2) Jack Campbell
We don’t imagine anyone will be surprised to find Jack Campbell on this list of duds. Fair or not, it many ways he represented the chaos and dysfunction of the Oilers on Wednesday night.
As Oilers fans are painfully aware, Campbell had a nightmare first campaign in Edmonton. Brought in to shore up the goalie position, he instead had his worst statistical season yet in the NHL.
The question was, did this represent the beginning of declining production from the 31-year-old, or just a one-off poor season? His play during preseason seemed to indicate the latter, as he played more to the level of what he has previously shown capable of.
In fact, Campbell played so well during the preseason, that he was rewarded with the start on opening night. However, he was unable to justify his reward, as he performed miserably in Vancouver.
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As much as the blue line shares just as much blame for how poor the Oilers were defensively, the goalie still didn’t do his part when he was called upon. He allowed four goals on 16 shots, and didn’t even make it to the halfway point of the contest.
The confident version of Campbell from preseason, was replaced by the more nervous one on show during last season between the pipes. As such, previous concern about if the Oilers had overpaid for him, reared its ugly head once again.
There’s no denying the former Toronto Maple Leafs has the talent and athleticism you look for in goal. However, this is only equaled by an ongoing inability to perform consistently at a high level.
Stuart Skinner didn’t do any better when he took over in goal, but this isn’t exactly reassuring for the Oilers’ front office. Regardless, Campbell still has it all to do, to prove he’s worth the five-year, $25 million deal he was signed to prior to last season.