With the win against France safely secure, head coach Ken Hitchcock removed goalie 1)a., James Reimer, and let goalie 1)b., Devan Dubnyk, get some time between the pipes on Sunday. Dubnyk didn’t disappoint in his limited time, stopping all 8 shots that he faced, and closing out the win for Team Canada. But don’t expect this strong performance by Dubnyk to change anything in the goalie hierarchy of Team Canada. Reimer has been just as good, allowing only two goals on forty-seven shots faced so far in this tournament, and is expected to start Canada’s next game against Switzerland.
Dubnyk was entered into the game with Canada holding a commanding 7-1 lead against the French, stopping every shot he faced in his thirteen minutes and fifty seconds of action. Given the nature of these types of tournaments, a hot goalie can make all the difference, so it was wise for Hitchcock to get Dubnyk some time to keep him in game form. Canada scored twice more to finish the game 9-1, and have now outscored their opponents 13-2 through two games.
Although this isn’t Dubnyk’s first time on Team Canada, it is his first taste of international action. In 2006, Dubnyk was a member of the 2006 World Junior gold medal squad, where he was a backup to Justin Pogge, never once seeing any game time. Since then, Pogge has been passed by James Reimer as Toronto’s goalie of the future, and both Reimer and Dubnyk look like they have extremely bright futures ahead of them in the NHL.
Even if this ends up being Dubnyk’s only playing time in this tournament, it’s no doubt that the experience should be a boost to his confidence, and being able to play amongst such a talented level of teammates should help him improve his game and hopefully take it to the next level. This should help him carry over his strong finish from this season into next year, where the Oilers have much higher hopes for their young, talented bunch.