2) Stuart Skinner
In many ways Stuart Skinner saved the Oilers last season, as Jack Campbell failed to live up to his salary. Skinner became the regular starter and performed well enough to finish runner up for the the Calder Trophy.
However, this season started terribly for the 25-year-old, albeit not helped by the defensive calamity in front of him on the ice. He went 1-5-1 in his first seven starts and at one point had the third-worst save percentage among all NHL goalies.
Since then however, Skinner has turned around his form and looked more like what he showed between the pipes last season. Coincidental or not, his improved play coincided with the Oilers’ decision to assign Campbell to the AHL with the Condors.
The Edmonton native has now gone 7-2-0 in his past nine games, including Thursday night’s 3-1 in Winnipeg. He kept the Jets at bay early on and when they did finally score, it was the combination of a power play and a deflection he could do nothing about.
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However, this would prove to be the only time the home side would score past Skinner. He kept the Oilers in the game with some key stops on subsequent power play opportunities for the Jets.
When it was all said and done, the 2017 third round draft pick stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced. While his overall stats on the season may still not look great, he’s at least trending in the right direction.
After the game, Skinner was asked about the team’s improved ability of late, to lock it down. Speaking to the media, he said:
"“I think especially in this game, we did a really good job. Obviously there’s some tweaks that have to be made, as always. Every win or loss there’s things to improve on, so it’s just a matter of sticking with it, which I know the guys will.”"