Report: Oilers turn to Calvin Pickard in net for pivotal Game 4

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
1 month ago
It’s safe to say the Vancouver Canucks have gotten to Stuart Skinner in this series.  He has allowed 12 goals on 58 shots against for a .789 save percentage in this series. After he allowed four goals on 15 shots in Game 3, Kris Knoblauch turned to Calvin Pickard to start the third period. Although this tactic didn’t work out, as the Edmonton Oilers failed to come back, he’s now created a goalie controversy in Edmonton.
The decision bodes tough for the rookie head coach. Skinner was the goalie Knoblauch relied on down the stretch, and he really turned his season around. Since his new coach took over, Skinner finished with an impressive 34-11-4 record, a .912 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against average.
But the playoffs are a completely different season, and if you have a struggling goaltender, you only have a handful of games remaining in the series to potentially turn it around. And it may not necessarily be Skinner’s fault. 
The Canucks had the highest-shooting percentage in the regular season despite finishing with the seventh-fewest shots on goal. This indicates that Vancouver can pick and choose their spots despite minimal volume. Such low volume can make opposing goaltenders freeze up and not get into the game flow, thus overcommitting and allowing goals they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Nonetheless, Knoblauch has made the decision Canucks and Oilers fans have been waiting for. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported early this morning that the Edmonton Oilers will turn to Calvin Pickard for their series-influencing Game 4.
Calvin Pickard, 32, is a career journeyman. This being his sixth team in his 10th season. He has mostly been known as a backup goaltender, only eclipsing the 25-game plateau in 2016-2017 for the Colorado Avalanche – the starting goalie for one of the worst regular seasons in the Stanley Cup era. Tonight will be Pickard’s first playoff start of his career.
Pickard had a resurgent season in relief for a struggling Jack Campbell for this 2023-2024 season. He played 23 games, the most since that 2016-2017 season, and finished with a .909 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average. Pickard is still searching for his first win against the Canucks, as he’s a career 0-3 against the club.
We’ll see if this decision helps the Oilers get back in the series or ultimately diminishes their playoff run.
What do you think, Canucks fans? How do you think this goaltending change affects Vancouver ahead of a pivotal Game 4?

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