3 Players Who Have Something To Prove In The Final Weeks

Edmonton Oilers Celebrate Goal (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers Celebrate Goal (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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Edmonton Oilers Goalie Mikko Koskinen #19
Edmonton Oilers Goalie Mikko Koskinen #19 Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports /

Mikko Koskinen

Similar to fellow Fin Jesse Puljujarvi, Mikko Koskinen isn’t playing bad, but if he wants to be a game changer moving forward his game is going to have to improve. This is even more important for him now that it looks like Mike Smith is finding his game again.

At this point in the season I don’t think anyone knows who is going to be the starting goalie on game 1 of the playoffs, not even Jay Woodcroft. That leaves me feeling a bit uneasy about the goalies.

Both the goalies have had some great games and they have had bad games. As of late both have had a majority of the good side of the coin. Earlier in the season, mostly the month of December, there was not a good goalie around this team.

During and after that stretch most people wanted the Edmonton Oilers to call up and run with Stuart Skinner. Obviously Oilers management did not do that. Looking back at it now that was the right thing as both Smith and Koskinen are playing good hockey.

Moving forward the rest of the regular season I think there is more pressure on Koskinen moving forward. If Koskinen wants to be the starter in the payoffs he needs to play much  than Mike Smith. Koskinen has only appeared in 4 playoff style games. He started in 3 of and came in relief in one game play in round games in the COVID shortened season.

I have wrote about it before and I think Smith has the higher ceiling when it comes to play, but he also is way more inconsistent. I think in the playoffs Koskinen may be a better starter because he is more even. The highs may not be as high, but the lows aren’t as low.

If Koskinen lets in a soft goal he doesn’t fall apart and spiral. In past games when Smith lets in a soft goal it is usually followed by him getting pulled. So this is why I think that if Koskinen gets hot now it will be good for the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs.