Coach Woodcroft notes that a non-COVID illness kept Mike Smith off the ice for today's practice & that Stuart Skinner will be recalled from the @Condors & join the #Oilers in Calgary tomorrow to back up Koskinen. pic.twitter.com/K99oiz89o5— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 6, 2022
An illness to goaltender Mike Smith has earned Stuart Skinner a callup from the Bakersfield Condors.
It is not a moment too soon.
Mike Smith has had some rough outings as of late. A solid performace in Carolina last week led to a 5-2 debacle yesterday versus Montréal, a game that saw the beleaguered goaltender yield a total of six goals (two were called back after the Oilers won two successful challenges). Smith has yielded four goals in three of his last four starts, including a game against Minnesota where he was relieved after yielding four goals on just seven shots.
Smith has struggled mightily since returning from injury a month ago. In 11 starts, he’s managed a SV% greater than .900 just three times. Meanwhile, the Oilers are now outside of the playoff picture looking in. That’s not all on Smith, but he’s a question mark in net with every start.
Stuart Skinner’s last NHL action was a 20-save performance against the San Jose Sharks on February 14th. It was just his fourteenth NHL game, he should pick up a few more before long. Since returning to Bakersfield, he’s put up a 3-2-2 record with 1 shutout.
Mikko Koskinen is scheduled to start tomorrow in Calgary, things don’t get any easier for the Oilers with the Capitals on Wednesday and the Lightning on Saturday. If Smith gets healthy between now and Wednesday, I don’t see how you can start him against the Capitals. Keep the 3 headed goalie monster if you need to. The Oilers’ playoff race depends on it.
It’s not an ideal situation needing Skinner to perform at a high level so early in his career. Until Ken Holland acquires a goaltender via the trade route, the Oilers might not have much choice in the matter.