After it was over after the Edmonton Oilers had given up another lead followed by an overtime point to the Toronto Maple Leafs Devan Dubnyk sat in his stall his pads still strapped on his head buried in his hands. He didn’t move not for the longest time. It was he said the next day the lowest he’s felt since his trying season began. He knew could have changed the outcome of the game maybe turned a 6-5 overtime loss into a much needed victory for a team that was just starting a six-game 11-day road trip. “It’s hard when you have a group of guys you care about who you’ve grown up with put in an effort like that — then it finishes the way it does. That’s the toughest one to deal with” Dubnyk said on Sunday after the team’s workout at the Verizon Center. “The guys deserved a better effort from my end. That makes it a little tougher but I know they have my back and I’ll fight for them.” The Oilers will play the Washington Capitals on Monday and Dubnyk isn’t expected to be in the net. Head coach Dallas Eakins said he was leaning toward Jason LaBarbera but that he wanted to talk to goaltending coach Frederic Chabot first. It will be the second time that LaBarbera will have started in place of Dubnyk. “It’s not easy. It’s probably the worst start to the year that I could have imagined — if I had ever tried to imagine a tough start to a year” Dubnyk said. “Obviously the pressure builds but I thought about it a lot last night and there’s so many critics out there so many people who want to jump on each mistake and that’s part of the job. But I just need to work for these guys in here. They believe in me and I believe in myself. “One save one bounce ... two saves and we’re 4-0. That’s how it goes when you’re in a slump. All I can do is try and play my way out of it.” The Capitals have lost three straight including a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. They managed to get 41 shots on net but were frustrated by Semyon Varlamov who was once in Washington’s net. The Caps 1-4-0 have scored three goals in their last four games. The Oilers have now given up 25 goals in five games a tally that includes two empty net markers. They are 1-3-1 and go straight from Washington to Pittsburgh for a Tuesday tilt against the Penguins. To cap it all off Dubnyk is burdened with a 5.43 goals against average — and he has become the lightning rod. Someone even went so far as to place an ad on Kijiji for a starting goaltender.
Dubnyk struggles to break out of a slump
Edmonton Journal | Oct 15