Oilers' coach Knoblauch makes a critical decision with the team

Published December 10, 2023 at 5:08 PM
Currently on a seven game win streak after a massively disappointing start to the year, the Edmonton Oilers are riding a high that could land them back in a playoff spot. Ahead of today's game against the powerhouse New Jersey Devils, Oilers' head coach Kris Knoblauch made a critical decision that clearly benefitted the team.

Stuart Skinner had played 7 straight games before today, and had an impressive 6-1 record. However, to keep the momentum rolling and with an eye to the future condition of Skinner, Knoblauch made the bold choice to start backup Calvin Pickard.

Pickard played brilliantly, stopping 26 of 27 shots, and holding off the Devils as they pushed to even the score late in the third period. At the bare minimum, Pickard made the saves he needed to keep the Oilers in the game - something Jack Campbell hasn't been able to do.

Now, Pickard's strong appearance in today's game could have an impact on Campbell's standing with the team. Campbell has still been struggling greatly in the AHL, and with the Oilers desperate for wins, they can't afford to give him a chance just because of his salary, especially if Pickard is available to compete. Perhaps this game, and if Pickard has more strong starts, will cause the Oilers to re-evaluate their strategy with Campbell.
December 10   |   823 answers
Oilers' coach Knoblauch makes a critical decision with the team

Has Pickard earned more starts?

Yes, he should be the backup55767.7 %
Tandem with Skinner19523.7 %
No, call up Campbell718.6 %
Latest 10 stories