The Edmonton Oilers are in the midst of a street journey that carries them by way of Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, St. Louis and Winnipeg, however discover themselves in first place within the Pacific Division. Their offense has been practically unstoppable, however their goaltending has additionally been wonderful to start out the 12 months. That’s regardless of Mike Smith coping with an damage and Mikko Koskinen carrying the load; the latter has a 7-1 report with a .920 save proportion by way of eight video games, simply the perfect numbers of his profession thus far.

Koskinen might need to stick with it for the subsequent whereas, as Smith has suffered a setback in his damage restoration and returned to Edmonton, according to Jason Gregor of TSN. Oilers head coach Dave Tippett informed him that “it is a concern for sure” and that Smith will get extra imaging again in Edmonton to judge the difficulty.

For now, it’s Koskinen and Stuart Skinner for the Oilers as they attempt to navigate this street journey. The workforce was defeated by the Detroit Red Wings within the first sport, with Skinner permitting three objectives on 38 pictures in simply the second begin of his younger profession. It’s arduous for followers to belief Koskinen because the de facto starter at this level after he has struggled in that position up to now. The huge netminder has a .909 save proportion total for the Oilers, with a 63-48-9 report.

In the case of Smith, although, he has been comparatively wholesome in recent times, damage was all the time going to be a priority shifting ahead. The veteran goaltender is among the oldest gamers within the league at 39 (40 in March) and has numerous miles on his physique from a protracted profession within the NHL. His 645 video games performed places him forty third all-time amongst NHL goaltenders and he has confronted extra pictures than all however 33 netminders, 18,815 in truth.

Still, the hope needs to be that Koskinen can get them by way of this stretch and Smith can return sooner or later. If both of these issues flip dangerous, the Oilers might discover themselves out there for an additional goaltender. Though Skinner is clearly proficient, his inexperience is actually one thing to think about for a workforce that has Stanley Cup aspirations.

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