NHL Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks | Round 2, Game 4 | 05/14/2024

After Game 3, Stuart Skinner now has the worst Playoff save percentage of any NHL goalie, with at least 20 games played since the 2005 lockout. A calculated .881 SV% on a Cup-contending team, .796 SV% in this series, is a challenge to defend.

I don’t want to be too hard on Skinner, I really don’t. He’s currently repeating the second round woes he had in last year’s postseason. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt for this season because he was just a rookie last season. But even at his still young age, he’s had enough of a sample size now that fans have a right to be concerned about his game trending downward. It especially looks worse in comparison to a rookie goalie on the other side of the ice coming off a 42-save performance. When the Canucks made their comeback in Game 1, I blamed the Oilers for not showing up in the third period with the killer instinct. But in Game 3, all they did was take shot after shot while Arturs Silovs made save after save. It’s not even just the difference in goaltending, Edmonton is still struggling to have other players contribute on the scoresheet. Every time people post stats of league records that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are breaking every day, it’s only because they feel like they have to score or assist on every goal most nights. Oilers fans keep ragging about the officiating, but the powerplays given in the third period were 2-0 for our team; they scored on neither one. The shots on goal in the last two periods were 36-7, also for our team. You can’t argue about not getting more help while not helping yourself at the same time. As for Corey Perry’s disallowed goal, ask a Flames fan what the Parallax view is in order to gain perspective at our heated rival’s expense.

Frank Seravalli tweeted this morning that Calvin Pickard will get the start in net tonight. I see no harm in this decision being made. It’s no worse an idea than what we’ve seen on the ice recently. Remember that this is the back-up goalie who played a part in saving Edmonton’s regular season this year. If the Oilers win Game 4, it might reopen the debate as to whether or not Jay Woodcroft should’ve given Jack Campbell a chance after his heroics against the Kings last year(Yes, he should have). I don’t believe it’s the end for Skinner in these Playoffs. I do believe he’s getting the treatment he should’ve gotten in the Vegas series. Edmonton tied this series after one bad loss; they’ll have to do it again tonight. The keys to the game are…

The Forgotten Five: It was pretty cool to see 2nd unit PP score a rare goal for the Oilers. They’re never on the ice a lot anyway because the first unit is just too good. But if I’m gonna talk about secondary scoring, and since powerplays are such a big topic of discussion in this series, how scary would more PP strength be if this unit scores more as well?

Line Balance: It might be time to have Draisaitl back on the second line, just so the Oilers aren’t putting all the eggs in one basket. I wrote when Leon came back that him playing with McDavid had more to do with his injury. But he looks just fine, you wouldn’t even think he was hurt. Don’t even make him a centerman; play him on the wing if you have to.

Mc-Pissed Off: Carson Soucy will be serving a one game suspension for crosschecking McDavid after the final stoppage in play of Game 3. Connor was also held pointless on Sunday night. How is he going to respond after that incident? Will it encourage his teammates to put up a bigger fight emotionally without crossing a line. Tonight needs to be a battle of some sort.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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