What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s a big-picture job Craig MacTavish has with the Edmonton Oilers and when it comes to goaltending there’s the picture you have been watching so far this season one that looked a lot better last night as Devan Dubnyk stopped 37 of 40 shots and didn’t give up any sensationally soft goals.

And then there’s the big picture.

MacTavish doesn’t mince his words about the big picture.

“We’re lacking at the position in our organization there’s no dancing around it. It’s a positional weakness as an organization. It’s important to understand where we’re at and to do something about it” the new GM told your correspondent on his cell phone from New York Thursday.

“I’d like to come up with something ingenious” he said before the Oilers took the ice against the Islanders in what ended up being a 3-2 loss their fifth straight defeat of the season. But he indicated he hadn’t had any such inspiration.

MacTavish didn’t sound like he was prepared to panic despite the fact his hockey team is 1-6-1 instead of likely 3-4-1 due to ghastly goaltending.


“We’ve been making calls to know the market. We have a good idea who is out there and available. We’re at a very critical point where Devan Dubnyk has to get back to the level he’s played at before. Priority No. 1 is to get Devan to play better as I expect he will.

“We were sent a list of four-game stretches involving a lot of goalies in the last couple of years and there’s some pretty good names on that list who had lower save percentages than Devan” he said.

“The thing here is that with Devan it’s been from the start of the season. If it had happened in the middle of the season there’s a track record of that success in season like those guys on that list.”

Over the past three years Dubnyk has had save percentages of .916 .914 and .920 — a three year average of .917 — which ranks him up there in the top 12 or 15 in the league playing for a team which finished 30th 29th and 24th those three seasons.