The post Oilers Sticking With Skinner for Game 4 The Right Call appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

There are times when a team can blame a goaltender for a loss and there are times they shouldn’t. Monday night, as the Oilers completely folded under the pressure of the Dallas Stars in the second period of Game 3, Stuart Skinner was the only reason the game wasn’t a runaway victory for Dallas. Skinner kept Edmonton in the fight and it was the team, not the netminder that should feel badly about the way that contest ended.

As such, it shouldn’t comes as a surprise to fans to hear head coach Kris Knoblauch confirm on Tuesday that Skinner would be the starter in Game 4. A decision the Oilers’ coach might have otherwise held off on announcing until game day, the coach made it clear that Skinner was the guy.

Stuart Skinner will start Game 4. #Oilers pic.twitter.com/4AnZIDwipB

— Tony Brar ???? (@TonyBrarOTV) May 28, 2024

Calvin Pickard was great for the Oilers in a backup role during the series against the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers should feel confident about going with him again, should they want or need to. But, this isn’t the time to bail out the forwards and the defense by swapping out a netminder who doesn’t deserve to be pulled. Yes, Skinner let in a softer goal on Jason Robertson that proved to be the game-winner. That said, it was a goal that was as much about how Robertson found the smallest of holes to put the puck through as it was about Skinner giving him something to shoot at. Going to Pickard to start Game 4 sends the wrong message.

The Oilers Need to Be Better

Edmonton needs to find a way to play 60 minutes worth of hockey against the Stars. They’ve yet to do so, and the end result is a 2-1 series lead for Dallas. The second period of Monday’s game was perhaps the worst the Oilers have been all playoffs. Bailing them out by blaming the goalie is not the right message to send.

Stuart Skinner Oilers Game 6

If Skinner struggles to start Game 4, make the switch early and stop the bleeding. But, Skinner has bounced back in the past and the Oilers have too. If Edmonton is going to make it through Dallas and to the Final, it will be because Skinner is in the net, not watching.

And, the Oilers should remember that Skinner made some incredible saves that he probably shouldn’t have made. Some credit needs to go to him for keeping Edmonton in a position to rebound from some terrible hockey and take Game 3.

Next: The McDavid Factor: A Blessing and a Curse for The Oilers

The post Oilers Sticking With Skinner for Game 4 The Right Call appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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