Edmonton-Have the best winning percentage and 13-4 record in the Western Conference with a week left in November? This is very impressive.
Do this without your first goalkeeper (Mike Smith), the player with the most free throws last season (Josh Archibald), now minus top defender Darnell Nass, triple veteran Slater Cocock, third-line center Derek Ryan and four Line center Devin Shore?
This is not just impressive. Its function.
Neither fact Edmonton Oilers Both won, and it was not that 39-year-old Smith was injured most of the time. This was the biggest surprise of the National Hockey League season.They happen at the same time-with Miko Koskinen And the farmer Stewart Skinner Equipped with twine-of course another blockbuster.
But as Skinner said on Monday, a local kid who is about to start a road trip and promise to start in Dallas or Arizona, “We are here.”
“Ken’s philosophy is that they must be ready to jump. When asked about GM’s Ken Holland’s deep accumulation, Dave Tippett said: “You can’t just because of where they were selected And insert (insert) them. “
Holland’s rule of thumb is to call them only once. This means keeping a young player in the minor long enough so that when he receives a call he is ready-and he doesn’t have to go back.
Now, it does not succeed every time. But even if a player cannot succeed in Edmonton, when he returns to Bakersfield, the AHL seasoning is still very helpful to him.
“Look at (Ryan) McLeod now,” Tippet said. “He doesn’t have the best training camp-people have higher expectations of him-he fell for a while, then stood up and bowed again. His game really improved.
“(Philip) Broberg came in (Saturday) and he played there (in AHL) for a crucial few minutes. He was very stable (against Chicago).”
Then there is Skinner, we suspect he will start for the third consecutive time in Dallas on Tuesday. If not, he will participate in Wednesday’s game in Arizona.
When we are all looking back at the unstable goalkeeping situation of the Oilers in September, fans and the media questioned what recourse the Oilers will have when Smith inevitably falls due to injury. Smith, the number one on this team, fell more than a month ago, and the team still doesn’t know when he will play next.
Since the fall of Smith, Koskinen has stepped up to post 2.96 goals-an average and a save rate of 0.910-and leads the league with 9 victories-and has found money. The oilers thought they knew Koskinen’s products, but the products he provided were better than they thought.
Now Skinner has appeared and has performed well in his four starts, with a save rate of 0.939 and an average number of goals of 2.08.
Another farmer shows up to play? Please forgive our surprise, but this has not been the norm in Edmonton in the past few decades.
“Sometimes these young people will show up and…show all of their content,” said Ryan Nugent Hopkins, the longest-serving Oilers player. “Skins has stepped in… and it’s great. He has always been a wall and has great faith in hockey. Broby stepped in and looked like an experienced veterinarian.”
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, when you think about it: build a better team, and it will be easier for young players to intervene and play. Cultivate your young players longer and better, and they will help you become a better team.
Gone are the days when Edmonton had only the first overall pick. Skinner is a third-round draft pick, and like Ethan Bell (fifth round), McLeod (second round), Caleb Jones (fourth round), William Ragson (fourth round) Round) Such players will either help in Edmonton or be traded for help.
“We have more older and more experienced teams, which definitely helps,” Nugent Hopkins said. “We are more like a structured team. So you come in, you just adapt to the structure, and you will watch the older players start the game from there. Our team here helps them all the way.
“These people now have a good chance to be part of a winning team and show their abilities.”
Skinner is a classic example. Unlike many draft picks for the Oilers over the years, he is not in a hurry for success.
He played in the Western Hockey League for five full years, and then played a full season in the East Coast League. He will play two more seasons in Bakersfield, and then show in training camp this fall that he may be ready.
But he was deported anyway.
“Look at such a person, he put in a lot of effort. He won the respect of his teammates,” Tippet said. “You know, you have to do this day after day. That’s why we let him rejoin the game against Chicago. It was an emotional game, a victory against Winnipeg (Thursday’s shootout), but If you want to be an NHL goalkeeper every day, you have to do it every day. He comes back on the court (Saturday) and plays well.
“It bodes well for him. Very good sign, I will come back to this: the main reason things are going in the right direction is that he knows that he has put in the work, he is ready, and now the opportunity is here. In front of him.
“He wants to grab it.”
How confident is Skinner now?
“Just where it needs it,” the Edmonton native said calmly.
He is a professional player. It’s not that some kids are called because he didn’t win the opportunity.
So his faith is real, not false.
“Confidence is a thing,” he began. “It shouldn’t be where it should be. If you play well, you have confidence. If you don’t play well, you are (no). No matter what happens…I Have confidence in who I am and how I play.
“This is the source of my confidence.”