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Dubnyk: I couldn’t have imagined a worse start

Oct 14, 2013, 10:42 AM EDT

James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores on Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Edmonton Oilers during NHL action at the Air Canada Centre October 12, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(October 11, 2013 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers season hasn’t gone well so far, but for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, it’s been an absolute disaster.

Of those that have logged at least 100 minutes so far, Dubnyk ranks dead last with a 5.43 GAA and has a second worst save percentage at .829.

“It’s not easy,” Dubnyk said. “This is probably the worst start to a year that I could have imagined. It’s frustrating and obviously the pressure builds.”

While hot and cold starts at the beginning of the season are often justifiably downplayed, there is the danger they will snowball. As Dubnyk put it, the pressure is building on him and it will only get worse until he shows some sign of breaking out of this slump.

That’s provided that the Oilers wait for him to bounce back. If Dubnyk’s fails to dig his way out of this rut over the next couple weeks, then Edmonton might start examining its other options.

Dubnyk isn’t likely to be given the chance to redeem himself tonight in Washington as Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is “leaning” towards using backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

If that’s the case, then Dubnyk’s first shot at a comeback will probably come tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That’s not exactly the team you want to face if you’re a struggling goaltender, but it would likely be a huge confidence boost for Dubnyk if he holds his own against Sidney Crosby‘s squad.

Update: The Oilers have confirmed that LaBarbera will start tonight.

  1. bcsteele - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I see no outcome where the Pens don’t destroy them. Edmonton needs a stable goaltender. They’ve waited years now for this guy to pick up the reins and I think its time they realize its just not there. Not to mention, a change up does everybody good when you’re sinking this fast..

    Signed,

    A Blues fan

    P.S. Brian Elliot is available….

    • hockey412 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      That’s what everyone said before the Pens played Florida, too.

    • jessejames182 - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      You think they’ll give up RNH, or Hall? They’ve got offense spilling over the bench, they should be able to give up someone for a stable net minder.

      • jernster21 - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Why would anyone take on the ridiculous contract that RNH just signed? If any of the young guys on the Oilers roster is on the trade block I’d have to assume it’s Yakupov…but I can’t imagine the line is long for that primadonna.

  2. hosewater2 - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Did anyone outside EDM think Dubnyk was the answer before the season started? Not many, so I don’t think this is a surprise and EDM should be shopping for goalie help rather than enforcers who can’t play.

  3. withseidelinn - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    They’ll have to most likely give up Gagner and a high pick for a starting goalie. MacTavish is an idiot and won’t give up any of Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, RNH or Schultz.

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