"He's your ride or die": Social media reacts to big start for Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner

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In the biggest game of the season, the Edmonton Oilers went with Stuart Skinner in net over Calvin Pickard.

It was an interesting and controversial decision, causing the usual storm of commentary on social media and in the mainstream media.

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Here’s how it’s played out on social media, starting with Oilers insider Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now on Friday, strongly hinting that Pickard would be replaced in net by Skinner.

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Bob Stauffer, Oilers Now

I think hypothetically there’s a strong possibility we might see Stuart Skinner start tomorrow.

David Staples, Cut of Hockey

Cal Pickard was fantastic against Vancouver in Game Five. He faced 20 Grade A shots and let in just two goals. On 20 such shots you’d expect a team would score four-to-six goals. I’d go with the hot hand, stick with Pickard and worry about Game 7 if the Oilers get a win in Game 6.

Sportsnet commentator Elliotte Friedman (later that evening)

Rest up, everyone. Big one tomorrow night. Game 6 Canucks/Oilers. I’m thinking Stuart Skinner for Edmonton

Game Day morning

Daily Face-off commentator Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

We’ll see what develops this morning, but the belief is these are the changes for #Oilers:Stuart Skinner starts Game 6.

Sporstnet Vancouver commentator Brook Ward @brookwardsports

Skinner: 12GA on 58 shots .793% in series… .877% in 8 playoff games this season.

David Staples @dstaples

If today’s game was an election campaign, I would rally around the “Stick with Pick” side. But not an election. Just one guy has a vote. Here is hoping Coach Knoblauch nailed it. And good luck to Skinner. He has had big games before. Bring it!

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Sportsnet Vancouver commenator Mike Halford @MikeHalford604

“stu has been our guy all year,” knoblauch said. “assuming you don’t count our last seven periods of competitive hockey.”

Oilers fan St.Albert James @RealCNN

I love Carrick in for Perry but Skinner in this year’s playoffs is absolute madness. I’d be playing Campbell over Skinner at this point.

Oilers fan Arpeggi @TheWeirdestFish

If Skinner let’s in a single soft goal, it’s all over. I don’t have the confidence he’d be able to weather that in his fragile state.

Game day at practice

Edmonton Oilers @EdmontonOilers

“I’m very excited to get back in the net.” Skinner speaks ahead of starting in tonight’s Game 6.

The Cult of Hockey’s Bruce McCurdy

Skinner has had his struggles in the postseason for the second year in a row, especially in the current Vancouver series. He played the first 8 periods, allowing 12 goals on just 58 shots for a miserable .793 save percentage. Backup Calvin Pickard mopped up in Game 3, then played the entirety of Games 4 and 5 as the two teams split a pair of 3-2 decisions.

Oilers fan Matt Henderson Arch @Archaeologuy

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Nothing scares me more than going back to Skinner.

Oilers fan Sumit Tripathi @Sumit_Tripathi_

Skinner absolutely the right choice. We live or die by Skinner

Oilers fan Lauren 🩲 @lllaurenA

Skinner needs to bring Roloson energy tonight. Cause if he brings Conklin energy, might as well book that tee time now.

CHED commentator Shaye Ganam @ShayeGanam

Careers aren’t often made or lost in a single game. But a single game can definitely be a defining moment in a career. Good and bad. Here’s hoping local kid Stuart Skinner is lights out tonight. Pressure makes diamonds.

Oilers fan Captain Jack 🏴‍☠️ @OilersJack

Unpopular Opinion: Starting Starting Stuart Skinner Tonight is so f*cking ballsy that I actually like it.

Oilers fan Tyson Munro @Tys35

Stating my opinion now so I can’t use revisionist history after the fact: I believe going back to Skinner is the right choice. I’m fully prepared to be wrong 🤷🏻‍♂️

Oilers fan DougieDman @OilDoug

I’m sorry if Knoblauch is going back to Skinner by his own choice based on ast game….are we sure he knows what he’s doing? If Holland and Jackson are telling him who to play…..wow. Pickard is rhe only player who showed up in game 5. His reward? He’s benched.

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Vancouver podcast Brendan Kobliuk @jabo_vancouver 

Skinner, Pickard, doesn’t matter. It comes down if the #Canucks can match the desperation they are going to see from the Oilers tonight. Can they win the battles they were winning in Game 5, execute on their breakouts and, this time, stay out of the box. That’s what matters.

Pre-game

Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman

Back in Game 3, Skinner gave up four goals in 15 shots…One of the things I think was a big deal was Skinner’s reaction after goals. He sagged noticeably… One of the things that Oilers have worked with Skinner on is not looking so defeated after he’s scored on. But he regressed that night. It’s not 1A and 1B for me. He’s your starter and Pickard is way below.

Sportsnet Kevin Bieksa

It’s definitely the right decision to put him back in… I still think you should have went back to him in Game 5. He is your #1. He’s your ride or die.

Sportsnet Luke Gazdic

This is an opportunity for Stu to kind of right the narrative about his playoff success and kind of silence the critics a little bit. But I love this decision. He’s your guy and you go with him.

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch

A tough decision with the way Picks had played obviously but looking on our season on the line and seeing what Stu has done for us this season. Since I’ve been here he’s looked like an elite goaltender with Vezina-like numbers. And right now we need a big game from him and we’re going with him.

Sportsnet Kelly Hrudey

I struggled with this a tiny bit. I was thinking Pickard probably deserves a chance but my gut was always telling me that it’s going to be this guy, Skinner. He deserves it. He’s their #1 guy. For Skinner, I hope that he feels like he doesn’t have to be perfect. I think that having. a clean first period is very important.

First period

Hoglander goal, Oilers 1, Canucks 1

Dustin Nielson @nielsonTSN1260

How does Hoglander get that open for TWO cracks at it.

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Oilers fan Dr. van Nostrand @DrvanNostrand39

It’s absolutely too much to ask for a big save from Skinner.

Oilers fan Karman Gill @Kgill39

McLeod and Nurse left a nobody player wide open. Do these guys even want to win?

Oilers fan Jason Buzzell @buzzilinear

Three standing there in the slot. Canucks sticks in there and bury him. It’s the series difference every year.

Grades A shots first period: Garland, 1525, side of net (save); Hoglander, 958 (save); Hoglander, 957 (goal); Lindholm, 210 (save).

Second Period to come…

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