Is Stuart Skinner Enough Of An Upgrade On The Current Tandem?

Edmonton Oilers Goaltender Stuart Skinner #74 Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Goaltender Stuart Skinner #74 Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Just about every Oilers fans biggest wish for the finale of this season is for the club to recall goaltender Stuart Skinner.

The general displeasure from Oilers fans surrounding the Smith/Koskinen tandem has led multiple eyes to look towards the clubs 2017 3rd round pick Stuart Skinner. The only thing that gives me any concern with giving Skinner an opportunity is his streaky NHL numbers.

Taking a Look

Through Skinner’s 13 NHL appearances this season, Skinner has averaged a .913 save percentage reaching both a 1.000 and .800 in the process. Skinner has had moments of brilliance, stopping 46 of 47 against a solid Jets club. Contrarily, Skinner allowed 5 goals on 25 shots against the Ottawa Senators in an eventual 6-4 loss. To visualize the ebbs and flows of his results, let’s look at his stretch of games between November 18th and December 16th.

11/18/2021 – (EDM Vs. WPG) 1 goal on 47 shots .979 save percentage

11/20/2021 – (EDM Vs. CHI) 2 goals on 31 shots .935 save percentage

11/23/2021 – (EDM @ DAL) 4 goals on 33 shots .879 save percentage

12/03/2021 – (EDM @ SEA) 4 goals on 34 shots .882 save percentage

12/09/2021 – (EDM Vs. BOS) 3 goals on 30 shots .900 save percentage

12/16/2021 – (EDM Vs. CBJ) 2 goals on 38 shots .947 save percentage

I chose this stretch in particular because it was the only group of games with a relatively similar amount of shots faced. I can’t deny that the Winnipeg, Chicago, and Columbus games are fantastic results that can almost be enough to overlook the bad. However the 23 year old had two tough games, against a solid Stars team and one against the Seattle Kraken, who are last place in the pacific division. Now the other question I encountered was what the team looked like in front of Skinner for these games, so I counted the number of players who aren’t in the current lineup,

11/18/2021 – 4 players (Turris, Sceviour, Koekkoek, Benson)

11/20/2021 – 5 players (Turris, Sceviour, Russell, Broberg, Benson)

11/23/2021 – 4 players (Sceviour, Russell, Perlini, Broberg)

12/03/2021 – 6 players (Sceviour, Russell, Perlini, Neimelainen, Lagesson, Broberg)

12/09/2021 – 3 players (Sceviour, Russell, Neimelainen)

12/16/2021 – 5 players (Turris, Sceviour, Perlini, Lagesson, Benson)

Take the two games November 18th against Winnipeg and November 23rd against Dallas, two games where skinner had a .100 difference in save percentage (.979 Vs. WPG and .879 Vs. DAL) with a similar amount of players who aren’t regulars. Another thing I find interesting is the amount of players who aren’t regulars seems to rely on the strength of the competition, with the most regulars out against the Kraken and the most in against Boston.


While I think Skinner deserves some starts with the Edmonton Oilers down the stretch, I worry about his low volume of starts against playoff teams having only started against two (Boston and Dallas). I understand wanting to shelter a young goaltender but if the team is hypothetically relying on Skinner to solve the goaltending issue, I would like to see him against some top teams with a full lineup in front of him to best simulate playoff hockey. All the underlying numbers lead to Skinner being an upgrade but until he starts regularly against top competition he can’t be viewed as any more reliable of an option than Smith and Koskinen.

Next. 3 Players That Fell Under Expectations This Year. dark