With all kinds of chatter about a 56-to-60 game schedule should the lockout end, Oiler fans will soon be reminded of the flaws on their team’s roster. I think the club gets a break with Nikolai Khabibublin being unready, as Yann Danis has been playing all along and is “in the zone” recently in OKC.

I believe Devan Dubnyk will establish himself as a solid starter (his .927 EV save percentage a year ago was tied for 13th among goalies who could be considered “regulars”) and build on last season. However, you always want a solid backup and at this point I think Danis is a better plan than Khabibulin (whose .913 SP at evens is well down the list).

If they ever settle this thing, I’ll reset the reasonable expectations, but here’s a reminder of what we talked about in the summer on RE:

It is also possible the Oilers will add a veteran defender to replace Andy Sutton, although the amount of time for activity and transactions between the lockout’s end and puck drop remains uncertain.

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17 Responses to "THE G"

  1. misfit says:

    I’m comfortable with Dubnyk as the #1 provided he has a proven backup of reasonable quality. I’d also be comfortable with Danis as the backup if our #1 was more of a sure thing. Dubnyk starting with Danis as the #2 makes me a little nervous.

  2. Clay says:

    It is also possible the Oilers will add a veteran defender to replace Andy Sutton

    Well LT, it’s good to see the lockout hasn’t dampened your sense of humour…

  3. OilClog says:

    Every team is pretty much in the same boat as far as goalies go.. Splitting time between Dubnyk and Danis is fine. As long as there is no khabby I’m happy!

    Everything rests on Whitney’s ankle right now.. If it’s not going to be able to turn, our corps are in some pretty deep trouble. However if he’s even 90% of what he was.. The defense can last in a shorten season, hopefully they find a few veteran guys that have talked to Sutton and want to feel young again. It could be very interesting if there is a buyout period.. Who knows who could become available.. Is there a possible buy out candidate list anywhere?

  4. blackdog says:

    Other than the odd case of letting in a softie I’m not too worried about Dubnyk as the #1. His numbers are quite good considering the guys piling out of the clown car in front of him.

    I would prefer a bit more quality behind him but hopefully with a shorter season it won’t matter as much.

  5. voxwah says:

    I’m curious to see if the big move Stauffer has been talking about is a trade that’s sitting on the table waiting to be filed as soon as the CBA deal is done. A couple quick deals to address need can turn a upward trending team into one that could make the playoffs and do some damage.

    Channel a bit of 2006 trade deadline…

  6. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Most encouraging thing about Dubnyk was how his stats got better and better the more he played. After playing just 17 of the first 47, DD was finally installed as the true starter with 35 games to go, From then to the end he posted 25 GP, 14-8-3**, 2.33, .926. (** That’s a .620 points percentage in that span … with the 29th place Oilers.)

    Granted, it’s only half a season, but it exactly coincides the time he was the true #1.

  7. spoiler says:

    If all they’re looking for is a Sutton replacement then there are still plenty of guys like Chris Campoli* still un-signed.

    However, management has led us to expect an Actual Hockey Trade. We abide.

    And I’m plenty okay with Danis as back-up, in fact I think he has earned a shot at a regular NHL gig by carrying the mail in OKC.

    *name chosen randomly from the FA list,

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “although the amount of time for activity and transactions between the lockout’s end and puck drop remains uncertain.”

    I wonder if a shortened time-frame would benefit mgt by simply forcing the issue. It might, of course, force them (or make them feel forced) into making a bad decision… but we’ve definitely seen whether with trades over the summer or the lockout… more time seems to = no action.

  9. Matt.N says:


    Everything rests on Whitney’s ankle right now.. If it’s not going to be able to turn, our corps are in some pretty deep trouble.

    Whitney plays LD. The line up right now is something like Smid, Whitney, NShultz, Peckham. I am much more worried about RD. Right now its Petry, JSchultz, Potter, Tuebert. Petry is a fine second pairing guy, but he is going to be getting top minutes. After that its asking a lot from a rookie and a couple of bottom of the roster guys looking to find their way.

