Stuart Skinner on the playoffs: I’m much better prepared this year

Stuart Skinner on the playoffs: I’m much better prepared this year
Stuart Skinner on the playoffs: I’m much better prepared this year

Edmonton has the playoffs within reach and Stuart Skinner believes he is much better prepared for this year’s struggles than he was a year ago when he got a chance in goal in place of Jack Campbell. What do teammates say about the young goalkeeper?

The Oilers are currently in 2nd place in the Pacific Division and it’s only a matter of time before they officially make it to the playoffs. That is also why elimination fights are already being considered out loud in the Canadian capital. Twenty-five-year-old goalie Stuart Skinner, who is looking forward to his second career playoff in the NHL, spoke about his role: “I’m much more prepared, and to be honest, experience has contributed a lot to that. Last year I tried all the emotions and situations in the playoffs and really improved and focused on everything. I am better this year than last year. I am much better prepared for what lies ahead.”

The Canadian goalkeeper became part of the Oilers thanks to the 2017 draft, he made his NHL debut in 2021, when he caught 5 goals from Ottawa, but managed to pick up his first win. He gradually got more and more opportunities until he became a reliable number one. This season, he intervened in 53 duels with a success rate of almost 91%. Edmonton caught 33 wins.

He got into the goal area mainly because of the not-so-successful start of this year by Jack Campbell, who signed a five-year contract with the Oilers two years ago. At the end of this year, he caught five duels, recorded four defeats, and his save success rate did not even reach 88%. The place between the three posts was conquered by Skinner and Calvin Pickard was called from the farm as a number two.

“It’s an interesting situation because you never want your friend to go to the farm, but knowing I was going to get the chance gave me a lot of confidence. It was good to know that this team and this organization believed in me and that they gave me a chance and wanted me to play a lot of games. It really gave me the opportunity to grow not only as a player but also as a teammate. And knowing that I have everyone’s trust here is extremely important, especially if we want to go all the way,” explained the young goalkeeper.

In last year’s playoffs, Skinner started as number one in all 12 duels that the Oilers played, but he was replaced by Campbell four times. It also happened during the last two games in the series against Vegas, which Edmonton lost. However, the Canadian team believes in their masked man.

“I think I can highlight his consistency and maturity. He makes big saves when it matters most. For example, at the beginning of the recent game in Winnipeg, we didn’t get into it and gave the opponent a couple of chances early on and they held us. He’s a mature guy, and I think over the last year his consistency and play has been amazing for us,” Leon Draisaitl described.

“He’s one of those guys who is able to weather the highs and lows of the season and come in every day with a great mindset and work ethic. We’re really lucky to have him,” linebacker Darnell Nurse said. “The most important thing is for the goalkeeper to stay calm and focused. Whatever happens, they are poised and ready to make a big splash. That just boosts the confidence of the rest of the team,” head coach Kris Knoblauch indicated.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: Stuart Skinner playoffs prepared year


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