Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Deja-Vu All Over Again

As many of you will remember, this isn’t the first time that Cam Talbot has found himself looking over his shoulder — not just at too many pucks going into his net but at competition for the crease from his back-up — while trying to establish himself as the starter for the Edmonton Oilers.

In 2015-16, it was Anders Nilsson who briefly took the crease from Talbot during a stretch in which he lost his confidence on the way to losing the net. Right now, it’s Mikko Koskinen, who beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 Tuesday and is clearly outplaying Talbot (who has lost his last four starts). Koskinen deserves another start against the Calgary Flames Saturday. We’ll see if he gets it.

In both cases in the early stages of a season, Talbot has found himself struggling in the considerable shadows of two towering back-ups — figuratively and literally — during stretches when he hasn’t been as good as he’s needed to be to keep the crease. Now, as then, Talbot has left the door open, leaving coach Todd McLellan with a decision to make.

“We’re trying to develop two goaltenders, both trying to establish themselves as starters in the league,” McLellan said. “We’re developing forwards, we’re developing defencemen, we’re trying to lay a foundation as an organization … and we need to do that with the goaltenders as well. If somebody gets hot we’ll lean his way, but the responsibility is to both goaltenders.”

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Mar 29, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) awaits the start of play against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

McLellan said that back on Nov. 18, 2015 when Talbot was struggling and Nilsson, a six-foot-six stopper acquired from Chicago, was forcing the issue. Those words apply today with Koskinen playing his way in front of Talbot, at least for the time being, after a less-than-impressive pre-season.

Back in October and November of 2015, Talbot played a stretch of six games in which his save percentages were .857, .857, .844, .857, .857 and .875 — and no, that .857 isn’t a typo, he rolled that number four times Oct. 27-Nov. 27. That was enough to open the door for Nilsson, who made the most of it, at least for five games.

Nilsson went on a run Nov. 28-Dec. 6 that saw him put up .951, .920, .950, .977 and .941. Just like that, the proverbial goaltending controversy was in full swing. Talbot eventually righted himself while Nilsson cooled off. Talbot finished the season at 21-27-5 with a 2.55 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Nilsson finished the season with the St. Louis Blues, dealt to the Show Me State Feb. 27, 2016 with any goaltending controversy long settled.

So, here we are. Talbot is 5-7-1 with a 3.09 GAA and .895 save percentage overall. In his four straight losses, he’s allowed 14 goals on 98 shots. That’s .857 — there’s that number again. Koskinen, meanwhile, is 4-1-0 with 2.52 and .918 going into Calgary. That includes a 4-0 shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks. Right here, right now, Koskinen is playing better.

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I’m not going to dismiss the way Koskinen has played of late as a hot streak because I don’t know that to be true. Koskinen might be playing at a level now we can reasonably expect moving forward. Likewise, I’m not going to write-off Talbot’s inconsistency this season as just a bad stretch. Is it? I don’t know that either.

We saw the same thing in 2015-16 with Nilsson providing the push and we saw Talbot recover. We saw Talbot struggle to be consistent early last season before he finished strong with the Oilers out of playoff contention. We’re seeing it again now. GM Peter Chiarelli paid a steep price for Koskinen because he wanted somebody to push Talbot. Right now, he’s getting his money’s worth.

Will Talbot, who is playing for a new contract — and costing himself a lot of money in the process — find his game again as he has in the past? Will Koskinen, who has all of 10 NHL games on his resume, fade? I don’t have those answers. More important than that, neither do Chiarelli and McLellan.

What we’ve got here is a 31-year-old in Talbot who hasn’t managed to establish himself as a No. 1 the Oilers can count on wire-to-wire and a 30-year-old Finn who just hit double-digits in NHL games played trying to push him out of the paint. We’ve seen this movie before, and we can’t say with any certainty at all that either one of them is the right guy for the job.

Previously by Robin Brownlee

  • bcoil

    It is great to have competition at every position .It is how you build a winning team culture .And we have a lot of talent bubbling up underneath . Year four of Peter C’s 5 year plan and it looks like it is coming together .Good Job so far to Peter C

  • TKB2677

    The concern I have with Talbot and his not so great play is, it’s not just this Oct – Nov. He wasn’t very good for most of last year. Now the Oilers defense isn’t that good, there is no debate that but Koskinen and a couple years ago Nilsson had the exact same guys on defense with the same system. If Koskinen or Nilsson years ago could put up good numbers, you can’t place a ton of blame on them. I was at the Avs game. The Oilers defense kept MacKinnon out to the side and only allowed a weak shot which Talbot proceeded to handle poorly and spit out a brutal rebound. That’s not on the defense. On the 3rd Avs goal. The puck was behind the goal, the Avs shoved it at Talbot who looked to have it but basically dropped it in the net. You can’t let that goal in. That’s not the defenses fault.

