Photo credit: Albert Pérez

Changes to the starting goalie and lineup for game 5 are announced

Published May 16, 2024 at 3:34 PM

In a bold move by Edmonton Oilers' coach Knoblauch, goaltender Calvin Pickard is set to start again tonight, following a pivotal win in game 4.

This decision underscores a strategic shift for the Oilers as they aim to capitalize on their current momentum and extend their playoff run.

Pickard's performance in game 4 was precisely what the Oilers required—nothing more than league-average goaltending, yet significantly impactful. Despite Stuart Skinner's commendable season, where he solidified his role as the starting goalie, his playoff struggles have resurfaced. Skinner's own admissions to the media about the emotional toll of playoff pressures were telling and likely influenced the decision not to start him anew.

In contrast, the seasoned Pickard maintained his composure, suggesting that his experience and maturity are key factors in his current success. With the Oilers executing well both offensively and defensively, they need a goalie who can reliably make the necessary saves—a bar Skinner had been missing, but Pickard met in game 4, earning him another start.

The Oilers' lineup remains largely unchanged from the previous game. Key players such as Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane, Adam Henrique, and Mattias Ekholm, although missing from practice, are expected to be ready for the game. There might be adjustments in the defensive pairings, but many fans are hopeful Coach Knoblauch will maintain the effective pairings from last game, notably separating Cody Ceci and Darnell Nurse.

As the series now narrows to a best-of-three, each shift becomes increasingly critical. The Oilers are poised to seize a victory on the road, aiming to return to Edmonton with a chance to eliminate the Canucks and advance to the conference finals. This strategy, while risky, reflects a clear commitment to leveraging mature, steady goaltending as the foundation of their playoff strategy.
May 16   |   23 answers
Changes to the starting goalie and lineup for game 5 are announced

Calvin Pickard should be started in goal over Stuart Skinner, do you agree?

Latest 10 stories