So the hot button topic for the Oilers these days is of course goaltending. Even Dubnyk would admit how disappointing this has been for the Oilers this year (that article I just linked makes me feel terrible for Dubnyk). I feel bad for him too, as you know he is the type that tries to carry the team on his back, even if it’s questionable whether he’s the guy that can. He wants to win every game, and I believe he competes hard, but there have been some questionable goals going in the net lately. When it rains, it pours for a goaltender. It’s hard for a goalie to battle back once they’ve lost that confidence. I really hope he can regain his form. I never really thought of him as a top-level goaltender, but he was all the Oilers needed. Unfortunately, as of late, he hasn’t been his usual self. He’s regressed a lot. He’s not making stops that he should be able to stop and you know he’s beating himself up over it. My stance is that the Oilers need to go out and grab a cheap goalie as a stop gap. They can re-visit goaltending in July. Dubnyk will be a UFA then, and there will be some good goalies on the market (assuming close to status quo on contracts).
Anyways, on to tonight’s game. I would have to figure that Labarbera gets the start in this one. Yakupov is rumored to be sitting out this one, again. Joanne Ireland has a good article up about Yakupov. Well, it’s good and it’s bad. It has a good bit from Eakins, explaining the decision. I was fine with it to begin with. I didn’t really care for Yakupov’s response in the article though. It worries me a little bit, to be honest. I’m the type to give most players the benefit of doubt when it comes to quotes though. So I won’t read much into it at this point, and you can all go there and read and formulate your own opinions. I just didn’t like the “I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game” quote. It might not be your game, but if it’s the Oilers’ game, you do it. That’s what I want to hear. I’ll let him off the hook for now, and hope that he gets back on the ice soon and plays the team game fully. We can criticize some other players on the team for doing things like making bad passes, or pinching in at the wrong time, but I think most guys on this team are doing their best to play Eakins’ system. Is Yakupov? I want to think he is. I am not going to give up on him or anything… just want to see him play the team game here and not complain about it. Anyways, enough on that!
The Oilers are playing good enough hockey that they should be winning games. Hopefully they get a good battle out of their goaltender tonight and can win this one.
Projected lines :
Smid – Petry
Ference – N. Schultz
Belov – J. Schultz
11 Responses to “L – Oilers 2 , Capitals 4 – Game 6 – 2013-10-14 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW”
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