SUN Hockey Pool

Dubnyk's nightmare

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

It was not the debut Devan Dubnyk envisioned.

Instead it was a repeat of his last outing, having been sent down to the American Hockey League to get into some game action. This time around, however, there were a lot more people to witness it.

"It was obviously not the way I imagined it would go," said Dubnyk. "Obviously I would have liked to play a little better. It was exciting to get out there, but we had some tough bounces in the second period.

"It wasn't the best, but we'll take it from there, learn from that and I'll just be ready to go for the next one."

The next one could be a long-time coming for the Oilers first pick -- 14th overall --in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Brought in to back up Jeff Deslauriers after the 'Bulin Wall went down with injury, Dubnyk gave up seven goals on 26 shots in a 7-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues last night at Rexall Place.

Those were identical numbers to the ones he conceded just over a week ago with the Springfield Falcons in a 7-1 loss to the Portland Pirates.

"I think I was squeezing it a little bit after they got the fifth one," Dubnyk said. "They had a lucky third one and an unlucky fourth one that bounced off me then him in front and went in. Then they got that fifth one right away.

"You just have to try and keep playing and try to see some shots coming at you, but it's tough not to squeeze it as well."

Things didn't fall apart for Dubnyk and the Oilers until the midway point of the second period.

At the time, the teams were tied 2-2, with David Perron, all alone in front, and Andy McDonald, again from in tight, beating the Oilers goaltender.

However, Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid whacked the puck into his own net to put the Blues up by a goal. Patrik Berglund then tipped a shot in front and Jay McClement rounded out the scoring, getting in behind Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray and roofing one.

"That third goal, was obviously a tough goal, but there was lots of time left and a lot of hockey to be played," Dubnyk said. "I don't really think you can look at that. It was a tough bounce, it was obviously frustrating, but that's the way it goes sometimes."

McDonald added a second in the third period before Alex Steen rounded out the scoring.

Prior to the collapse, the Oilers had minimized the Blues' attack, having conceded just seven shots through the first 33 minutes.

In hindsight, that might have hindered the rookie goaltender more than it helped.

"Obviously you would like to feel the puck a little more, but they weren't really firing the puck from outside, they were working the puck down low, hanging on and trying to hit guys across," Dubnyk said. "You'd like some shots, but you don't get to dictate how the game goes. You have to stop what's put at you. It's my job and I have to stop them regardless if it's five shots or 50."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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