02/21/2024

BUF:

3

MTL:

2

Final

PHI:

3

CHI:

1

Final

CBJ:

7

ANA:

4

Final

TOR:

6

ARI:

3

Final

BOS:

6

EDM:

5

Final

02/22/2024

FLA:

0

CAR:

1

Final

COL:

1

DET:

2

Final

NYR:

5

NJD:

1

Final

DAL:

1

OTT:

4

Final

MTL:

1

PIT:

4

Final

WSH:

5

TBL:

3

Final

NYI:

0

STL:

4

Final

BOS:

2

CGY:

3

Final

VAN:

2

SEA:

5

Final

TOR:

7

VGK:

3

Final

NSH:

4

LAK:

1

Final

02/23/2024

BUF:

2

CBJ:

1

Final

WPG:

3

CHI:

2

Final

MIN:

4

EDM:

2

Final

02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

0

NJD:

0

01:00 ET

PHI:

0

PIT:

0

03:30 ET

CAR:

0

BUF:

0

06:00 ET

NYR:

0

CBJ:

0

06:00 ET

DET:

0

CHI:

0

06:00 ET

ARI:

0

WPG:

0

06:00 ET

NSH:

0

ANA:

0

08:00 ET

02/26/2024

OTT:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

EDM:

0

09:30 ET

BOS:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

02/27/2024

WSH:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

MTL:

0

07:00 ET

TBL:

0

PHI:

0

07:00 ET

VGK:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

MIN:

0

08:00 ET

OTT:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

STL:

0

WPG:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

09:00 ET

DAL:

0

COL:

0

09:30 ET

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

Should the Edmonton Oilers Acquire Elvis Merzlikins?

Elvis Merzlikins celebrates a shutout victory over the Vancouver Canucks
Photo: Hector Urcia | Inside The Rink

While the Edmonton Oilers enjoy their rise in the NHL standings these last couple of months, it’s not a bad idea to discuss a position that is always a hot-button topic in Oil Country, even before this season. Below-average goaltending was Edmonton’s biggest plague between October and November. A team that was viewed by many as a Stanley Cup contender heading into the season had an overwhelming inability to keep a puck, any puck, out of their net. Since mid-November, when they made their coaching change, Stuart Skinner has been one of the best goalies in the league. Seeing his save percentage start with the number 9 looked like an impossibility with his early struggles, but here we are now. But Jack Campbell was sent to the AHL to retool his game, as he’d been unplayable on a lot of nights this season for Edmonton. With Calvin Pickard getting called up from the AHL and playing some solid hockey in his backup role to Skinner, a 2.69 GAA, and .902 SV% in 7 games played, the talk of goaltending has settled down a tad. It’s still a position to examine, but you don’t hear as many freakouts as you used to. One name rumored to be of interest to Edmonton is Elvis Merzlikins from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Why Did Elvis Merzlikins Request a Trade?

The 29-year-old goalie recently requested a trade out of Columbus and has been bouncing back from a 2022/2023 season that saw him post a 4.23 GAA and a .876 SV% in 30 games played. In 24 games this season, his goals against average of 3.22 isn’t the prettiest. But his save percentage of .906 is pretty decent, considering that he plays behind the 28th place in the league that also ranks 31st in goals against. If he can play well for a basement dweller, imagine being on a team with a better roster.

Campbell has played 13 games for the Bakersfield Condors since being sent down. In the last 10 of them, he has a 2.73 GAA, .920 SV%, and 1 shutout. That equals up to a 3.11 GAA and a .902 SV% throughout the time he spent there. That’s a massive upgrade from the 4.49 GAA and .873 SV% in his five games with the Oilers this season. Edmonton’s issue with goaltending isn’t that they don’t have a good goaltender because Skinner is exactly that. Before Pickard came up, they didn’t have a good enough backup option to help give Skinner a break. With Campbell rebounding very nicely lately, the Oilers might feel confident enough to bring back up to Edmonton if he keeps up his positive streak in Bakersfield. The negative that I’ve been thinking about is if the Oilers have resurrected their season without him, how will he, fans, and media react when he has one more disastrous game after coming back?

Related Article: Where Will Elvis Merzlikins Land?

Even if Jack Campbell was having a better season for the Oilers, it’ll be really hard to keep his contract under the salary cap for another three years. Merzlikins also has three years left on his contract after this one, but he makes 400k more. Had he been making less money, I would absolutely be saying management must make him an Oiler tomorrow. But I have to think he’d want to stay with the team he’s eventually traded to longer than a couple of months. Merzlikins is a good enough goalie, no question. But so was Campbell before he signed his contract. Also, keep in mind that Olivier Rodrigue has to move on from Bakersfield and take over the backup role eventually. Switching out one long and expensive contract with another will only stall Rodrigue’s NHL path. If both parties agree that they can just make another trade in the summer and still have to attempt a deep Playoff run, then I guess we could make an exception. Unless the latter becomes a possibility, I’d rather see Edmonton look for a cheaper option with similar stats.

Episode 7. Player Safety First! Inside The Rink

NHL Player Safety is not policing enough incidents. Jacob Trouba is not suspended for swinging at Trent Frederic. David Perron gets 6 games, Eric Gudbranson jumps Nick Cousins and gets a game. NHL All-Star game changes. Winter Classic jerseys suck. Plus much more!For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  2. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  3. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  4. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire
  5. Episode 3. Firing Blanks

Stephen Vani

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

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