The Edmonton Oilers celebrating as a team after a win at home.
Photo credit: The Score

Surprising Oiler heralded as unsung hero of the season

Published March 22, 2024 at 1:40 PM

At the beginning of this season, it seems goaltending would dominate the Oilers storylines this year, but Calvin Pickard stepped up and has really stabilized the team.

When Jack Campbell was sent down and Stuart Skinner couldn't find consistency early on, the goaltending situation seems to be enough to sink this team's Stanley Cup aspirations. However Skinner has now found his game, and he's been supported by Calvin Pickard as a reliable backup goaltender - something the Oilers haven't had for years. Now he's being heralded as one of the biggest unsung heroes of this Oilers team.

Pickard was just waiting in the AHL last season, and when Campbell was sent down he's grabbed the opportunity and not let go. In 15 games this season, Pickard has posted an impressive 2.25 GAA and .919 save percentage, as well as a 10-4-0 record. To be honest, he may have actually earned himself more playing time than he's getting. With himself proving to be reliable, he could ease the workload more on Stuart Skinner, who's on pace to play the most games by a goaltender in the league this year.

Without Pickard's emergence as a quality goaltender, the Oilers season may be in a completely different place. The trade deadline acquisition may have been a goaltender instead of Henrique, Carrick, and Stetcher - all of whom have significantly improved the team's depth for the playoffs. For just $762K this season, the 31 year old journeyman goalie Pickard has become one of the most important pieces to this roster. Still, hopefully he doesn't have to play in the playoffs - that's all Skinner.
March 22   |   400 answers
Surprising Oiler heralded as unsung hero of the season

Will Pickard play in the playoffs?

No, only Skinner9223 %
Yes, he can be trusted to rest Skinner24360.8 %
Only if there's an injury6516.3 %
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