James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores on Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Edmonton Oilers during NHL action at the Air Canada Centre October 12, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(October 11, 2013 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America)

Dubnyk: I couldn’t have imagined a worse start


The Edmonton Oilers season hasn’t gone well so far, but for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, it’s been an absolute disaster.

Of those that have logged at least 100 minutes so far, Dubnyk ranks dead last with a 5.43 GAA and has a second worst save percentage at .829.

“It’s not easy,” Dubnyk said. “This is probably the worst start to a year that I could have imagined. It’s frustrating and obviously the pressure builds.”

While hot and cold starts at the beginning of the season are often justifiably downplayed, there is the danger they will snowball. As Dubnyk put it, the pressure is building on him and it will only get worse until he shows some sign of breaking out of this slump.

That’s provided that the Oilers wait for him to bounce back. If Dubnyk’s fails to dig his way out of this rut over the next couple weeks, then Edmonton might start examining its other options.

Dubnyk isn’t likely to be given the chance to redeem himself tonight in Washington as Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is “leaning” towards using backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

If that’s the case, then Dubnyk’s first shot at a comeback will probably come tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That’s not exactly the team you want to face if you’re a struggling goaltender, but it would likely be a huge confidence boost for Dubnyk if he holds his own against Sidney Crosby’s squad.

Update: The Oilers have confirmed that LaBarbera will start tonight.

Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:



Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore

Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.