Oct 022013

Jason Lababera

Devon Dubnyk’s dubious performance last night made me question more than ever the Oilers goaltending situation. For the most part, I have liked Dubnyk and thought that he was developing at a nice pace and I actually thought that this would be the year he rose to the challenge. It is a contract year for him and with a new system in front of him and a more solid D corps I really thought the massive backstop would rise to the occasion. We are only one game in, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. One text message I got last night from a friend who is a very accomplished Div. 16 Beer League goaltender summed it up nicely: “I feel like Dubnyk doesn’t battle. He’s just big.”Devan Dubnyk

This caused me to mutter out loud: “Eakins will start LaBarbera on Saturday.” Now, I don’t have any insider information but, Eakins seems to be the kind of guy that holds people accountable. I don’t see why that shouldn’t extend to the crease. After sleeping on it, I thought I should look into LaBarbera a little more. I have always wondered why he hadn’t gotten a chance as an NHL starter and wanted to check his stats to see if this was really the case.

  Regular season
2000–01 New York Rangers NHL 1 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 1
2000–01 Charlotte Checkers ECHL 35 18 10 7 2100 112 1 3.2 0.91
2000–01 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 4 1 1 0 156 12 0 4.61 0.87
2001–02 Charlotte Checkers ECHL 13 9 3 1 744 29 0 2.34 0.92
2001–02 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 20 7 11 1 1058 55 0 3.12 0.91
2002–03 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 46 18 17 6 2452 105 2 2.57 0.92
2003–04 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 59 34 9 9 3393 90 13 1.59 0.94
2003–04 New York Rangers NHL 4 1 2 0 198 16 0 4.85 0.82
2004–05 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 53 31 16 2 2937 90 6 1.84 0.93
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 29 11 9 2 1433 69 1 2.89 0.9
2005–06 Manchester Monarchs AHL 3 1 1 1 185 10 0 3.25 0.91
2006–07 Manchester Monarchs AHL 62 39 20 1 3619 133 7 2.2 0.93
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 45 17 23 2 2421 121 1 3 0.91
2008–09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 19 5 8 4 995 47 2 2.83 0.89
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 9 3 2 2 451 20 0 2.66 0.92
2009–10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 17 8 5 1 928 33 0 2.13 0.93
2010–11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 17 7 6 3 883 48 2 3.26 0.91
2011–12 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 19 3 9 3 1015 43 0 2.54 0.91
2012–13 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 15 4 6 2 726 32 0 2.64 0.92
NHL totals 175 59 70 19 9060 429 6 2.84 0.91

I have always wondered how star AHL players can’t make the transition to the big leagues and have a meaningful impact. I mean, LaBarbera is a decorated AHL vet and during the 2004-2005 lockout was the league’s best goaltender, posting a 1.84 GAA and a .934 save %. I thought to myself, self, maybe he just hasn’t gotten a chance. But, when looking at the statistics above, we have a large enough sample size to satisfyingly say that he just isn’t a major league goaltender. He played enough games for the Kings between 2005 and 2009 to accurately say he has been given a chance. It looks as though he is nothing more than a solid back up with no ability to carry the mail for a team over the course of a full schedule.

In Dubnyk we trust…….I guess…………

Enjoy the game of hockey and watching the Oilers. Going to a game is my favourite thing to do in the City of Champions. Patiently waiting for the "potential" of this team to be reached.

Latest posts by Curtis Crouse (see all)

  5 Responses to “The Curious Case of Jason LaBarbera”

  1. Riddle me this….if Mac T offered Nurse (7th) + for schneider u would have to think he deemed the oilers goalie situation to be the biggest hole on the team wouldnt you? Offering the biggest bullet in the metaphorical trade bait gun for him…then after he struck out he proceeds to sign a guy that will not push DD whatsoever. What does that say exactly? I genuinely dont know other than to say “ya swing and ya miss” Its funny that you said accountable in regards to DD as a mere 2 minutes earlier I said to your brother….DD keeps losing games and letting in bad goals because he doesnt hold himself accountable to letting in bad goals….letting in a bad goal and costing your team a game should eat at his very being for days…but it doesnt…it simply doesnt with dubnyk.

  2. You’re ready to comdemn Dubnyk to the scrapheap after 1 game this season? Holy overreaction, Batman. Dubnyk has done well in the 1.5 seasons he’s been our starter – and all behind crappy D that hung him out to dry. Even last night, I only watched about half the game and I saw a few lapses on defense by both the d-men and the forwards that led to the turnovers that led to those goals.

    You are so way off base here it’s not even funny. You’re completely ignoring other factors present and putting the goat horns completely on Dubnyk for the loss last night, which is totally wrong.

    Go jerk your knee somewhere else, because I can smell knee jerk reactions a mile away, and I’m calling you on it.

  3. While you watched only half the game, I watched it in its entirety and I can say that the team played solid for the majority of it and Dubnyk was the worst Oiler on the ice. There were a couple of bad giveaways and if Dubnyk would have stopped a couple of those…I’d be cutting him some slack. A goalie’s job is to stop pucks. Plain and simple. That being said, I don’t see anywhere I have said that he is to be condemned to the scrap heap. I was merely investigating the possibility of LaBarbera being more than a back up. Dubnyk needs to make timely saves and he doesn’t. I have liked what I have seen from Dubnyk and hoped that this would be his year. Maybe it will be, but it certainly wasn’t last night and he has to stop letting in bad goals. The same kid of goals that cost Brodeur his starting job in the Olympics.

    And yes, I am Batman.

  4. Mac T sees it exactly the same as you and I do Curtis ….100% guaranteed….he tried to address it already and couldnt…he knows its a hole and will take care of it he has no intentions of keeping DD in the Oilers net longterm. Like Mac T said when asked the question by Terry Jones “is your goaltending good enough”? ….he said “Terry if you need to ask then no it is not”

  5. My only comment is if you don’t yet know if your 27 year old goaltender is good enough to be an NHL starter, then you know exactly what you have. Devan Dubnyk is a mediocre goaltender that is good 60% of the time, every time.

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