  10. rickithebear says:

    From one of my HFBOARDS Post 11-13-2012, 11:37 AM
    From boxing day on:
    17GM started 1W-12L-4 OTL 3.24GA .881 Sv%
    30GM Started 16W-11L-3 OTL 2.41GA .924SV%

    From A HFBOARDS Post 11-16-2012, 01:53 PM;

    At the start of last year:

    Our d was structured

    we got hit with a whole bunch of injuries.

    Games played by Oiler Dmen.
    Smid 78GM
    Petry 73GM
    Potter 62GM
    Peckham 54GM
    Sutton 52GM
    whitney 51GM
    Gilbert 47GM
    Barker 25GM
    tuebert 24GM
    N. Schultz 20 GM

    By boxing day the team decide to go with DD As Starter.
    Started 18 Games got a No decision in one.
    17GM 1W 12L 4OTL 3.51GA

    D. Dubnyk
    Started 30 Games
    30GM 16W 11L 3OTL 2.42GA .923 SV%

    Jan. 3 Gilbert went down so we were without Gilbert, Whitney
    and rolling

    5GM 3W-2L – 0 OTL 2.35GA .929 Sv%
    5GM 0W – 4L – 1OL 3.12GA .896 SV%

    Whitney returned Jan 24th and we rolled

    8GM 5W – 2L – 1 OTL 2.53GA .925SV%

    Gilbert Returned feb 6.

    Started 4 got a no decision in one
    3GM 1W – 1L – 1OTL 3.90GA .885SV%

    5Gm 2W – 3L – 0 OTL 2.37GA .908SV%

    Gilbert was traded to MInny for N. Schultz. on Feb 27
    Whitney-N. Schultz
    (Sutton/Peckham) – Potter

    6GM 0W – 4L – 2 OTL 2.94GA .880SV%

    D. Dubnyk
    10GM 7W – 2L – 1OTL 1.86GA .938SV%

    Smid was injured April 1
    Whitney – Barker
    Sutton – Tuebert

    3GM 0W – 2L – 1 OTL 2.67GA .917SV%

    I am glad we will not have Gilbert, Barker, tuebert playing major time on this team.

    So while asking for a #1 dman is lovely.

    We will be rolling out
    Whitney – N. schultz
    Sutton- J. schultz
    in front of dubnyk.

    A .750 win% 2.16GA .932Sv% goalie with this D.

    the same HFBOARDS Post 11-13-2012, 11:37 AM

    3. playing the young player with the forwards they were most successsful with in production and Goal Differential with Best LW-C-RW combination Last two years.

    Hall with:
    C – Horcoff .913GF/20 +.348GF/20
    RW – Eberle 1.034GF/20 +.142GD/20

    RNH with:
    LW – Smyth 1.421GF/20 +.547GD/20
    RW – Eberle 1.057GF/20 +.341GD/20

    Eberle with:
    LW – Smyth 1.743GF/20 +1.017GD/20
    C – RNH 1.084GF/20 +.341GD/20

    LW – Smyth 1.308GF/20 +.916GD/20
    RW – Hemsky .755GF/20 +.084GD/20

    C – Gagner .670GF/20 +.338GD/20
    RW – Hemsky .747GF/20 +.560GD/20

    MP with:
    C- Belanger .441GF/20 +.177GD/20
    RW – Hemsky 1.074GF/20 +.597GD/20
    From this production and GD history for last two seasons.

    Three lines are obvious.

    Jones-Belanger were the 5th best C-W pk combination in the league behind
    two pairs who are not together post lockout.

    question is of the remaining who has the best EV production with these two.
    Belanger -Eager .759GF/20 +.253GD/20
    Jones – Eager 1.129GF/20 +.565GD/20


  11. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Wow, that’s impressive detail, Ricki; the segments of games you detailed for the goalies are bang on, and all those defence changes you mention were a very instructive way to split them out. But Dubnyk outperformed Khabibulin every step of the way, kicked his ass the whole time in fact. DD looked every inch a 60-game starter to me, he relished the work and cut way down on the soft goals.

