Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk didn’t ask for Vancouver Canucks’ netminder Cory Schneider’s cellphone number after Tuesday’s home opener at Rexall Place, but if he had, we know what Dubnyk’s text message would have said.
“No place to hide, eh?”
The two 26-year-old starters were both on the bench wearing a ball cap after getting the early hook in their respective clubs’ first games at home.
Dubnyk was beaten for six goals in 17 shots by the San Jose Sharks and was replaced by backup Yann Danis after 20 minutes. Schneider, anointed as the No. 1 goalie over Roberto Luongo, gave up five goals in 14 shots through 26 minutes against the Anaheim Ducks last Saturday at Rogers Arena.
“I won’t be looking at my stats for about 10 games,” said Dubnyk, who was beaten twice by Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, with Dan Boyle and fellow defenceman Marc-Eduoard Vlasic also scoring in a total reversal of Dubnyk’s sterling 3-2 shootout win in Vancouver Sunday.
Farmhand Yann Danis, called up with Nikolai Khabibulin not yet ready to dress, came in for the last 40 minutes. He stopped all 14 shots he faced, so the Oilers didn’t challenge their all-time worst home-opener result, an 8-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in 1997.
Dubnyk had little chance on any of the Sharks’ goals — at times it looked like San Jose was playing against air — but it still stung.
“It’s embarrassing to be pulling the puck out of the net every few minutes,” he said.
When asked if he’d ever given up six goals in a period before, he didn’t have to wrack his brain.
Not in junior, or the minors?
“Five, in Hartford, second period, one day … no that’s not right, I wasn’t in for them all,” he said.
Couture’s 35-footer short-side to make it 2-0 after Boyle had ripped one past him at 3:17, was stoppable. The others?
Nobody is throwing him under the bus. To a man, the Oilers looked totally in awe of Joe Thornton and Marleau in the first 20 minutes. They didn’t ask for autographs, but the two veterans were treated with the respect of a visiting U.S. president, not a couple of visiting hockey players.
“They were moving the puck around and we — all of us, myself included — were staring at the puck. You end up getting toasted,” said Dubnyk.
“It’s early in the season, but this is a good wake-up call for us. We did a good job in the second and third (outscoring the Sharks 2-0 and outshooting them 22-14) but it’s tough to grade it. After 6-1 in the first period, you don’t know if they’re playing, but we got back to the way we know we can play,” said Dubnyk.
Dubnyk knows how crowded the Oilers bandwagon was after they rallied to beat Vancouver Sunday.
“Very disappointing. There was a lot of excitement around this game and we were certainly excited to play in it. We wanted it to be good for our fans, but it’s a good lesson for us. There’s great teams and great players in this league and in the first period they showed us,” said Dubnyk.
Itr was hard on the eyes for the fans in the seats, the players on the ice, and the new head coach, Ralph Krueger.
“That was more painful than I could have imagined,” said Krueger.
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