Should the Oilers Be Concerned With Devan Dubnyk?

It is just one game and already the doubters are out in full force on Devan Dubnyk.  Sure he let in three questionable goals to the Winnipeg Jets last night, with the fourth one being the worst of the bunch.  But is it already time to start worrying about whether or not he can carry the load as the number one guy between the pipes for the Oilers?

Last season Dubnyk was shelled in the Oilers home opener against the San Jose Sharks to the tune of 6 goals on 17 shots in the first period.  He watched the rest of the game from the bench but much like this year, the doubters and haters were on  him after that game.  Truth be told, after that game against the Sharks Dubnyk was above average the rest of the way last year finishing the season with a 2.57 GAA, a .921 save percentage and 2 shoutouts.  Meaning if he turned the page last season he can do it again.

It is early.  Hell it’s beyond early, it was one lousy game.  Did we honestly expect the Oilers to go 82-0 this season?  There will be games they should win and they won’t.  But there will be games they won’t deserve to win and they’ll pick up the two points largely because Dubnyk will steal them a game.  It’s too early to be writing off Dubnyk and hitting the panic button, at least for right now.  But if his struggles continue well into the  month of October, then that’s a whole new ball game and one that will merit some criticism.

It’s worth noting that the Oilers defensive play was equally bad last night.  Too many breakdowns in their own end and blown coverage led to scoring chances, not to mention the beauty no-look pass that led to the Jets game winning goal.  Andrew Ference was so far out of position the Oilers might as well have been playing short handed.  That goal was not Dubnyk’s fault but the three others are most certainly questionable.

So before we go calling for Ilya Bryzgalov or a trade for Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, let’s wait and see what happens over the course of the next 8-10 games.  If Dubnyk continues to stink the joint out then there will be justification in calling or obsessing over a deal to bring someone in to stabilize the Oilers goal.

I’m willing to bet that won’t happen though, simply because Dubnyk will get back to his game that Oilers’ fans know he can play; a steady, reliable netminder capable of making the key saves.  You ever have a bad day at work?  Dubnyk did last night, so let’s cut him some slack and focus on the game against the Canucks.

What are your thoughts on Dubnyk’s performance?  Take part in our poll and let us know if you think the Oilers should be concerned with his play.

Should the Oilers be concerned with Devan Dubnyk?

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Topics: Andrew Ference, Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton Oilers

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  • Cody Anderson

    If last night was the first game I had ever watched I would be petrified about the Oilers goalie situation.

    I can understand the Dubnyk haters saying he often lets in a soft goal that he should have had and that there is nothing more demoralizing than a soft goal in a close game. That being said Dubnyk has consistently improved his stats, and the soft goals seem to be less common then they were his first couple years.
    His stats last year say he was in the top half of league starters despite having arguably the worst Defense in the NHL playing in front of him. Obviously, the quality of shots allowed by poor defense will be of higher quality and have a better chance of scoring when the defense is bad. This means with an improved defense corps in front of him we should expect his stats to improve even more. This year it looks like we may very well have a full roster of actual NHL defensemen, and in a couple years our D could match our potent top 6 forwards.

    I am not confident that he is the goalie that is going to steal you a playoff series like Roloson did in 2006, but he is certainly not one of the bigger question marks on this team. I think we will make the playoffs this year and that his stats will have him in the top 10 goalies in the league.