Mikko Koskinen is steadily making his case to be the Oilers number one goaltender, at least for now.
How could he improve on his 44-save performance against the Panthers on Saturday? Following it up with a 39-for-39 performance against the Flyers is a pretty good encore. Koskinen was picture perfect in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory, earning him his first shutout since a 4-0 win over the Devils back in November of 2019.
Leon Draisaitl scored his 37th goal of the season on the power play, while Kailer Yamamoto scored his 11th. Connor McDavid had an empty netter late in the game to seal the deal, and the Oilers are now 2-2 on this road trip.
But, a little bit more about Mikko Koskinen. On a night without Jesse Puljujärvi or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who is expected to be out week-to-week), Koskinen stopped everything Philadelphia had. He’s on fire as of late, and he should be getting the lion’s share of the net for as long as this lasts.
Koskinen is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts, a sparkling .934 SV% over that time. My one teeny-tiny complaint would be taking an unnecessary puck over the glass penalty later on in the first period. The Oilers would kill that off, but it’s a completely unnecessary penalty to take. The Oilers remain perfect when scoring the first goal of the game. All’s well that ends well.
- Oilers are 7-3 under Jay Woodcroft. Can we all agree that we’re out of the “bounce” portion of his tenure? With each game, he makes his case stronger and stronger to get an extension from the Oilers. Like the Puljujärvi talks (before the injury), I don’t think Holland is going to save money the longer he waits.
- With Duncan Keith making a return back to the lineup, Woodcroft went with 11F/7D one more time last night. Keith finished fourth among defencemen in total ice time, he put it on net shortly before the Yamamoto goal. Darnell Nurse led all Oiler defencemen with just under 25 minutes, he teamed with Cody Ceci much of the night.
- Oilers power play was a good-enough 1/5 on the night, but the Flyers ought to be happy they were 4/5 on the other end. Giving up a player to a power play that contains Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl seems like a bad business plan.
- Devin Shore played 6:38 last night. That’s three minutes less than Brad Malone, who hasn’t played in the NHL for a couple of seasons. Not really sure what the plan forward is here for Devin Shore, definitely not too sure about that second year of his contract.
- The win over Philadelphia gets the Oilers ever so closer to the third spot in the Pacific, but the Golden Knights took care of business against the Sharks last night to keep Edmonton at bay. Both Vegas (64 points) and Edmonton (63) have 54 games played. The Oilers are behind second-place LA by two points. Calgary is up top by a bunch.
- Oilers wrap up the roadie with a visit to Chicago on Thursday. A 3-2 finish on the road would be just fine as the club gears up for Montréal back home on Saturday.