Connor McDavid and one other Oilers player must stay hot for Edmonton to make playoffs

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Connor McDavid and one other Oilers player must stay hot for Edmonton to make the 2024 playoffs.

You know who that player is.

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Stuart Skinner.

After Jack Campbell’s game collapsed last season, it was Skinner who came to the rescue of the Oilers and helped lead the team into the 2023 playoffs.

Campbell was exceedingly cold last October and November, with an .867 save percentage in 11 games. But Skinner jumped in to save the day with a hot streak, seven games with a 0.932 save percentage at the same time as Campbell was failing. In December, Skinner had another hot streak, six games with a 0.928 save percentage.

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It was enough to give his Oilers the shot of confidence they needed to help play better. It also gave time for Campbell to gather himself. He had his best streak of the year in December 2022 as well, seven games with a .920 save percentage, putting up seven straight wins.

Campbell’s game faded again in February and March 2023, Skinner had a tough stretch as well in March 2023, but he came on again April, finishing the year with a five game winning streak, putting up a 0.966 save percentage in that span.

This year? Both Campbell and Skinner started out cold as Edmonton in winter, in part due to the team’s unfortunate tendency of giving up ugly 2-on-1 breaks. But Skinner is hot again. In his last ten games he’s got eight wins and a 0.916 save percentage.

Can he keep up a hot streak? Can he consistently play with an above 0.910 save percentage?

As I say, that’s the key to the season for the Oilers, that and McDavid staying healthy and at peak capacity, as he’s been in the last few weeks.

McDavid is a good bet to come through. As for Skinner, I would not bet against him. Mike Smith didn’t bequeath him that cowboy hat for nothing.

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