Coyotes shooting on Skinner
Photo credit: Idaho State Journal

Goaltending problem for Edmonton Oilers starting to rear its head again

Published February 20, 2024 at 12:04

Despite the Edmonton Oilers saving their season with two incredible win streaks off incredible efforts from the entire team, the problem of goaltending is still lurking around. Jack Campbell is still in the minors, and the team has relied upon the sophomore Stuart Skinner to take on the majority of the workload.

He's been incredible this season, but Skinner's showing signs of slowing down now, and fans are beginning to notice. The team's save percentage has markedly decreased in February, and Skinner has had some rough games recently against Arizona, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Vegas.

Against Arizona, Skinner let in a few weak goals that allowed the Coyotes to be too close for comfort in that game. Overall, he made 22 saves on 25 shots, a disappointing .880 save percentage.

It should be remembered that Skinner is still an extremely young goalie in this league, and goalies notoriously take longer to develop. The Oilers may be having unrealistic expectations if they think Skinner can carry them through a deep playoff run while only being backed up by Calvin Pickard. Of course, Jack Campbell should come no where near a meaningful NHL game at this point.

Perhaps with the goaltending showing signs of becoming questionable again, the Oilers reassess the goaltender market at the trade deadline. It certainly couldn't hurt to add a veteran goaltender to pair with Skinner if he loses his play, or suffers an injury. Few goalies are on the trade market that would fit the bill for the Oilers except Marc-Andre Fleury. The 38-year old veteran would reportedly accept a trade to a cup contender this season and could be had for relatively little in trade, and is on a manageable contract.

If not Fleury, the Oilers need to consider adding a goaltender to provide insurance at the goalie position down the stretch and in the playoffs - they don't want to have to play Pickard or Campbell in important games.
February 20   |   446 answers
Goaltending problem for Edmonton Oilers starting to rear its head again

Should the Oilers trade for a goalie at the deadline?

No, goalies are fine, get forwards and defence12628.3 %
Yes, we need the insurance28463.7 %
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