WWYDW(TE): How many more starts for Jack Campbell this season?
Photo credit:Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
Jack Campbell’s return to the net on Monday night was a rollercoaster ride.
The Sharks scored on him seven times but, thankfully, three of those goals were called back because of the sharp eye of video coach Jeremy Coupal.
For Campbell, the stat sheet shows four goals against on 32 shots and a “W” next to his name. It was an outing that can be classified as “just good enough” for the Oilers to earn a victory. He made some big stops at important times but Campbell was far from sharp and Edmonton’s win over the basement-dwelling Sharks was closer than anybody would have liked.
The expectation coming into the season was that Campbell and Skinner would split the net in a tandem situation but the veteran would ultimately be 1A and the rookie would be 1B.
In the second game of the season, Campbell got lit up for four goals on 11 shots in the Battle of Alberta, Skinner came in and stopped all 31 shots he faced, and it’s been his net pretty much the entire way since. Campbell had a stretch in January in which an equipment change seemed to be making a difference but he’s been one of the worst goaltenders in the league otherwise.
Campbell stopped 28 of 32 shots in the win over San Jose, which was good for an .875 save percentage. It was the seventh start in a row that Campbell has posted a save percentage below .900. His last outing that resulted in a save percentage above .900 came back on February 7 in a win against the Red Wings.
The Oilers have 11 games left on their schedule and winning the Pacific Division is well within reach, as they’re just four points back of the Golden Knights and Kings and they face both of those teams two more times this season.
The question now is how hard the Oilers are willing to press in order to earn themselves home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They could staple Campbell to the bench and ride Skinner because he gives the team their best opportunity to win but that would also risk burning out their starting goaltender with the playoffs right around the corner.
Here’s what the Oilers have coming in the final few weeks of the season…
Those head-to-head games against Vegas and L.A. are essentially playoff games so starting Skinner is a no-brainer in all four of them. The two games that stand out as obvious Campbell starts are the ones against the Ducks and Coyotes while the team is playing on back-to-back days. Depending on the situation with the standings, starting Campbell against the Sharks for the final game of the season could make sense as well.
What say you, Nation? How many starts would you give Campbell the rest of the way? Should the Oilers lean heavily on Skinner down the stretch to help them climb the standings?
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