Laurent Brossoit held in, with help from a TJ Brodie own-goal, for the win against Calgary Saturday night. Brossoit has let in five goals in two starts since Cam Talbot was placed on injured reserve. It’s hard to blame him for all of the goals. The Russell own-goal can be forgiven, but the goal-line flubs in the third period against the Flames shouldn’t be.
Almost every game is a must-win for the Oilers. They have to play close to .600 hockey to really get back into the playoff hunt. Todd McLellan said Cam Talbot is out at least two weeks and added that it could be longer.
The Oilers only play one game, against Philadelphia, before a back-to-back versus Montreal and Toronto next weekend. They need to acquire a goaltender, even if Talbot is only out for a couple weeks. Finding out if Brossoit can recover means the season could be over in the process. Here are some options.
Michael Hutchinson: Acquiring goaltender help from someone waived by the Winnipeg Jets seems strange, but Hutchinson has a .951 save percentage for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose this year and a career .910 in the NHL. The Jets opted for Steve Mason and Connor Hellebuyck, and would probably rather have Eric Comrie get the bulk of the starts for the Moose.
Calvin Pickard or Garret Sparks: Pickard and Sparks were both on waivers early in the season. Pickard is an interesting option. He was fantastic in a lesser role from 2014 to 2016, but wasn’t good as a starter for a historically bad Colorado team. Toronto traded for him after he cleared waivers, so it’d be strange if they moved him again.
Sparks is less proven than Pickard at the NHL level, but he’s been ridiculous in the AHL. His last three seasons in the AHL include .944, .922, and .928 seasons. His 17 NHL games all came with a Toronto team headed for last place in 2015-16. Scott Wedgwood, who had less impressive numbers in the AHL, is 3-4-2 with a .915 save percentage for Arizona this season. Sparks might be worth a shot even with his lack of NHL experience.
Andrew Hammond: Hammond will be remembered for his incredible run three years ago, but he followed that up with a respectable season after that. He was included in the Duchene deal as a salary dump, so I’m sure Colorado wouldn’t mind getting rid of his $1.5 million salary.
Philipp Grubauer: Washington’s backup to Braden Holtby has been fantastic through 74 NHL games, but he’s had a tough start to the season. His 0.886 save percentage is far below his previous NHL work, but he’s only played nine games.
Grubauer is one of those higher-end backups that could be a starter somewhere else, although that means his cost would be more than anyone previously mentioned. Braden Holtby’s the long term guy in Washington, but they’ll want something good to part with Grubaeur, compared to a Hammond or Hutchinson.
The other option is giving Nick Ellis a game or two. He’s been sold in Bakersfield, saving .914 percent of his shots this year, and .918 last season, but he hasn’t played an NHL game yet.
There are a few low-cost options, but I’d be intrigued by a Sparks or Grubauer, who could potentially help beyond this season too.