SUN Hockey Pool

No rewards for Dubnyk

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

Great game.

You're cut.

With Dwayne Roloson and Jussi Markkanen ahead of him on the netminding depth chart, Devan Dubnyk might as well be trying to win a job as head coach for all the inroads he's going to make in camp this year.

There's a blade in there with his name on it and it's falling soon. But that doesn't mean he can't make a statement during the brief time he's here.

So the 20-year-old let it be known, for the second game in a row, that soon, perhaps very soon, he's going to come to one of these camps and stick around for good.

ANOTHER GEM

The 6-foot-5 former Kamloops Blazer, who posted a 27-save shutout in his first pre-season start, turned in another gem last night against the visiting Calgary Flames. He was Edmonton's best player in a 2-1 loss, and needed to be on a night when the Oilers auditioned six rookie defencemen.

"It's a pretty important camp for me, the first one after I signed (a pro contract),'' said Dubnyk, who was being outshot 31-19 until a late Oilers rally made it look more respectable. "I want to show that I'm able to make the jump to pro this year.''

He did, and for a kid at this stage of his career, it means a lot.

"I knew that I wasn't going to get that many opportunities, a game or two, so it's huge,'' he said. "The coaches and managers don't get a chance to see you (down in the minors) so it's important to show them what you can do while you're here.

"It's my job to come in here and show them that if (Roloson or Markkanen)gets hurt, I have the ability to come up here and be on the bench if they need me or maybe even get a start. That's pretty important in my first year as a pro.''

Dubnyk ran his shutout streak to 90 minutes and 39 seconds before Calgary got to him on a powerplay midway through the second period. Alex Tanguay roofed the rebound from a near-impossible angle after Dubnyk had just robbed Tony Amonte from point blank before range. He had had no chance on another tic-tac-toe power play goal seven minutes later.

"He's played great, he made some unbelievable saves, really kept us in the game,'' said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He's been extremely impressive.''

While most other campers are trying to make the team, Dubnyk just wants to give the coaches something to think about for the future. And he has.

"He's trying to prove that he's getting closer and closer to be able to come in and play,'' said MacTavish. "Given any injuries, based on the way he's played he's played two exceptional games and he's buying some confidence from the coaching staff and his teammates. If he keeps on this track it won't be very long before he's in a spot to play some games.''

TOUGH SLEDDING

Before that, however, he's in for some tough sledding in the minors. Without an AHL team of their own, the Oilers have virtually no control over how their young keeper is developed.

"Iwish I could tell you where I'm going,'' he shrugged.

"But not knowing where I'm going has almost helped me to come in here and take it a day at a time. You relish the opportunities that the coaching staff give you.''

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