Calvin Pickard and Stuart Skinner
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Insider reports Oilers have made starting goalie decision for game 5

Published May 15, 2024 at 11:30

Oilers coach Knoblauch made a gutsy move to start Calvin Pickard over Stuart Skinner, and now it looks like he'll double down.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman on the most recent 32 Thoughts Podcast, the Oilers have already decided that Calvin Pickard will get the start again in game 5.

Called upon to start the first playoff game of his career, the 32 year old journeyman goaltender put up a solid performance for the Oilers in a crucial game. Pickard didn't need to be brilliant, but he stayed calm and made the expected saves that the Oilers haven't been getting from Stuart Skinner. He allowed a late tying goal in the third period on a deflection, but Pickard's league average .905 save percentage proved to be good enough for the Oilers to win.

After the game, Knoblauch wouldn't commit to turning to Pickard to start again, but he alluded to having great confidence in his ability to win another game.

Calvin Pickard speaks on incredible playoff debut as starting goalie for Oilers

The Oilers were reportedly worried by Stuart Skinner's comments after game 3, saying that he thought the emotion of the playoffs got to him. After the game, Pickard was the total opposite, speaking about the importance of keeping himself calm and collected in the net at all times. Thats exactly the mentality you want to see from a playoff goaltender.

»No one's gonna feel sorry for you. The goalie's an extremely mental position. You know, it can definitely play games with your mind sometimes, but this year I've done a pretty good job of handling that.»
-Calvin Pickard

Skinner is still a very talented starting goaltender, who dragged the Oilers through the regular season. However, his struggles in the playoffs may be a sign of some immaturity, and some room for growth. Perhaps Skinner sees the net again sometime this playoffs, but for now, the calm veteran presence of Calvin Pickard seems like the best choice for the Oilers.
May 15   |   411 answers
Insider reports Oilers have made starting goalie decision for game 5

Who do you think the Oilers should start in goal for game 5?

Calvin Pickard32178.1 %
Stuart Skinner6315.3 %
See Results276.6 %
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