2) Stuart Skinner
Don’t look now, but Stuart Skinner is beginning to look more and more like last season’s version. That would be the version who took over as the Oilers’ main goaltender and subsequently finished runner up for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Skinner started the 2023-24 campaign terribly, as the Oilers effectively had the worst goalie situation in the NHL. They were dead last in team save percentage and second-highest for average goals per game.
However, the 25-year-old is now on a roll since once more becoming the team’s number one option between the pipes. Wednesday night represented his third consecutive strong game, with all three performances resulting in wins.
The (second) victory versus the Kraken was Skinner’s best outing yet, which it needed to be on a night the Oilers were second-best for the majority of the game. It started just over a minute into the contest, when he made a big save to stop the team falling behind to an early goal for the second straight game.
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The Edmonton native would stop 13 shots in all during the opening period, to keep the score at 0-0. However, it was in the third period when he really earned his dough, as the Oilers held firm on a couple of important penalty kills which could have finished them off.
Skinner made a couple of key stops after the Oilers had pulled to within 3-2, to again keep the home side in the game. This included a big save late on in the third, after a turnover in the Oilers’ zone.
When speaking to the media postgame, the 2017 third round draft pick was complimented on keeping the Oilers in the game when they weren’t playing at his best. He was typically humble and understated, as he said:
"“Thank you. It’s always a nice feeling when you give your team a chance to win and that’s my job. I’m going to try to do that every night.”"