Monday, October 6, 2008

'08-09 Springfield Falcons Preview, The Goalies

One thing is for sure, this years goaltenders have big skates to fill. The big skates of 6'4" Oilers rookie goaltender and last seasons Falcons MVP Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers to be exact. Luckily, the Falcons have 6'6", 2004 1st round pick Devan Dubnyk looking to carry the brunt of the load.

Last years Falcons back-up, this year is Dubnyk's time to shine. The only question is, who will be the back-up this year, and for how long? Let's take a look at this years Falcons goaltenders and potential goaltenders.

The Goaltenders

Devan Dubnyk-After a solid AHL rookie season which saw limited starts, Dubnyk is looking to propel himself into the Oilers NHL picture with a big season this year. Dubnyk certainly has a better team in front of him this season, however if the Falcons decide to play a run and gun style, Dubnyk will still see a ton of rubber directed at him this season. Expect Dubnyk to get 55+ starts this year as the back-up situation isn't as strong as it was last year, and the Oilers would like to see Dubnyk emerge as the goaltender that they projected him to be 4 years ago.

Glenn Fisher-A somewhat disappointing rookie season in the ECHL last year resulted is Fisher signing an AHL contract instead of a typical 2-way NHL contract. He has a lot to show this season, he will likely be fighting for his professional career in the Oilers organization unless he ups his game. At 25 years of age, time is not on his side, he will need to prove to be better than his younger opposition to keep his spot even during this season.

Bryan Pitton-One of 2 OHL goaltending graduates that are in the Oilers minor league system, Pitton brings a solid OHL pedigree and some much needed athletic skill to the position. Pitton will be starting the year with the Falcons farm team, the Stockton Thunder, however the Oilers are likely hoping for him to have a similar transition to the AHL like Devan Dubnyk had 2 seasons ago. 1 year in the ECHL and the next in the AHL.

Andrew Perugini-The recently signed Perugini will also be starting the season in Stockton of the ECHL. With a 0.917 save % split between 2 OHL teams last year, Perugini obviously impressed the Oilers enough for them to add him to their stable which already boasted Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Devan Dubnyk, and Bryan Pitton. Expect Perugini and Pitton to battle for the Thunders #1 spot or for them to play a 1a/1b tandem.

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