I absolutely love that he was as honest as he was about some things, namely the goalie situation, and to an extent, Shawn Horcoff. I’ve always liked Horcoff, but I can’t help but think he’s replaceable with some names out there. That would give a fair bit more salary for the team to work with too. I hate to say it, because I’ve always been a big supporter of his.
The big thing for me in that interview was recognizing the goalie issue we have here. Pre-MacT, we would have heard all about how good Khabi was for us the past couple years, and how Dubnyk is blossoming into a great goaltender. However, MacT said exactly what I’ve been seeing, and what I wanted to hear…. Khabi is great in the games he played, lately, but the fact is, he’s broken. He can’t play enough games to be a consideration for our backup. That’s a huge concern. Dubnyk is looking better each year, but even in him, there is room for improvement.
I think MacT will look for a #2 for Dubnyk, but he mentioned they’d be looking for AT LEAST a couple goaltenders. So, you could take that as meaning that they’re shoring up the goalies in Oklahoma too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to land someone who could push for starter here. I still say that Mike Smith is the best guy for this job, although he won’t come cheap. But the one aspect of Dubnyk’s game I can’t tolerate isn’t the “one bad goal a game he gives up”… it’s that he’s an awful puck handler. This kills our breakout. Having a guy like Mike Smith back there firing the puck up will speed up our break out immensely. Our skill players are only going to score goals if they get out of our zone… Dubnyk hinders that, Mike Smith facilitates that.
There is more to a breakout than just the goaltender, obviously.. we need the right defense to help in that regard too. But I think if you look at this team player by player, you are almost fooled. You’ll say “well Horcoff isn’t bad is he? Ryan Jones should be doing better… Ryan Smyth was good once… why can’t he work? Corey Potter has showed flashes of brilliance, and isn’t a bad 6/7 guy… etc, etc.”. Simply put, there are plenty of guys who look “good enough” on the surface. And I think we won’t necessarily looking for giant improvements in certain areas, but rather minor improvements all across the board, save for possibly our bottom six. Every little change is going to help in some regard, I think. If an area can be improved, I think MacTavish should put the effort in, in doing so. This is why I think picking up a guy like Mike Smith would really help here. He might not be all that much better in net than Dubnyk, but when you add up all those extra times he helps the D break out of the zone quicker, coupled with the minor tweaks across the board, it could equal one giant improvement.