  • Randaman

    The difference is that Swartz hadn’t had enough time two years ago to screw Cam up. He didn’t always go to his knees two years ago. He tracked the puck much better two years ago. Swartz needs to go…

  • Hemmercules

    I hope Koskinen can take the reigns and run with it. They should play him Saturday, he deserves a BOA game for his play so far. Talbot just doesn’t have that confidence he had a couple years ago.

  • The future never comes

    Right now Talbot is to mentally fragile. He had I think three really good games by my count, the rest have been sketchy to bad performances. The last four games he’s been reverting back to allowing a goal in the first five minutes, that totally deflates a team. Confidence is for Talbot to find, not for the coach to force onto him by playing him despite the results. At this stage it’s about wins. I dont think fans care how we get them, whether it be Koski in net or putting 29 & 97 on a line. Just win. Use the recipe that gets the wins. Right now Koski is the better choice.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I dont think it is mental issues, listen to Talbot in interviews, he still has confidence in himself, it’s his technique and style of play that is lacking. When a goalie has a weakness the players will exploit and with Goalies that is what they look for the weaknesses.

      Teams what film of the other teams games, and they analyze what they do where the vulnerabilities are in their style of play. Teams no to go high on Talbot, but Schwartz has done nothing at all , notr last year and not so far this year to fix it. Yes Talbot bshoulder some of that responsibility but Schwartz whole job is too fix the shortcoming in the goalies game, I have seen nothing to indicate in Talbot’s style of play that they have even tried to address it.

      • The future never comes

        Letting goals in negatively effects confidence, a goalie who allows 0 versus 10, their confidence will be markedly different. He is allowing bad goals lately, untimely ones, and wilting his team. I dont think he seems all that confident in his interviews. If so, he is projecting it more than likely. Players know when they play bad, it’s not going to be the same confidence as when you play good.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Funny how people forget. Thanks for reminding them Robin. Oh and if anyone is wondering, after Talbot found his game in December of 2015, he led the league in sv% with .920 from
    The all-star break onward. Oh and let’s not forget he followed up that performance with his 16-17 campaign, setting an Oilers record in the process.

    Since joining the Oilers, Cam has played the most hockey of ANY goaltender in the league. He’s burnt out, he’s not confident right now, but he’ll be back. It would also help if we fired that idiot of a goalie coach.

    I’m rooting for Cam, and I can’t wait to say “I told you so”.

    • Hemmercules

      I don’t think most people are rooting against Talbot (maybe Spydyr), if he was playing great this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Its about playing who’s better right now. I hope they give Koski a bunch of games and it lights a fire under Talbot like a couple years ago. Its Talbots money to lose. I thought he would be playing balls out in a contract year. I still like him but hate to see a Chia overpay to keep him, they need to shoot higher if Talbot wont stay for a market price.

    • MrBung

      The Oil need a goalie that is as solid as possible given the very inconsistent and incomplete team in front of the net. The division games will not be like the Montreal game. The Canadiens are one of the highest for allowing quality chances. The Oil will not s ore their way out of issues.

    • Ted

      Can’t live in the past …. Live for the future! He’s not burnt out good gord man. Pucks aren’t hitting him like they were a few years back. Talbot is slow and has trouble seeing the puck. Nothing fixes that. Pray one of our young up and comers stands on his head and strings a bunch of W”s together.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Schwartz played at the U of A was the Oil Kings goalie coach and has never played in the NHL and never was an NHL Goalie Coach before he got the Oilers job. Schwartz got the job because the Oilers fired Chabot.

    The Oilers never launched a search for a goalie coach they just gave the job to Schwartz, who had zero NHL experience as a player and especially as a Goalie and was and never had been an NHL Goalie Coach before.

    Tell me how I guy who was working as the Oil KIngs Goalie Coach has the experience to be an NHL Goalie coach?? Hows does working with 16 yr old kids in the WHL translate into qualifying experience to work with Goalies at the NHL level? It doesnt, these two leagues are miles apart in skill speed and player performance.

