June 22, 2024

Trailing 2-1, Edmonton Oilers facing goaltender decision

The decision to tug goaltender Stuart Skinner after the second interval of a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Vancouver Canucks has left the Edmonton Oilers facing questions on their goaltending for a second straight postseason.

Skinner, who has began each recreation throughout these playoffs, was changed by Calvin Pickard to start the third interval. Skinner was pulled after permitting 4 targets on 15 pictures in a Game 3 that noticed the Canucks take a 2-1 sequence lead within the Western Conference semifinals.

“Yes, we need more saves,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch stated. “Tonight, obviously, I felt like that with Picks going in the third period but defense along with goaltending is very important to winning hockey games. Especially in the long term. Yeah, it’s got to be better.”

Knoblauch when requested about how Skinner was responding to the strain of this postseason, stated that Game 3 was a efficiency that he want to have again.

“We’ll see what he’s got in the future,” Knoblauch stated. “Whether that’s Game 4 or Game 5 or whatever it is. We’ll be seeing Stu again and have no doubt he’ll respond and play well.”

As a rookie final season, Skinner emerged because the No. 1 goaltender for his hometown group by profitable 29 video games and ending with a .914 save proportion. His postseason wasn’t fairly as clean. He completed 5-6 with a 3.68 goals-against common and a .883 save proportion.

Skinner was pulled 4 occasions through the Oilers’ 12 playoff video games with three of these early exits coming in a second-round sequence loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Following a rocky begin, the Oilers moved on from coach Jay Woodcroft and employed Knoblauch. His hiring led to a resurgence with Skinner being one of many primarily beneficiaries. He would win 36 video games whereas posting a 2.62 goals-against common and a .905 save proportion in 57 begins.

The Oilers superior to the second spherical by beating the Los Angeles Kings within the first spherical for a 3rd straight season. Skinner completed with a 2.57 goals-against common in an opening-round sequence that noticed him do the whole lot from report a shutout in Game 4 to permitting 4 targets in consecutive video games to open the sequence.

Even with the Canucks averaging 19 pictures per recreation in opposition to the Oilers, they’ve scored greater than three targets in every contest. It’s left Skinner with a 4.63 goals-against common and a .790 save proportion after Game 3.

Knoblauch not committing to a Game 4 starter in his post-game remarks leaves questions on who might get the web because the Oilers try to even the sequence when it resumes Tuesday.

Pickard, who went 12-7-1 with a 2.45 goals-against common and a .909 save proportion within the common season, hadn’t appeared in a postseason recreation till Sunday. He completed three saves within the third interval.

There’s additionally Jack Campbell.

Campbell joined the Oilers in free company earlier than the 2022-23 season on a five-year deal value $5 million yearly. He struggled to seek out consistency throughout his first marketing campaign which led to him backing up Skinner within the second half of the season and within the playoffs. While Campbell stopped 49 of the 51 pictures he confronted in reduction of Skinner final postseason, he by no means began for the Oilers.

This season noticed Campbell start 1-4 with a 4.50 goals-against common and a .873 save proportion. It led to the Oilers selling Pickard from their AHL affiliate with Campbell going the opposite approach. Campbell went 18-13-1 with a 2.63 goals-against common and a .918 for the Bakersfield Condors within the common season however solely had one postseason efficiency, a recreation that noticed him enable 5 targets on 35 pictures.