The Edmonton Oilers Playoff Goalie Is No Longer A Question

Edmonton Oilers Goalie Mike Smith #41 Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Goalie Mike Smith #41 Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Throughout this season there has been questions around which goalie will be the go to goalie when the Edmonton Oilers need a win.

The recent play of both Edmonton Oilers goalies had been good so far this season, but when it comes to the playoffs the Oilers will need to choose between Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. Earlier in the season I wrote about how it is still up in the air.

Right now I think the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff know who they are going to be running in the playoffs. With a 0.971 SV% in his last five games Mike Smith will be that starter in the playoffs. The only way I don’t think he starts in game one in the playoffs is if he really struggles down the stretch and Koskinen plays amazing.

Mike Smith’s Recent Play Is Why He Should Start Game 1

I mentioned above Smith’s last 5 game save percentage and how good it was. That is not all that has been good in his game.

Regular Season Table

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Above is the stat line from each of his last six starts. In these games he has had 2 shutouts and has not allowed more than 2 goals in a games. He also isn’t getting a small work load, he has had at least 30 shots in each of the games.

If Mike Smith can keep the opponent to 2 or less goals against per-game the Edmonton Oilers should have a chance to win every game. In the 33 games the Oilers have played under Jay Woodcroft the Oilers have only scored 2 or less goals 7 times. All but one of those games were a loss and the one win came in overtime.

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This is the main reason why I think that the Edmonton Oilers are going to ride Smith in the playoffs, at least to start. With this coaching staff Smith won’t have as long as leash that he had with the previous regime. If Smith has a bad game i would expect to see Koskinen in net the next game.

In the end the playoffs is about winning not trying to see what goalie helps you win. Right now I think Mike Smith the way he is playing now does give you the best chance to win. As for Koskinen, it is not that he doesn’t give them a chance the way he is playing right now, it’s just Smith right now is the better goalie.

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