everyone was screaming for Khabby to get bought out, or weasel out of his contract via the DUI. Willis (who is a great writer…really enjoy his stuff) was publishing every third article about how washed up NK is and how good DD was. Now we are starting to see the devastating team effects of inconsistency in DD’s game. Khabby had some bad luck last year. A couple of games he was really hung out to dry which dropped his stats. Overall, he is consistent and reliable. He’s just not at the peak of his game anymore.

    I’m not sure DD will ever be better than NK is right now. I can hear the “goalies take time to develop” sentiment, but DD is no spring chicken. More importantly, he lacks the relfexes and athletic ability of high end NHL starters. He gets by with size, but size is not enough. Just holding your ground and hoping the puck hits you won’t cut it.

    You can see the book is out on DD now. He’s almost always on his knees and easy to score on over his shoulders. He needs to adapt quickly or his career is going to whither and die.

    I think this is also a lesson in sample sizes for goaltenders. Athleticism and positioning are obvious. NK has both, DD lacks the former. However, if you’re going to look at stats, I think you need more than a year to draw conclusions for goalies, and preferably playing behind different bluelines. There are just too many variables that chance is more likely than not to have an effect on the numbers.

    It’s interesting, JDD had the athleticism and relfexes, but seemed to lack discipline and positioning. Perhaps the elite goaltender we needed was a mix between these two prospects.

  32. nathan says:

    Either DD is either shell shocked after facing the league’s best power play in practice or the solution is to assign him more practice time with the #1 unit. The unit will need that practice anyways as power plays around the NHL will soon be as rusty as the ref’s whistles.

    On second thought, those bad PP stats were collected when the refs had whistles. What is the PP thing you speak of? DD has nothing to worry about now.

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