Tag:Tom Renney
Posted on: March 2, 2012 5:22 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 9:05 pm

Sharks coach McLellan returns to ice

SharksBy: Adam Gretz

It seems that nobody in the NHL is safe from concussions or concussion-like symptoms these days, and that includes head coaches.

Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks was the second coach over the past month to miss time due to a head injury (Edmonton's Tom Renney was the other) after he was hit in the head with a stick during last Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild. He hasn't been back behind the bench since then, but was able to join the team on the ice for practice on Friday, which should be seen as a step in the right direction.

According to Kevin Kurz of CSNBayarea, his status for Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues is not yet known.

During his absence the Sharks have split a pair of 1-0 decisions, beating the Flyers on Tuesday and then losing to the Buffalo Sabres by the same score on Thursday night.

“It was a positive sign, first off, to have our leader back on the ice,” said Sharks assistant coach Jay Woodcroft, via CSN. “It’s a step in the process, and that’s all it is right now, a step in the process. We’ll move forward under the plan of him just trying to get better every day, and we’ll go from there.”

The Sharks are currently in the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference with 73 points, three points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, the team occupying the No. 9 spot. They're also just two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
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Posted on: August 24, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 10:35 pm

Is Dubnyk ready to start for Edmonton?


By: Adam Gretz

Preventing goals has been an issue for the Edmonton Oilers the past two seasons. Last year only two teams surrendered more goals than the Oilers 260, which was a slight improvement from the 278 they allowed during the 2009-10 season, which was the most in the NHL.

Many of those struggles can be attributed to the fact they've been a rebuilding team short on talent, especially on the blue line. Goaltending hasn't exactly been an area of strength, either, finishing 28th and 29th in save percentage the last two years. They're returning the same two goaltenders from last season, a duo that is made up of veteran Nikolai Khabibulin and former first-round Pick Devan Dubnyk, who will be entering his third season in the NHL.

To hear Oilers coach Tom Renney talk, it sounds as if Dubnyk will soon be Edmonton's No. 1 option in the crease after appearing in 35 games last season.

Renney spoke to Dan Tencer of CHED on Tuesday night (via David Staples of the Edmonton Journal) and said that he expects Dubynk to be a No. 1 starter in the NHL sooner rather than later, and also pointed out that he doesn't quite know what to expect from Khabibulin this season in terms of the number of of games he'll be able to start. Khabibulin, of course, just spent a couple of weeks serving some jail time (as well as time on house arrest) due to a DUI arrest in Arizona last season.

There's also the fact that he's going to turn 39 this season and is coming off what was one of the worst seasons of his 15-year career, recording a .890 save percentage in his 47 appearances, while also taking the loss in a league-leading 32. He probably shouldn't be counted on to be much better this season.

A couple of weeks ago the folks at The Copper and Blue looked at the performances of goaltenders in recent NHL history that played over the age of 38, and the results weren't exactly encouraging, with the majority of them posting a save percentage below the league average.

That leaves the 25-year-old Dubnyk. In the second half of last season he started most of Edmonton's games and seemed to play well, especially given the young team and sketchy defense that surrounded him. His .916 save percentage was not only a solid improvement from his debut during the 2009-10 season (it was also 17th out of the 43 qualified goaltenders in the NHL), but was also significantly better than what Khabibulin was able to do with the same team.

Given the way Dubnyk improved over the second half of the season, which followed the struggles of Khabibulin who will of course be another year older, why not plan on going with the younger Dubnyk for the bulk of the playing time? The Oilers are going to struggle to win games this season anyway, and they already know what they have in Khabibulin. So why not find out for sure what they have in a former first-round pick that's shown some some improvement from year one to year two? Yes, there will be some growing pains, especially playing behind a defense with some holes, but there is more long-term upside than what another year of Khabibulin in the No. 1 role to start the season would provide.

Photo: Getty Images

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com