The Edmonton Oilers lost their season opener to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, in particularly ugly fashion. They blew a lead and ended up losing the game 5-4. When it comes down to it, it’s one game out of 82, but is there a reason for the Oilers to be concerned?
The prime reason that many have pointed toward as to why the Oilers should have at least some degree of concern moving forward is the play of goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk surrendered five goals on only 28 shots in the opening loss.
Dubnyk came into the season as the unquestioned starter for the first time in his career. At the same time, though, it was also looked at as something of a make or break year for him, as he came into the year in the final year of his contract. Not the greatest start in the world if you’re a guy working toward a new deal.
As hard as it is to believe, there are people who are already concerned about Dubnyk. This is obviously sarcasm, as there are always going to be overreactions, but are the concerns over whether or not the Oilers should explore other goaltending options valid?
Expectations for Dubnyk coming into the year were probably higher than they should have been. He posted a 2.57 goals against average and a .921 save percentage, both of which are solid figures, but neither of which screams that he should be anything other than maybe above average.
Dubnyk is going to have some duds, especially playing behind a blue line that isn’t exactly among the league’s best. If he strings together multiple starts in the next couple of months that look like his Tuesday start, then maybe there’s a reason to be concerned, but at this point the Oilers shouldn’t worry about the status of their starting goaltender.