Calvin Pickard set for first start with Edmonton Oilers
By Zach Laing3 months ago
Calvin Pickard will get his first start as a netminder for the Edmonton Oilers.
It will come Monday night as the club takes on the Florida Panthers Monday night in Sunrise.
The 31-year-old has been with the Oilers for nearly two weeks, and was recalled from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors when Jack Campbell was assigned there. While Campbell has struggled in the AHL, Pickard has been serving as the backup to Stuart Skinner, who has gone 3-2 with a .898 save percentage since. For Skinner, that’s an improvement from the 1-4-1 record and .856 save percentage in his first number of games to start the year.
Pickard is in his second year in the Oilers organization after signing with the team in the second week of 2022’s free agent period. Last season, he posted a 23-12-2 record, a .912 save percentage and a 2.70 goals againsst average to go with a career-high four shutouts. And this year, his AHL numbers had gotten only better with a 2-2 record, .939 save percentage and 2.03 goals against average.
Pickard is no stranger to the NHL, either. Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2010 draft, Pickard has appeared in 116 big league games with the team that drafted him, as well as the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Arizona Coyotes. He’s posted a 35-54-10 record, a .903 save percentage and 3.04 GAA across those games.
Monday will mark his first NHL start since March 27th, 2022, when he allowed four goals on 13 shots for the Red Wings in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
However, his time with the Oilers will likely last until one of two things happen. The first option would be Campbell finding his game, but that’s hard to see happen given in his first three AHL games, he’s allowed 13 goals against 72 shots, giving him a .819 save percentage and 0-3 record.
The more likely scenario is that Pickard will remain in Edmonton until a trade is made for another goaltender, who could provide more stability behind Skinner than Pickard likely can. The Oilers have reportedly been keeping a close eye on the Montreal Canadiens, who have three goaltenders on their roster in Sam Montembault, Cayden Primeau, and Jake Allen.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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