"Stuart Skinner, you absolute game thief!": Social media reacts to big game from Edmonton Oilers goalie

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Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner has been a hot and cold goalie all year.

It looks like he’s finally warmed up in these 2024 playoffs.

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Through the first eight games of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs Skinner was frozen, so iffy in net that coach Kris Knoblauch went to back-up Calvin Pickard for two games.

But Skinner looks to have regained his form, winning the final two games against Vancouver, then coming up with his best NHL playoff performance ever in Game 1 against Dallas. Skinner faced 18 Grade A shots and let in just two goals, an outstanding performance that earned him a grade of 9 out of 10 at the Cult of Hockey and brought out an explosion of reaction on social and regular media.

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Heree are the the highlights, starting out with Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet setting up the stakes for Skinner pre-game:

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speaking pre-Game 1:
The Oilers are hoping the worst is over. He worked very hard to get back in position where he could gain the net again for the team. They played great around him in Games 6 and 7 against Vancouver but I think what he have established is that if anything happens, they’re not going to be afraid to go back to Calvin Pickard.

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Sportsnet announcer Chris Cuthbert, first period, describing Skinner’s early breakaway stops on Evgeni Dadonov and Jamie Benn:
Look out! Dadonov was poaching. A giant stop! A rebound stop! Big early start for Stuart Skinner.

Sportsnet game analyst Craig Simpson on the big early saves:
How is that for settling your nerves as goaltender? In all alone, not just the one save but the second save maybe even better than the first. He does a great job of standing his ground and then getting his shoulder on the rebound as wel l. For skinner, an early test that he passes and able to settle his team down on the road

Sportsnet’s Kevin Bieksa after the first period where Dallas had four Grade A shots, Edmonton not one:
Before the series, what is everyone talking about? Edmonton definitely has a weaker goalie than Dallas. … (Dallas goalie Jake) Oettinger, a lot of confidence from Dallas but we didn’t know quite what with Skinner? But getting that save early in the game, I think for sure with a goalie with confidence, with some question marks heading into he series, that is enormous for him… He’s seeing the puck really well. You see the focus. You can usually tell when a goalie has nerves. He looks comfortable.

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Spittin’ Chiclets commentator Ryan Whitney after the first period:
Not a great first period but not bad either. Dallas is really hard to generate scoring chances against… Skinner with an awesome start and Edmonton should get the next power play.

Sportsnet’s Rick Bowness, retired NHL coach:
Stu Skinner keeps playing like that, you let him roll like that.

David Staples, Cult of Hockey player grades:
Stuart Skinner, 9. Massive first period as Edmonton had no Grade A shots, Dallas four. Huge stops on Dadonov and Benn. A few shifts later squelched Seguin in front of the net on a Stars power play, then thwarted Seguin again on a dangerous slot shot late in the first. Thwarted Robertson’s low-high pass-to-harpoon shot early in the second, then another massive save off Marchment’s slotter. He finally got beat by Benn and Seguin’s break-in. Two saves on wide-open Seguin late in the second. A couple big saves in the first OT, as well as smartly cutting out a dangerous pass.

Stuart Skinner after the game:
It felt amazing. I really enjoyed the whole game all in all… I’m going straight to bed. I might cold tub for 20 minutes.

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TSN’s Ryan Rishaug on the Got Yer Back podcast:
This is a big deal for him, man. This is a really big deal for him because I don’t think that in the hockey world. I don’t think that in Stu Skinner’s world, and even in his teammates’ world, right, if you’er sitting there and you’re pouring truth serum into people, I don’t know there would have be many that would have said, ‘I guarantee you Skinner is good plays well in Game 1.’ I didn’t know. I thought maybe he probably could. He might. But who would have had the confidence to say, ‘Yes’? And this was big for him to put in that kind of performance. Quite franky, he out-duelled the other guy (Oettinger).