    I have the date of DD’s full installation as the starter as Jan 23, when he started against SJS, then in VAN the very next night, and then 4 more in a row after that. But any division of first half/second half, before/after Xmas, or whatever you choose will show big improvement from DD and massive deterioration from NK.

  12. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Usually when Fehr woos the mikes it’s about stalling. But when he’s out there saying the $ issues are all done, it’s all about pushing the NHL to move on the remaining issues.

    “‏@TSNJFranklin Don Fehr just said ’5 years is a long time.’ Then why isn’t it long enough for maximum player contracts? Interesting #nhl #TSN”

    PA is offering 6+2 year CBA and 8 year max on contracts. Wonder if they could get the NHL to sign up for a 7+2 year CBA and a 7 year max for contracts.

  13. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Yup. Fehr’s no money issues left spiel put the NHL on the clock to make a final 56+ game offer in the next few days.

  14. Bruce McCurdy says:

    rickithebear: We will be rolling out
    Whitney – N. schultz
    Sutton- J. schultz

    The one piece of info you’re missing is that Sutton is done for the year and likely for good.

    (Cue the peanut gallery: “We need to sign a veteran defenceman!” “No, not THAT veteran defenceman!”)

  15. rickithebear says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The one piece of info you’re missing is that Sutton is done for the year and likely for good.

    (Cue the peanut gallery: “We need to sign a veteran defenceman!” “No, not THAT veteran defenceman!”)

    From my HF Board post

    Uh I thought that was Peckham!

  16. DeadmanWaking says:

    rickithebear: Three lines are obvious.

    Nice recap. I feel recapped.

    When I’ve drawn up lines (rather cluelessly as I’ve previously confessed), I’ve usually put Smyth/Horc/Hemsky on different lines, so I’m fine with this. Plus I like Hall with Horc because Hall should be nearing the point in his career where he can tilt the ice in any zone.

    The intriguing question for me is how the opposing coaches will react with their opposing assignments. Hey coach, which line scares you? Enemy coach can put truculence with cinderblocks (feet and elbows) out against Smyth, but he’ll want truculence on skis against Hall and Yak. Next he’ll assign a guy with his head on a swivel and a quick stick to the pair against RNH and Eberle. And finally enemy coach will want someone agile and positionally flawless out against Hemmer. How many teams have all those pieces on any given day? We never do. Where does the opposing coach hide his chaos sophomore? Not on Hall’s side. Against Yak? Stud and protégé model? That could be fun. Against Harti? That could go either way, and he’s our least proven guy on the top three lines (yes, I’m giving Yak the express pass).

    For once for once for the love of god, could it be the other coach whose defensive cupboard comes up threadbare?

    In chess, a rook/bishop/knight confluence on the opposing king’s pristine pawn structure keeps your opponent honest, but rarely breaks through. Our group now has five threats with an open vector to the enemy’s side of the board. The main thing we lack offensively is the ability to drive our pawns straight up the middle (defensively, our king has to safeguard his own pawns without much direct support, which is the theme of the day here).

    In any given game, if Junior Schultz finds space and starts connecting on break-out passes with speed, what does the other coach do? Settle into a trap and take the pressure off our chaos defenders? One man forecheck? Trade chances? If Junior Schultz wilts under the pressure (there will be days) that gives the other coach options to dictate the flow.

    I’ve never asked this before. Is there a good reference work on the theory of line combinations, break-out structures, and defensive postures? Something like Learn the fundamentals of line changes but with 500 pages of ice hockey Feynman diagrams? Something that will get me past “your best players have to be your players” into the enlightened realm of homeopathic titration, where shaken not stirred makes all the difference? Something above the level of “if you got a great lemon, you can’t go wrong with a Tom Collins”?

    From The downside of line-matching:

    In the latter half of the last decade, whenever a team would play the line-matching game against Detroit’s top line of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, the Red Wings would simply reorganize their lineup.

    One would think that could work if you had the right pieces.

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