Skinner makes statement during Edmonton Oilers’ penalty shootout win over Winnipeg Jets

He was there when general manager Edmonton Oilers Ken Holland went fishing in the free pool for a star keeper and became empty.

He was there when frustrated fans clamored for the Oilers to get a #1 netminder through commerce, but no such deal was made.

And Stuart Skinner has time and again when the Oilers need a big stop before the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (November 18) at Rogers Place. Skinner made 46 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped two penalty shootout attempts to save the Oilers to 2-1 win overtake their Canadian rivals.

Just starting his NHL career for the fourth time, the 6-foot-4 tall Edmonton has shown a poise that has weathered his years while under constant attack from a fleet of exploding Jets. explode. After parrying 38 out of 39 regulatory shots, Skinner made eight saves in stoppage time, with Winnipeg in a 4v3 powerfight over three minutes.

It was possibly the best performance by a goalkeeper to date in the 2021-22 NHL season and is a statement from the 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has never been considered a future Edmonton goalkeeper, but he should be.

Oilers had goal problems

Over the past few years, there has been no greater source of destruction in the Oil Country than what is happening between pipelines. Edmonton’s Stanley Cup window will open over the next several seasons. However, the Oilers have yet to buy a goalkeeper of the caliber to match superstar strikers Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

That’s not Mike Smith. He turns 40 in March, breaks down and won’t stay when Edmonton’s talented young core reaches its peak. And it’s not Mikko Koskinen, one in two. The 33-year-old reminded everyone on Tuesday when he dropped four goals in 40 minutes in a game The jet team lost lane 5-2 that he’s not good enough nor consistent enough to take this team to the next level.

But what about Skinner? Everything on his résumé suggests he has the potential to become the goalkeeper the Oilers needed and Edmonton aspired to be.

Skinner has a track record of success

In light hockey, Skinner has won the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey Tournament twice (2012 and 2013) and won the Western Canadian Bantam (2013). As a kid, he was a Western Hockey League (2018) champion. In the American Hockey League, he overcame Bakersfield Condors to win the John D. Chick Trophy (2021).

He was named the AMBHL Top Goalkeeper for the 2012-2013 season, becoming the Lethbridge Hurricanes all-time lead in games (182), wins (88), saves (5,318) and saves ( 10), while also setting the WHL record for most closures in a single season (6).

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Curtis Comeau / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

78NS overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Skinner, began competing in the AHL in 2018-19. Last season with The Condors, he led the AHL in wins (20) and saves (753) while placing second in goal-to-average (2.38) and third in saves. lost (0.914) among goalkeepers who have played at least 20 times. He was named the CCM/AHL Goalkeeper of the Month for April, having recorded 7-2-0, 1.93 GAA and 0.926 SV%.

After Smith was injured in Edmonton’s third game of the season, Skinner was recall on October 20. Koskinen started seven straight games for Edmonton before Skinner finally got a chance to play on November 9, against the Detroit Red Wings.

Edmonton’s goalkeepers have alternated starting the last six games, and while Koskinen is 2-1 and Skinner is 1-2, the veteran has 4.15 GAA and 0.883 SV% versus 2.10 GAA of Skinner and 0.940 SV% for that time period.

Skinner’s strong start puts kerosene in a better place

A big problem with Edmonton this season is his tendency to fall behind early. The Oilers have conceded their first goal in seven consecutive games and 10 of their last 14. In 5 of his last 6 starts, the scorer has conceded the first 4 shots he has faced, and in those 3 cases the goal has come from the first. or the opponent’s second.

Related: Koskinen’s ‘First Aim Reputation’ Will Lead to a Toilet Escape

That contrasted with Skinner’s performance on Thursday night, when the young goalkeeper made 31 saves before finally being beaten by Winnipeg winger Nikolaj Ehlers at 13:57 in the third inning.

Skinner can become Edmonton’s goalkeeper now and in the future

A game in November fails to make the Stanley Cup in June, but it will make for another start for Skinner on Saturday (November 20), when the Oilers return to action, against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Place. With Smith sidelined indefinitely, now is the time for the Oilers to give Skinner the ball and the chance to run with it. From a long-term perspective, this is Edmonton’s chance to find out what it’s all about at Skinner. From a short-term perspective, Skinner currently gives Edmonton the best chance to win on any given night.

He’s a proven winner on every other level. And if Skinner keeps doing what he’s always done, Oil Country will enjoy the present and begin to feel a lot better about the future.

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Subhankar Mondal

Subhankar Mondal is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Subhankar Mondal joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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