Devan Dubnyk Not To Blame For Edmonton Oilers Start

By Jonathan Katje
Edmonton Oilers Dubnyk
Ed Szczepanksi – USA TODAY Sports

For all the young talent the Edmonton Oilers have, the team only has a 5-5-3 record this season. The Oilers have lost six of their last seven games, and one thing is becoming clear: Devan Dubnyk is not to blame for the team’s slow start and has done everything he can to keep the team in close games. Dubnyk is 5-4-3 this season, with the team providing him just one goal in his two most recent regulation losses.

Now in his third season as a full-time NHL netminder, Dubnyk continues to show signs of being a capable option in net, as his 2.00 goals against average suggests. He was 20-20-3 last season with a pretty similar roster playing in front of him, and until the Oilers start helping him out on the offensive end, a .500 record is about as good as it’s going to get. The team’s special teams rank among the best in the league, yet somehow Edmonton ranks 27th in the league in goals per game. The defense has been steady, Dubnyk is regularly making 30 or more saves per game but it seemed like the only time this team scored early on in the season was on the power play. The last two games have seen the Oilers fail to convert on nine total chances with the man-advantage while a perfect 10-for-10 penalty kill continues to bail them out.

The Oilers have only turned to back-up netminder Nikolai Khabibulin once this season, and he performed well in making 28 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It is clear that management and coaching staff have faith in Dubnyk as the starter, and time will tell if the team can do enough to make him a playoff-caliber goaltender.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.

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