    Why is it Broissoit couldnt get any traction here but yet goes to the Jets works with their Goalie coach ( who has NHL experience btw ) and starts winning games? Schwartz had a great Scholastic career but no NHL experience playing or coaching is a huge issue.

    Talbot didnt win 42 games by fluke, the problem is he has gotten into bad habits which is costing goals to go in, one of those habits is going down to early and staying there too long , the whole NHL knows to go high on Talbot, so why hasn’t Schwartz worked with Talbot on this?

    It is Schwartz job to point out problems in a goalies play and work with them to shore those deficiencies up, Talbot did that all last season and is doing it again this season. Schwartz doesn;t seem to be able to either see the issue or is unable to correct it, and IMHO that is due to lack of experience. Dubnyk had issues with his game left the Oilers bounced around worked with a goalie coach on his play and tracking the puck and he has a great career with the Wild since.

    A proven goalie coach with NHL experience will make a effort to fix whats wrong, but to keep Schwartz and do nothing is ludicrous, if he cant work the issue out with the goalies why would we continue to keep him on. his lack of experience is hurting the team

    • Glencontrolurstik

      “Tell me how I guy who was working as the Oil KIngs Goalie Coach has the experience to be an NHL Goalie coach?? Hows does working with 16 yr old kids in the WHL translate into qualifying experience to work with Goalies at the NHL level?”
      I think you will find that most NHL Coaches had coached at the Jr. level before they became NHL coaches? It’s a natural path of success through out NHL history… I’m not sure where you get the idea that a experienced Junior coach wouldn’t be ready for the NHL at some point? Now, 26 NHL coaches spent time in a semi-professional league, including, but not limited to, the QMJHL, ECHL, IHL, OHL and WHL.
      Also, just to let you know, every team has a book on every goalie, just as every goalie has a book on every shooter. This has been going on since before your grandfather watched hockey. It’s nothing new, and speaking for goalies, they don’t need a coach to tell them this… I think you will find that Schwartz (or any goalie coach) has minimal influence on veteran NHL goal tenders. They are their to boost confidence and send reminders. They can actually teach an established #1 very little.

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        Yes they do all get their experience from somewhere, as I said Schwartz had a grear career at the UoF a and his days when he played in the WHL, I doubt anyone would disagree with that.

        Schwartz being the Oil Kings golaie coach I had no issue with he played in the WHL and his experience at the Uof A I believe suited him well for the role with the Oil Kings.

        And I agree with you, teams study their rivals and they watch film on wins and losses of team especially the other teams goalies, the Oilers do that as well.

        Where I disagree with you is with your perception that they are there to boost confidence and send reminder, while that is true to an extent, they are there to help their golaies work on the tactics in within their game. Sean Burke and Bill Ranford have been doing that for years Sean when he was with the Coyotes and Ranford still with Kings. Mike Smith who is now the Flames golaie raves about Burke and his work with techniques with him, he stated he thought Sean was one of the best ex NHL goalies to work with as a goalie coach. Quick has also praised Ranford, for helping him with his game. Talbots 42 wins wasnt a fluke but he has changed his techniques and last year it was very very evident and this year it is as well, I think we would all like to see Talbot get out of the go down early stay there too long habit because a lot of pucks are goin upstairs and in the net, now I know your not going to stop them all sometimes a goalie just gets beat, happens all the time. I just haven;t seen anything in Talbots technique to say that Schwartz has pointed it otu to him that it is a problem, no differances in his style, now maybe Schwartz has an Talbot doesn’t think it is an issue, or maybe he hasnt we dont know. The fact that when Brossoit went to Winnipeg and won the first two games he played and the TSN commentators saying that the Jets signed Broissoit because they thought there was something there the Oilers werent able to get out of him and that the Jets goalie coach worked with him to get him oput of some bad habits and how Maurice and the Jets Golie coach were happy with Brossoit’s work on his game was a pretty powerful statement IMHO.

        Aproven NHL goaie coach like Burke or someone could be just what the organisation neeeds to get their goalie situation worked oyut, Dubnyk, and Nilsson all went elsewhere and are doing alright but yet couldnt get traction here, Brossoit hasnt played a ton but he is 3 and o right now.

