Stuart Skinner back in net for Edmonton Oilers? Carrick in for Perry? New third line? Yes, sounds like it

Article content

Stuart Skinner back in net instead of Calvin Pickard for the Edmonton Oilers for Game 6? Centre Sam Carrick in for winger Corey Perry? And a new third line of Derek Ryan, Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod, the same line that did so well against Las Vegas last playoff season?

It sound like it to me, at least if I’m correctly following the bread crumbs dropped by Edmonton’s Game 6 line-up dropped by the team’s ultimate insider Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

When it comes to Carrick in the line-up, it sounds like it’s either him or Adam Henrique, Stauffer made clear.

“Adam Henrique is a game time decision. I think one of Henrique or Carrick is coming in for Edmonton.”

As for Skinner over Pickard, Stauffer said, “I think hypothetically there’s a strong possibility we might see Stuart Skinner start tomorrow.”

Stauffer works for the team, travels with the team, is a tireless worker, and is by far the most connected reporter of all things Edmonton Oilers. If he makes.a statement like that, I take it that he’s not spitballing, that he’s heard something and this is his way of telling us. It happens now and then on Oilers Now, which is why the show is a can’t miss broadcast for fans.

Stauffer and guest Frank Seravalli, the hard-hitting NHL writer of the Daily Face-off, both agreed if they were picking, they’d go with Skinner over Pickard.

Servalli noted that Skinner is rested and that as well as Pickard played there was still six pucks that got behind him, one that hit the post, one of crossbar, one pulled off the line by Vincent Desharnais.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

“Let’s say the Oilers win Game 6 and there’s a Game 7,” Seravalli said. “Do you really want Cal Pickard playing four in a row. That’s why I’m gong with Stuart Skinner now.”

Stauffer noted that Skinner had had a break and he’s been number one all year. “I’m not disrespecting for a second what Cal Pickard has done. But it’s crunch time and the team has got to play way better in front of him.”

As for the third line, Stauffer had a suggestion. If they do sit Corey Perry , one of the things they can do, was to go with Derek Ryan, Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod at third line, a trio that had been Edmonton’s best possession line against Vegas last year.  “They got one shift together at the end of the second and Derek Ryan almost scored on (Vancouver goalie Arturs) Silovs.”

Related: The best 20 minutes of radio you’ve ever heard? Staples and Stauffer discuss Oilers heading into game 6

My take

1. 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.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Skinner wasn’t sharp last year against Vegas and he hasn’t been sharp against Vancouver. If he starts, maybe he’ll be lights out. But I suspect there’s a better chance Pickard will provide solid goaltending in the next two games than Skinner will.

2. I’d like to see Sam Gagner in, but Stauffer made that sound unlikely. And, whatever my own preference, I do like the idea of going back to a line of McLeod, Ryan and Foegele. Frankly I don’t know why we didn’t see this line repeatedly throughout the season. The trio played solid two-way hockey against Vegas.

3. Perry has been struggling to keep up with the speed of the playoffs, so it makes sense he’d come out. Henrique is a smart player who blends well with Hyman and McDavid when healthy. But if Perry is coming out, and if Ryan-Foegele-McLeod are to be re-united, it makes sense to play Carrick over Henrique on the fourth line, given Henrique may be unable to take face-offs. Carrick is also healthy and can provide a physical element, something the Oilers lacked in Game 5.


Article content