4 Edmonton Oilers who must elevate their game for a deeper Stanley Cup playoff push

Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save / Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

Stu must stand his ground

In the high-stakes world of playoff hockey, every player's performance is scrutinized under the microscope of intense pressure. However, one position arguably carries the weight of the team's fortunes more than any other—that of the goaltender. For the Edmonton Oilers, this responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of Stuart Skinner, the sophomore netminder who holds the key to the team's postseason aspirations.

Let's be clear: this is not a critique of Skinner's abilities nor a dismissal of his potential. Rather, it's a sober reminder of the pivotal role he plays in the Oilers' playoff ambitions. Last year's playoff run served as a harsh lesson for Skinner, as he struggled to find his footing and ultimately faltered with a save percentage below .900—a performance that undoubtedly contributed to the team's premature exit from postseason contention.

Fast forward to the present season, and Skinner has emerged as the undisputed number one goaltender for the Oilers. His steady play between the pipes has instilled confidence in his teammates and coaching staff alike, providing a solid foundation for the team's success. However, as the Oilers set their sights on a sustained playoff run, Skinner's performance becomes even more critical.

In the crucible of playoff hockey, where every save can swing the momentum of a game and every goal against can be magnified tenfold, Skinner must be at the top of his game. His ability to weather the storm, make timely saves, and keep his composure under pressure will be paramount to the Oilers' success in the postseason.

But it's not just about making saves—it's about making the right saves at the right time. In a league where goals are often scored in the blink of an eye and games can be decided by the slimmest of margins, Skinner must be a beacon of consistency and reliability for his team. Whether it's a sprawling glove save to rob an opponent of a sure goal or a timely pad stop to preserve a one-goal lead, Skinner's heroics can propel the Oilers to victory.