        We will just have to agree to disagree on Schwartz

      • What the Puck

        Ty. Good post. Actual facts to settle the debate. Imo. No more scapegoats for Talbot please. His career is in his own hands. These are professionals. They hone their skill to the absolute best of their ability. Much like a pro golfer constantly works to perfect his swing. Sometimes your swing/mojo is off. Only you can re find it. Just ask Tiger.

    • wiseguy

      The pro ranks are a result based business. Schwartz fails on that. His not having played in the nhl however is not a valid reason. Scotty Bowman is considered one of the best coaches in history and never played a single nhl game.

  • Kepler62c

    I gotta say I’m a fan of Koskinen so far. He looks like an NHL netminder and has outplayed Talbot. I’d give him a chance to run with it right now.

    It’s unfortunate that it is unlikely we’ll be able to retain both of them for next season because they’d actually be a pretty decent duo to go with for a few years. Talbot’s a good goalie, we know that, but he can be inconsistent. Having these two as a 1A-1B ala Elliot-Allen for a few years in St. Louis isn’t a terrible idea.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I wouldn’t anoint Koskinen the king yet, but he has played better for the number of games he has been in but that is a small sample size. Right now I say let Koskinen roll with it and see how he does, the Oilers haven’t really let Koskinen have a bunch of consecutive starts so why not try it and see how it goes.

      It is not like Talbot is going anywhere and they get to see what Koskinen can do, and that isn’t a bad thing Talbot’s contract is up at the end of the year, Plus the Oil need to see how many games they think Koskinen will be able to handle, I think they’d like Koskinen to play at least 25 games or so to take some of the work load off Talbot.

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    The non deja-vu part of this episode is that the Oilers (Chiarelli at least) appear to have been ready for it.
    A) They’re all old enough to remember the cheers of “‘Ders” from ON during the 15-16 sked as well as Talbot’s slump.
    B) They also remember Talbot’s season last year where he was inconsistent, to be kind.
    C) They paid Koskinen $2.5M when there were cheaper options.

    You don’t pay a back-up $2.5M and hope or expect you won’t play him, and you don’t let your “starter” be the reason you miss the playoffs.

    They’re all big boys, this’ll sort itself out. Personally, I hope Talbot has a career year. At the same time, I hope that Koskinen plays so well that it’s a tough decision to say who starts.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      That’d take us back to the old Fuhr/Moog days, it would.
      I don’t think there would be any complaint about that?
      Back before the term “goalie controversy” was even a thing.
      It was cool having two great goalies that could switch out based on who felt more like playing… I think we all want that again.
      A “goalie controversy” is a great thing to have…

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        Moog and Fuhr were something else back in the day, what a tandem they were on the team, and those are the days when games were 80% offence, it was a shooting gallery some night btwn teams,

        • HOCKEY83

          I think you don’t remember properly. The only reason Grant Fuhr and Mike Vernon were any good at all is that both teams could out score their opponents to get wins at will most seasons. Their stats are horrible. If Talbot had fuhr’s stats you all be calling for his head. Fuhr’s average was nearly 4 goals per game every year he was with Edmonton. Vernon’s stats are very slightly better at about 3.5 goals per game.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            You DO have a point, although I do think the defense of those days weren’t much help defensively. It does not take anything away from goalies like Roy, Borasso, Liut, Belfour, Hextall, and who can forget the great Mike (spit) Smith. These were all great goalies, fronted by offensive minded D-men.

    • OilTastic

      But you know McLellan has a hard on for Talbot, right? It doesn’t seem to matter if Koskinen has out played Talbot so far or not, the predictable T-Mac will always go back to “his guy”! #becauseOilers

      • No, I don’t know any such thing. Talbot is the starter. He gets more games. He gets more chances. That’s the way it goes with every team in the NHL. The starter is “the guy” for every head coach until there’s a question about performance, as there is now. I think Koskinen deserves the next start and then we take it from there. That might not happen, but that is always the coach’s call with a more experienced guy he knows compared to a less experienced guy he doesn’t. Has nothing to do with a “hard on” for Talbot. That’s just a lazy comment.

        • slats-west

          I think that #1 goalies can always come back and prove themselves that’s why they are the #1. Talbot has an upward battle and if you watch the goals let in he’s fundamentally unsound now. Deep in his net not challenging the shooter sliding on his stomach to make saves etc etc. The pucks are going in the middle of the net sometimes. And of course going down early when youre deep in your net is brutal. He’s doing all of this. So doesn’t he deserve a new voice helping him? We got a new PP and PK coaches why not a Goalie Coach? It’s mental with these guys and he’s very fragile. Would like to see him get the help he needs. How come Dustin gets a free pass?

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I dont think it’s a hard on, more TM sticks with the vets but he is the number one goalie in the organization, and TM hasnt forgotten the 42 wins and I am sure he hopes That Talbot is still kicking around he just wants him to reappear, you know he wants to see Talbot bounce back. TM can only do so much though up to Talbot, but I think Chia nor the fans would be happy to see their higher prices goalie sitting in the bench doing back up duties for a long long stretch

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Well I dont think Talbot with 42 wins was a fluke, I hope he gets his mojo back, maybe sitting a few games will light a fire under him. The Oilers need to see what Talbot they will see, this is the last year of his contract, tehy arent going to offer him anew contract till they see if he can be the Talbot that played so well in the 42 win season or the Talbot from last year ( mind you the whole team was bad outside of Mc D and Darisaitl and a few others ). I dont see why Talbot cant bet better, I think it his technique right now that is his issue, some say confidence and that could be, he does sound confident in the interviews he has had, time will tell.

  • Rama Lama

    A good coach goes with the hot hand……….if I were TM I would not remove Koskinen until he serves up a stinker. Cam Talbot has been give enough time to prove he is a starting goaltender ……….he has not done this.

    I suspect he is not a starting goaltender.

  • percy

    I like dri or nuge on the 1st line. Along with caggs. I think dri can find the open space better than nuge but I think nuge will have more success leading his own line(2nd). Also I like Rattie with strome, give them some time together. Todd don’t screw it up. Let it build.

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I wasn’t every excited for a 2.5 mil back up and then when the news about the NMC it was a WTF moment, but Kokinen looks okay, I was sure during the preseason I though ‘uh-oh, they spent 2.5 mil for this”

        I hope they roll with him for a hanful of games and see how he does, if he loses depending on the loss, thrown him back in unless it was brutal, see what he does it cant hurt

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        I wasn’t every excited for a 2.5 mil back up and then when the news about the NMC it was a WTF moment, but Kokinen looks okay, I was sure during the preseason I though ‘uh-oh, they spent 2.5 mil for this”

        I hope they roll with him for a hanful of games and see how he does, if he loses depending on the loss, thrown him back in unless it was brutal, see what he does it cant hurt

  • VK63

    Solid post Robin.
    I too wonder at the contract implications for Dadbot going forward. At his age, his most pressing concern is the term length of his next contract. Given the volatility displayed during his tenure, term is a risky consideration for a prospective team. The misgivings that many in Calgary are feeling over Mike Smiths ticket and term, a case in point.
    Good guy and all but this is, after all (to steal a Josh Donaldson phrase) a “get it done” business and Cam has not been getting it done.

    we wait.

  • Arfguy

    As much as I want Talbot be our guy, Koskinen is clearly the goalie you go to going forward as your starter.

    Hopefully, Talbot figures out what he wants to be. Right now, he just does not look like he’s got any compete in him at all.

    • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Not too long ago (Oct 27th), I had posted that I wanted to see Talbot steal a game, essentially to show the opposing teams (and the Oilers and fans) that his compete level was so high that Talbot could beat you single-handedly.

      The next game he virtually did that–beating Chicago 2-1 and stopping Schmaltz on a breakaway from the red line at a critical moment (game tied at one and a road game) and later stopping Saad coming in unchallenged from the dot.
      I’d like to see him do that again, and as many times as it’s needed to convince others that Talbot’s invested in this team and this season. When Talbot set the Oiler record for season wins by a goalie there were many nights (many) where he was the difference between winning and losing. Without having to see the team in front of him collapse, I think I could put up with seeing that a once or twice before the 12th day of Christmas comes and goes.

  • hagar

    I would personally like to see the oilers let Talbot walk at the end of this season if Talbot comes in halfway through the year and lights it up.

    Step number one for this team to become a consistant performer is to stop letting the good performance have more weight than than poor performances. This never ending cycle we are in will never cease until that practice ends, plane and simple.

      • hagar

        Oh for sure! Just meant i wouldnt go signing him, or anyone else for that matter on the team that cant keep it together on the regular, based on their high times.
        Its not one bit just Talbot i am picking on, the team almost entirely made up of players that put in effort based on whatever random reasons that change their moods to positive effort.

