The Edmonton Oilers have now played a dozen games this season and it’s no question that Stuart Skinner has played a significant part in helping the club achieve their current record of 7–5–0, good for 14 points and second in the Pacific Division. Not only that, he is currently leading the division in GSAx.
Has Skinner’s play so far this season been good enough to justify getting more regular-season starts than initially thought?
We asked, you answered. Let’s take a look!
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Comparing the two goalies’ stats
Skinner’s numbers are more than impressive
So far, Skinner has appeared in five games this season and came in for relief for Jack Campbell during this year’s first Battle of Alberta on October 15. During those games, he has looked very sharp. He’s tracking pucks well and fighting off most high-danger chances. Skinner has posted a 0.944 SV% and a GAA of 2.1 so far this season.
When looking at Skinner’s stats per game below, you can see he has had an SV% above 0.900 in five games and managed to save all 31 shots he faced against Calgary in relief of Campbell.
Is Campbell’s game being viewed too harshly?
Since the start of the season, Campbell’s numbers have been underwhelming. Campbell is currently sitting at an SV% of 0.881 and a GAA of 3.91 through his first seven appearances. This is still a relatively small sample size and there is still plenty of opportunity for Campbell to improve his numbers. The good news is the team does have a winning record with him between the pipes going 5–2.
When looking at Campbell’s stats through each of his first seven appearances, we can see some inconsistency from game to game. Campbell has had four games with an SV% of 0.900 or below and has been pulled once against Calgary after they scored four goals on 11 shots. That pull was not entirely his fault, as the team in front of him that night did not show up to play and was horrendous on defence.
Sunday Census results
After comparing the two goaltenders’ numbers this season, how many starts should we expect to see Stuart Skinner get this year? Let’s look at what our participating voters think.
More than 41 starts
A small number of voters think that Skinner will play more than 41 starts this season. This implies that Skinner practically takes the starter job from Campbell or at least is a split role between the two. Although this would be great for Skinner in terms of him developing into a real NHL starting goalie, this could be bad news for Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers, as the team is currently cap-strapped. The team might not be able to resign Skinner who is an RFA with arbitration rights at the end of this season. On top of that, Holland has just signed Campbell to a lengthy and expensive five-year deal, and was expected to be the starting goalie.
Between 30-40 starts
65% of voters believe that Skinner will play between 30-40 starts this season. This is the most voted on and probably the most realistic option considering that this will be his first entire season in the NHL. Having Skinner start this many games will take a substantial load off Campbell allowing him to get more rest between starts, ensuring he doesn’t get overworked, and decreasing the chance of injury.
Between 20-30 starts
A quarter of the voters believe Skinner will play between 20-30 starts this season. This is also a very realistic option. His SV% of 0.944 is most likely not sustainable and will go down as he plays more games. If he can sustain an SV% above 0.915, Jay Woodcroft will likely grant him more starts.
Less than 20 starts
Only a tiny sliver of voters believe Skinner will play less than 20 games this season. Although this is still a possibility considering he has only appeared in five games so far, with the way he is playing, it is very unlikely. Not to mention the season is long and if Campbell were to get injured (let’s hope this does not happen), he will be first in line to fill in.
Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire