Oilers’ Stuart Skinner apologizes for Game 3 performance: ‘The emotions caught up with me’

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner was apologetic and reflective in his media availability on Monday morning in the home dressing room at Rogers Place.
The 25-year-old goaltender began by offering an unprompted apology for not fielding questions after the Oilers lost to the Vancouver Canucks in Sunday’s Game 3, in which he allowed four goals on 15 shots and was pulled after the second period.
Skinner: On the record, I’d like to apologize to you guys for not being available last night. Hope you guys could all forgive me.
Question: Understandable, thanks for acknowledging that. I guess maybe the question, Stu, is how are you dealing with all of this. It’s obviously a lot of pressure, playoff time. Not characteristic of you, obviously.
Skinner: Last night, I think the emotions just kind of caught up with me. It was tough mentally, definitely, last night. Obviously, you never want to get pulled in a game, feel like you let down the team. I’ve got some work to do here to get back at it and learn from the mistakes I’ve been making.
Question: How much of it is mental for you, Stu, and how much is physical mistakes in the game?
Skinner: Yeah, I think, uh … it’s a wonderful question. I think, as most people say, especially as a goaltender, I think it’s at least 90 percent, maybe more, mental, and I’ve been working on that game obviously for a long time. I think physically, there’s little adjustments I can make. But, to be super honest, I don’t think it’s anything technical, I think it’s just me being able to find saves at key times, and I haven’t been able to do that.

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Skinner said he doesn’t know whether he’ll start Game 4 against the Canucks on Tuesday, adding that he and his teammates will find out when head coach Kris Knoblauch writes the lineup on the board the morning of the game.
Rookie Canucks goaltender Arturs Silovs has outdueled Skinner in resounding fashion through the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals, stopping 42 of the 45 shots he faced on Sunday night. The Canucks have won Games 1 and 3 and led for much of Game 2 before falling in overtime.
Skinner burst onto the scene with the Oilers during the 2022-23 regular season, posting a .914 save percentage over 50 games and being named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie. If the Edmonton-born goaltender recaptures his past form, this series could quickly swing back in the Oilers’ favour.
The Oilers are low on options beyond Skinner. Calvin Pickard entered Sunday’s game to start the third period but was barely tested before being pulled for an extra attacker late in regulation. Pickard had never made a single playoff appearance in his NHL career before Sunday night.
Jack Campbell is another option at the Oilers’ disposal, but he was unceremoniously sent to the AHL early in the 2023-24 regular season and had an up-and-down go of it with the Bakersfield Condors down the stretch and into the playoffs. He has three years left on his deal at a $5 million cap hit.
In any case, the Oilers badly need to get more saves if they want to come from behind in this series to eliminate the Canucks. Game 4 between the two teams is slated for Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

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