  • Ohlyr

    Deja-Vu. Here is a carbon copy comparision in my view.
    Anyone remember Dan Cloutier? on the west coast? Vancouver was an up and coming team, winning multiple Pacific division titles. Naslund, Bertuzzi, Morrision amount others. They would then get into the really important/big games and DC would let in a weak one or two. Remember the shot from center ice in Detroit. Long story short, very inconsistent goaltending killed the team. They moved on, got top tier goaltending and made it to the Cup finals. You cant win with a Cloutier/Talbot.
    Look at the past stanley cup finalists, all had great goaltending.

  • Kelly Youngblood

    Trade Talbot to LA for Campbell and run with Koskinen.Trade Lucic to Mtl for Alzner. Trade Larsson for Nylander. Trade Puljujarvi to Columbus for Josh Anderson. Fire Chiarelli & hire Mark Hunter. Todd is put on the short leash. Gulutzan is ready to take it from here.

    • Fireball

      Talley was lights out two years ago. Unfortunately it’s a results based biz. I see comments on resigning him. Looking at it from the bigger picture I honestly don’t see how the Oilers can fit him going forward. He’s 31 and will be 32 when next season starts. Assuming at 32 he’s going to be looking for a raise and term. It’s really his last significant contract. Will he take a chance and bet on himself ? Take a 1 year prove it contract ? He’s likely not interested in a 2-3 year contract because that would put him in the 35-36 year old range. No mans land. If he puts up numbers like two years ago he’s going to be expensive. Someone will give him term and money. Can the Oilers afford a 6 plus million dollar 32 year old goalie for 6-7 years ? We’re not talking a vezina guy.. not talking a guy who’s been a starter and has a big winning track record. If he has a MVP / Vezina year can you trust he will be that again ? Where do the Goalie prospects stand in all of this ? I know we want to win but over all a bridge goalie on maybe a 3 year is likely what the Oil need. Realistically I don’t see money n term working with Cam.

      • hagar

        Goalies usually come from nowhere, you are correct in not wanting to risk on him. It isnt the smart money. Good and great goalies just happen, there is no rhyme nor reason, thats why they almost always come from the deep rounds. I would hedge more on kosk being the pebble in the sand we need at this point over Talbot simply because we need a lucky land to happen, and I think its more likely that between the two, Kosk has a better chance of being an extra good playoff goalie than Talbot does based on the last couple years.

        Like betting on a college hotshot runner to beat Usain bolt because you know everyone else you have seen cant.

  • BlueHairedApe

    I’ve wondered the last few seasons on a few of our goalies why the glove hand freezes when it’s above chest height. They all seem to make great lateral saves with the glove and from the chest down but if it’s shoulder height the puck is going past them. It’s weird..like they don’t even move if the shooter goes high glove side. And they’re always down on their knees so the top of the net is always open. It’s like they’re trying to stare the puck down or something. I do question the coaching of these goaltenders and wonder why it never gets wrote about more often. All the other positions between players and coaches seem to be fair game but the goalie coach is never questioned. Flies under the radar like a nighttime janitor

  • OilerForLife

    Sorry Robin, I’m just not buying it, something feels different this time. This isn’t the same, and Nilsson went on the run, I clearly remember it and when he disappeared he fell of the off the map, he vanished and that was it.

    Kostinen cuts off the dump in, and can play the puck as good as or better than any Oiler goaltender in quite a while. This is a dimension that the Oilers haven’t shown, and its refreshing .Kostinen is faster than Nilsson, and his movements seem hardwired and exude confidence. He lets one in and he seems unaffected.

    Vezina Trophy star eyed hell no, but I’m willing to say he appears to have a calm steady demeanour makes more big saves then Talbot. We’ve been waiting since the wheel fell of the cart in the playoffs. If Talbot returns to that form I’ll admit I’m wrong I’ll be back to shake your hand and admit fault. In my mind, I can’t hang my hat on Talbot until he shows some consistency and I’ve seen none of that.

    • Not sure what you’re not buying. I’m not selling anything. The goaltending is up in the air because Talbot has again opened the door with a bad stretch. Never said Koskinen will fade like Nilsson did.

      “I’m not going to dismiss the way Koskinen has played of late as a hot streak because I don’t know that to be true. Koskinen might be playing at a level now we can reasonably expect moving forward.”

  • Mcjesus97

    BOBROVSKY!!(Jay Onrite voice) is the answer he’s a free agent end of the season sure he would be expecting big bucks but try and get him most likely he signs somewhere in California tho