Break it Down! – Goaltending (2011/12 Edition)

By , September 16, 2011 12:33 pm

Just think, to have a good goalie again.


Continuing on with the break it down series. The others can be found at the following location.

I called last years goaltending situation a clusterfuck. It looks better this year. No really. It does. Dubnyk has proven to be at the very least a NHL level backup. That’s a plus. Khabibulin has one less year on his contract. That’s a plus. It is quite possible he learned how to be more nimble in prison too.

Here is the goalie situation as I see it to start the season:

Khabibulin (65% of starts)
Dubnyk (35% of starts)

And by the end of October, Dubnyk should be full in the saddle, otherwise you can count on this being another “rebuild” year.

Strengths

The future looks good with Bunz and Roy having played well. In junior. Still 4 to 5 years away from helping the big club.

And I suppose Dubnyk can hold the fort until Tambellini gets fired and a new GM actually decides to do some GM’ing and get us a goalie.

Weaknesses

Khabibulin.

Could Use

A NHL goalie.

Finally

This is why we will miss the playoffs. Goaltending. I look at other teams all envious and wonder why our GM isn’t smart. Except the Islanders. Snow is/seems smart, but they have fucked up that position.

16 Responses to “Break it Down! – Goaltending (2011/12 Edition)”

  1. Racki says:

    Again, like your defense article, no surprises Steve-O. Although I have to wonder about a comment Khabibulin made. He said he was happy that the DUI stuff is behind him and that he’s served the time / learned / yada yada. He went on to comment that it was a big weight on his mind last year. I have no doubt that is true.

    Will it make a difference in how he plays? He’s really got a lot to prove to everyone. I haven’t completely given up on him, as I think he could pull off a Dustin Penner here and blow us all away (or a Sheldon Souray, but hey, he also went the other direction right after).

    I am hoping that a better team defense will be played this year and it will take some responsibility off the goaltenders’ shoulders. I also hope that the Oilers keep Khabibulin on a short leash. I wouldn’t mind seeing split duty this year. I also wouldn’t mind that if Khabibulin shows signs of last year’s form, this “65/35″ you talk about is actually in Dubnyk’s favor.

    Anyways, agree that goaltending is still this team’s Achilles’ Heel. The defense is also a factor in last year’s problems too.. namely having to rely on guys we shouldn’t be relying on.

  2. Ykciris says:

    Where’s the meat in this umm.. article?

  3. ~S~K~ says:

    It’s over there man. No ..next to the…..NO OVER … *sigh* Right there in that little hole. Seriously man RIGHT THERE!! *points* Just look! …. ….. do you see it? No? *kick*

    Our defense was so bad last year that I’m not sure if Dubnyk put up some respectable numbers when he really should have put up AMAZING numbers, or if Khabi was just horrible.

    Either way, I’ve not given up on him. I wish him all the best. Also, if you are reading this Nicholai, open your closet once in a while and check to see if it leads to a magical snowy world wherein you might find a +5 goalie Stick of Awesomeness.

  4. Racki says:

    Ykciris:
    Where’s the meat in this umm.. article?

    Sometimes Steve-O’s posts come in a vegeterian variety. I think these Break It Down’s are meant to be taken as a whole more than individual, but this one was quite light.

    ~S~K~:
    It’s over there man.No ..next to the…..NO OVER …*sigh*Right there in that little hole.Seriously man RIGHT THERE!! *points* Just look! ….….. do you see it?No?*kick*

    Our defense was so bad last year that I’m not sure if Dubnyk put up some respectable numbers when he really should have put up AMAZING numbers, or if Khabi was just horrible.

    Either way, I’ve not given up on him.I wish him all the best.Also, if you are reading this Nicholai, open your closet once in a while and check to see if it leads to a magical snowy world wherein you might find a +5 goalie Stick of Awesomeness.

    LOL excellent post.

    I also haven’t completely given up on Khabi. He’s on a short leash, imho, but he can recover. I think as bad as our D was, Khabi was still pretty awful at times. But we’ve seen other people bounce back big around here, so it’s a clean slate for me.

  5. Chucker says:

    Well if our D improves, which it should, and our ability to gain puck possession off of the dot improves, which it should, then that is really where I am hoping our goal differential improves. More blocked shots, hopefully better PK and just better defensive awareness at all positions. If Lander cracks the lineup, then that could improve things even more on our fourth line capabilities.

    I am not expecting much from our goaltending to ne honest. Khabbi is a wild card, Dubnyk COULD play more games but I have not seen anything to lead me to believe he is more than a very capable backup YET.

    I have said it a coupl of times and I will repeat it again; Tanbi dropped the ball by not signing a guy like Bobrovsky (?sp) or another goalie that can step in should we have a crap the bed situation on our hands. JDD looked awesome in his starts a couple years ago. Hopefully Dubs is able to thrive where JDD did not.

  6. Racki says:

    Yah I would have liked to have seen a Bobrovsky type here too. I think they’re going to give Khabibulin another shot to redeem himself. I’m not too confident he can, but it’s possible. I know he’s really well liked by his teammates though. We know that is only part of it, however… he’s got to play well too.

    As for Dubnyk, I wasn’t sold on him before, but I actually really liked his play last year and saw him as a lot better of a goaltender. Maybe not #1 material, but he could easily go split duty with someone capable.

  7. zackman35 says:

    I’m really hoping we have a team that can compete in the standings this year but I have a sick lingering feeling we could be in our final year for a “drop for the top”. I like how you mentioned that Dubnyk should have the reigns by the end of October or else this could be another rebuild year (which would suck).

    An interesting stat I read last week is how many one goal games we lost. Hopefully that changes this year. Oh and I saw Stu The Magnificient Bastard tonight at the Golden Bears exhibition game.

  8. chucker says:

    I see Dubnyk as a Jussi Markannen at best. Just my gut. I feel the same about Khabbi as you Racki. Hopefully he’s out to prove he is nobody’s bitch, but I am not sold on it. Gawd I hate that signing more and more every day. At least last year we had an NHL goalie in the minors to make me feel better, even if he was not used properly.

    Let’s be realistic here. If Khabbi is like the Khabbi he has been since coming here, we are pooched. I would love to see Dubnyk rise up and seize it though. I just wouldn’t bet on it. Really, does anyone see Dubnyk being a top ten goalie in the league? I don’t and that means if you are not trying to get one, you will always be a bottom end team. It is the one position worth over paying for…..so long as you are not chasing 35 year old goalies.

    It’s a sore spot for me as we always had one of the best goalies in the league. The idea that a young goalie who will solidify the team for years is now lost on the Oiler brass. I see nothing special in our crease. Sorry.

  9. Racki says:

    I think you can get by with a mediocre goaltender.. teams have done it… however to do so you absolutely need a strong defense, which we don’t have by any stretch of imagination.

    I think Bunz has the potential to be that high end goaltender despite the number of goaltenders who went ahead of him in the 2010 draft (quite a few). He is the goaltender of our future, imho…. too bad the future for him is really quite far away.

    And really, despite that I said we can get away with a mediocre goaltender, I don’t see why we didn’t really push for someone younger with potential. Like I said, we don’t have anywhere near the caliber of defense of teams like Nashville or Detroit even to play with average goaltenders and still have big success.

  10. Mr.Majestyk says:

    What makes a good season for goalending? What does everyone predict for SV % and GAA? Or do wins matter more? How do we judge if our goaltending is bad or our defence is bad?

  11. Racki says:

    Wins are all that matters when it comes down to it, but I’ve always put more weight on SV% as a way to measure goalie talent, but it doesn’t always tell the whole picture. I’d say you can tell more by watching though… does the goalie keep us in tight games, or collapse? Is he making a difference in the game at all that someone else couldn’t do?

  12. hemmerlady says:

    Racki:
    I think you can get by with a mediocre goaltender.. teams have done it… however to do so you absolutely need a strong defense, which we don’t have by any stretch of imagination.

