Just this morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced that they would start Stuart Skinner in the crease instead of Jack Campbell. Likely a difficult decision, Woodcroft made it clear that he was happy the Oilers had the luxury of having two really good goaltenders to choose from.
Skinner will start in goal for the Oilers in Game 5 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings. This move comes after he was pulled from the team’s previous game, which was a 5-4 overtime win. In that game, Jack Campbell came in in relief to save the game and perhaps the Oilers’ season after Skinner had allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first period.
Related: Edmonton Oilers’ Quick Hits: RNH, Ekholm & McDavid
Campbell’s Relief Appearance Was Impressive
Campbell’s relief stint helped the Oilers gain the comeback. He came off the bench in the second period to hold the fort while his team pushed to a 5-4 overtime win. In his relief appearance, he made an impressive 27 saves. Only one puck eluded him. Without his stellar play, his team simply would not have been able to mount its comeback win.
Campbell’s heroic performance made him a key part of the Oilers’ success and might have saved the team’s season. After falling behind 3-0, the Oilers rallied to win. That comeback provided a much-needed psychological boost for the team. Despite struggling earlier in the season, Campbell’s heroic performance in this game made him a key player for the Oilers.
But is he the right choice tonight?
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Concerns About Campbell’s Rebound Control
Given that momentum in the playoffs is key, the Oilers need to maintain their momentum if they hope to advance. Although Skinner only has a 1-2 record in the playoffs so far and has allowed 12 goals on 101 shots, he’s the better choice in goal.
Sure Campbell’s performance in the last game helped lead the Oilers to victory. Still, I have some concerns about his style of goaltending.
Specifically, he’s giving up too many rebounds and flopping around in his crease. That kind of play can make it difficult for the defense to tie up opponents in the crease and track rebounds. There’s a good chance that, if Campbell is in the net again, the Kings will be able to capitalize on those rebounds.
The Oilers Need to Take the Next Game on Home Ice, Therefore …
Edmonton hopes for a bounce-back performance from Skinner in Game 5. The Oilers’ dramatic win in Game 4 might have turned the tide in the series. However, they need to throw out their best option for Game 5.
That option is Skinner. The Kings will come out strong tonight in Game 5. Let’s hope Campbell doesn’t have to come in to mop up for his goalie partner.
Related: Oilers’ Campbell Comes Off Bench to Save Team’s Season [Video]
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