This, That and the Other Thing
Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
We all know the hometown boy makes good storyline was front and centre for Edmonton Oilers’ stopper Stuart Skinner for most of the 2022-23 regular season. Likewise, we know that he wasn’t as good as he wanted to be or the Oilers needed him to be during the post-season.
With Jack Campbell off to a poor start, Skinner took over the crease and went on to play in 50 games, going 29-14-5 with a 2.75 GAA and a .913 save percentage – numbers good enough that he’d finish second to Matty Beniers of Seattle in Calder Trophy voting. The playoffs, of course, were another story.
In 12 playoff games, Skinner’s GAA ballooned to 3.68 and his save percentage shrank to .883. Campbell, meanwhile, posted far better numbers in limited relief duty as the Oilers bowed to the Vegas Golden Knights in six games in the second round. All this we know. That’s not how most fans expected things to play out.
What I didn’t know until I read this item today is that after just 64 games wearing Oilers silks, Skinner already sits 11th in franchise wins for goaltenders at 36. Unless Campbell takes the crease back, the local lad could zip past Mike Smith, with 56 wins, and Devan Dubnyk, with 61, into ninth place in 2023-24. Not to look too far down the road, but how high might Skinner climb just during the course of the new three-year deal he just signed?
BY THE NUMBERS
Prior to last season, Skinner, 24, only had 14 games on his NHL resume – one game in 2020-21 and 13 more in 2021-22. Maybe it’s just my age showing, but that seems like about 15 minutes to me if you look at somebody like Bill Ranford, who played 449 games here, or Grant Fuhr, who played in 423. Yet here he is.
That top four is stacked with stoppers from the Stanley Cup years with Fuhr, Ranford, and Moog, but I don’t think it’s a big reach to believe Skinner could take a run at everybody else on this list over the course of his new contract.
THIS AND THAT . . .
Nate DiCasmirro took a long and winding road before ending up on the Oilers AHL farm with the Bakersfield Condors as an assistant coach this week, including spending the 2004-05 lockout season playing with the Edmonton Road Runners.
I remember Nate, now 44, as a robust player on a team that wasn’t very good. He was built like a fire hydrant at five-foot-nine and 200 pounds. After two seasons with Iowa of the AHL as an assistant, he’ll be a character addition to Colin Chaulk’s staff in Bakersfield.
- The weather isn’t co-operating today, but that won’t stop the 10th edition of the Mark Spector Golf Classic at The Quarry from supporting Sport Central as it always does. The Spec has already raised $1.15 million and will add to that today despite heavy rain at tee-off time. You have a beef with Spec’s takes when it comes to the Oilers, but this a fund-raiser everybody can get behind.
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