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Pickard Perfect, Picks Up Shutout as Oilers Win 15 Straight Games

Calvin Pickard was excellent in the Edmonton Oilers win and he might be earning himself a full-time backup gig after a shutout.

The Edmonton Oilers continued their historic winning streak, securing their 15th consecutive victory with a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night. Connor McDavid displayed his offensive prowess, contributing two goals and an assist, while Leon Draisaitl added three assists to the impressive performance. That said, the story of the night was backup goaltender Calvin Pickard, who played a pivotal role in the victory, making 27 saves and earning his fifth career shutout.

Pickard called it a “team shutout for sure,” but if not for his early top-notch stops, including one on a penalty shot, this could have been a different game.

His ability to shut the door allowed the Oilers to continue their excellent run of closing teams down. The Oilers’ defensive strength was further highlighted as they set a team record by allowing two goals or less in their 13th consecutive game.

Related: Oilers Makes Significant Line Changes Ahead of Game vs Blackhawks

Their transformation has been a remarkable journey, considering the early-season concerns about goaltending. The team, once perceived as needing help in various areas, has evolved into the top team in the NHL. General Manager Ken Holland, under pressure to address goaltending issues, resisted making hasty moves and opted to relieve the head coach instead. He shuffled his goalies around, put a new voice in charge, and the results speak for themselves.

Pickard Has Worked Himself Into an NHL Full-Time Role Conversation

With Calvin Pickard’s stellar performance, the Oilers now face a different decision-making landscape regarding goaltending strategies approaching the trade deadline. The Oilers have solidified their position as the hottest team in the league, embracing a reliable defensive approach that has contributed to their record-breaking winning streak. Pickard, while he hasn’t played a lot, has been a big part of that success.

Calvin Pickard earns the shutout for the Edmonton Oilers

The question the Oilers will have to answer is whether Pickard has provided enough to know if he’s capable of being the backup down the stretch and into the playoffs? If so, it could completely change how the Oilers approach the trade deadline and their earlier need for a goaltender.

The Oilers’ 15-game winning streak ties them for the third-longest in NHL history. As they prepare for upcoming challenges, including a game against Nashville, they aim to potentially set an all-time record for consecutive wins after the All-Star break. One has to wonder if Edmonton should give Pickard the start again.

Next: Oilers Host Likes Blockbuster Trade Idea For Flames and Oilers

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  1. Pingback: Pickard Perfect, Picks Up Shutout as Oilers Win 15 Straight Games Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News – Its Playoff Hockey

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