Sportsnet columnist Mark Spector
In a goaltending matchup where every pundit league-wide gave the edge to Oettinger and the Stars, Skinner was better in Game 1, plain and simple.

Former NHLer Rob Brown on the Got Yer Back podcast:
I’ve never lost confidence in him. Stuart Skinner is a good goaltender. I felt that he’s good enough for the Oilers to win a Stanley Cup. So he went through a bit of a spell, but he was excellent tonight.

Dallas hockey commentator Gavin Spittle on the Spittle and Suds podcast:
I thought Skinner had a lot of clean looks tonight. I thought he played well, obviously, but I thought he had a lot of clean looks. So if there was an adjustment to be made, I would love to cause a little bit more havoc.

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Dallas hockey commentator Joey Erickson on the Locked on Dallas Stars podcast:
The first three power plays were horrendous for the Stars…They hit Skinner a lot in the chest, really didn’t make him work all that much… Skinner was great in this game. He was fantastic. The Stars need to test Skinner more, but he was excellent. He just stayed in his crease. He was using his body. He doesn’t flail around.

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch:
I thought Stu was solid. I thought he made some key saves throughout the night. He looked confident. I thought his puck play was really good…. I think he gets very high grades for his performance tonight.

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CHED radio annoucner Morley Scott
It’s pretty hard not to like Stuart Skinner.

New Jersey Devils blogger CJ Turtoro @CJTDevil
If Skinner is gonna be competent, the Oilers will beat anyone they come up against. They were the best xG team in the NHL this year and that was with McDavid having the lowest ATOI since his ’17 Sophomore campaign. So with the reins off, their ceiling is just wild.

Oilers fan Shaun @Shaun_Chi97
Skinner. I liked that game from you. You keep this going and you will lift the cup.

Oilers fan Tyson Munro @Tys35
Stuart Skinner was outstanding

Oilers fan Mathew Panchyshyn @mathewjdp
“Dal has better depth.”
“Skinner sucks.”
“Heiskanen better than Bouchard.”
“Edm hasn’t faced a good PP yet.”
“Dal in 4 or 5.”
Oilers win game one, and this is all Edm heard since advancing.

Oilers radio commentator Bob Stauffer:
Stuart Skinner with a stellar start…31 saves.

Oilers blogger Golden Boy @NHLGoldenBoy:
Stuart Skinner since getting pulled in Game 3 against the Canucks:
Record: 3-0
SV%: .923
GSAx: +4.2
Massive development for EDM of he’s able to remain this dialed in. #LetsGoOilers

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Oilers fan TomAndreoglou @thanastotle
Quite possibly his best game as an oiler.

Oilers fan Dyl @dhockey13
Shoutout to Stu Skinner he was calmed and collected all game. It’s not often someone outplays Jake Oettinger and Skinner did just that tonight. He deserves all the praise.

Hockey insider Dan Tencer @dantencer
Skinner absolutely monstrous.

Oilers fan alicia ^^^ 😆 @leashadawg
STUART SKINNER YOU ABSOLUTE GAME THIEF I LOVE YOU SO BAD

Oilers fan Paul Almeida @AzorcanGlobal
If Stuart Skinner plays the way he did tonight the Oilers can beat anyone.
I’m very happy for him. He’s stepped up big time after returning to the net in game 6 against the Canucks.

Columnist Mark Lazerus of The Athletic
What we learned in Game 1 is that both teams can win doing what they do best — the Oilers with their biggest stars stepping up, Stuart Skinner continuing to defy his doubters in goal, and the postseason’s best penalty kill smothering the Stars’ power play…

At the Cult of Hockey

STAPLES: Player grades in Game 1 win over Dallas

McCURDY: Stars and Oilers take different paths to reach same destination

STAPLES: 80 per cent of analysts pick Stars over Oilers

STAPLES: “I drink your milkshake!” Confidence of Stars domination over Oilers reigns supreme in Dallas

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