by PuckStopsHere on 10/26/13 at 05:32 PM ET
It is clear so far this season that the Edmonton Oilers have not had good goaltending. Devan Dubnyk, their supposed starter, is posting a 4.02 GAA and an .878 saves percentage and his backup Jason LaBarbera is posting an even worse .871 saves percentage with a 3.22 GAA. This gives them the worst goaltending duo in the league so far this year.
This is a big part of the reason that Edmonton is in last place in the West Conference. They may have a solid group of young players including Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov, but if they cannot get NHL quality goaltending they will not succeed as a team. If this group of young stars suffers injuries as they have so far, the Oilers could be in the running for another first overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Dubnyk is a supposed NHL starter but he has never really shown he is good enough to handle that role. Last year he was a borderline success in that role but there is little in his past to suggest that he can do better. LaBarbera has been a solid NHL backup in the past, but he is off to a slow start. He has played in slightly over four games and that isn't enough to gage his true talent level. LaBarbera may prove to be a better goalie than Dubnyk by season's end.
Edmonton has had awful goaltending so far. Even if it gets better, it will still be a weakness for the team. It is the main reason that the Oilers are not going to be a top team, even if their young players succeed. They need a better goalie.
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