Photo credit: Albert Pérez

Oilers have made a starting goalie decision for game 5

Published May 15, 2024 at 1:43 PM

In a move that underscores both daring and strategic finesse, Edmonton Oilers coach Knoblauch opted to place his trust in goalie Calvin Pickard over Stuart Skinner for a pivotal playoff game. This decision, initially met with raised eyebrows, appears to be gaining a foothold as the Oilers gear up for game 5.

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, speaking on the latest episode of the 32 Thoughts Podcast, revealed that the Oilers are set to continue with Calvin Pickard as their netminder in the upcoming game. A link to the podcast can be found here:

Calvin Pickard, a 32-year-old goaltender whose career has been marked by its ups and downs, stepped into the playoff spotlight for the first time and delivered a performance that, while not dazzling, was exactly what the Oilers needed. His calm demeanor was evident as he made all the routine saves, contributing significantly to the team's victory, despite conceding a late goal from a deflection. His season's save percentage of .905, though average, was sufficient in the high-stakes environment.

Post-game, while coach Knoblauch remained non-committal about future goaltending decisions, he hinted at a strong belief in Pickard's continued capacity to contribute to the team's success. More details on this can be found at:

Calvin Pickard Reflects on His Playoff Debut
After the game, contrasting the emotional upheaval expressed by Stuart Skinner following game 3, Pickard presented a starkly different persona—one of unflappable calm and focus. "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,» he stated confidently.

Despite Skinner's pivotal role in propelling the Oilers through the regular season, his playoff performance has been less assured, suggesting a need for growth and maturity. While Skinner remains a valuable asset, the more seasoned and steadied approach of Calvin Pickard currently seems to align best with the Oilers' immediate needs.

As the Oilers continue their playoff journey, the goaltending saga unfolds with an intriguing blend of strategy and human drama, reflecting the ever-compelling nature of playoff hockey
May 15   |   137 answers
Oilers have made a starting goalie decision for game 5

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