    Yes indeedy, would that we had some defense and the shitty goaltending might be mitigated somewhat.

    I think Bunz has the potential to be that high end goaltender despite the number of goaltenders who went ahead of him in the 2010 draft (quite a few). He is the goaltender of our future, imho…. too bad the future for him is really quite far away.

    Almost wish I could push the fast-forward button to see him in developed form.

    And really, despite that I said we can get away with a mediocre goaltender, I don’t see why we didn’t really push for someone younger with potential. Like I said, we don’t have anywhere near the caliber of defense of teams like Nashville or Detroit even to play with average goaltenders and still have big success.

    I want CuJo from 1997 back. Or Roli from 2006. Or if we’re really wishing for stuff, Timmy T from 2011.

  13. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Well first off let me say that Khabi sucked last season and there’s no getting around that. He said himself that last season was a disappointment. Based on last years performance plus Dubie’s performance i think that puts him on a short leash with the coaching staff. All that being said i find it ridiclulous to give up hope on him rebounding based on half a preseason game. I’ve read so many ‘Khabi is done’ threads and ‘send him to the minors’ threads since last game and i think its too early to tell.

    To Racki’s point of the numbers don’t matter as much as how he actually plays. His SV% was abysmal last night but which of the goals that he allowed were so soft that he’s done?

    I’m probably going to take heat for defending Khabibulin but i’m trying not to be Bi-Poiler. I mean we haven’t even seen Gagner yet and people have him way down the depth chart because Lander has been so impressive.

  14. Racki says:

    Your reasoning is not welcome here! :P Just like Khabi and Gagner!

    Seriously though, very true. I’m not very optimistic that Khabi will be much of a goaltender this year, but I am giving him a chance… more than just one pre-season game. As for Gagner, I’m way ahead of you on preaching patience.

  15. Racki says:

    BTW, Khabi has had two seasons here and both could be described as pretty abysmal (although one was more injury plagued than anything… but he still wasn’t good). So while I appreciate preaching patience with him more than I appreciate people jumping all over him and writing him off now, I can understand why fans have had enough. It’s not like he hasn’t had a fair shake here.

    But we’ve seen others have great bounce-back years (Penner being a good example, same with Souray until the recent events). It can happen for Khabi. I just think he’s on a short leash this year. It shouldn’t be him getting the job until he’s proved endlessly that he can’t be a starter here. For me, he has to earn the starter role. Dubnyk outplayed him last season… I’d give him the starter role by default. If he can’t handle it, then Khabi gets more games.

    I like Khabi and think he’s a good team-guy, but I don’t see why he should be still considered our starter. At best for him, I think he has to battle it out with Doobie, 50/50.

    All that said though, I try to avoid certain terms when critiquing a player and try not to get too harsh about it. Especially when they’re obviously players who care a lot about the team, but just are struggling bad.

  16. LateNightOilFan says:

    I’m just in wait and see mode right now with the goalies. I remember at the end of the 07/08 season almost everyone insisted Roli was “done” and he started out 3rd on the totem pole for 08/09 and had a phenomenal bounce-back year and is still going strong. It could happen with Khabi – but I’m not so sure it will given his injury history and his overall history of bad years since the lockout (i.e. he’s really only had 1 good season where he lived up to his expectations since he won the cup with Tampa).

    The fact of the matter is he is the Oilers “albatross” right now because he’s on a 35+ contract and hard to trade so we are stuck with him for a while longer. I think/hope Renney will go with the guy who deserves the starts based on his play, so at least it does seem to be a situation where Khabi is in a battle to prove his worth and not the assumed starter. I think Dubnyk will end up with the bulk of the starts, and if Khabi can be a good little mentor and somewhat decent in a backup role, then so be it.

    What will rot my socks will be continued references to Khabi as ‘MVP’ and if he is trotted out there automatically when Dubnyk is outplaying him. So far I haven’t seen Tambi admitting any mistakes but if this year continues with Khabi playing sub-par then at some point I want Tambi to man up.

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