Edmonton Oilers ranked eighth among the best goalkeepers in the NHL last year, but ESPN ranks them fifth as worst in the league. Hey?!

Article content

It’s in from ESPN’s provocative writer Greg Wyshynski, his goalkeeping tandem rankings in the NHL this year, with Edmonton’s tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen ranked 28 out of 3.


Article content

Wyshynski said: “All the goalkeeping experts we spoke to for this ranking are still baffled by the greasers. Baffled that this duo is back for the third season in a row. Baffled they aren’t really that bad – a .910 team save percentage in the explosive North Division offense in 2020-21, good for eighth place in the league. Baffled by how Smith, now 39, continues to defy the odds with performances like his .923 save percentage and his 21-6-2 record last season. But at least one expert thinks the magic is going to end. “I expect a significant regression for them,” he said. “

My take

1. Do you know what is also puzzling? How a tandem of goalkeepers that ranked eighth in the NHL last year by save percentage ranks 28th best in the NHL right now.


Article content

2. Several teams finished below the Oilers with .910 in savings percentage last year, they made no changes to the net, but ESPN now ranks them ahead of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. That group includes the New York Rangers, who had a .907 savings percentage last year. ESPN has them in sixth place. Then there’s Montreal, which was ranked 27th last season with a .896 save percentage, but ranked 12th by ESPN. And Los Angeles, .903 last year, 16th overall in the NHL, but 20th on ESPN.

3. To give Wyshynski credit, he spoke with several goalkeepers who are experts in rating and classifying goalkeepers. He didn’t just make his list out of thin air. And then there are the old ages of Smith, 39 this year, and Koskinen, now 33. Perhaps both of their games collapse at the same time. It is a definite possibility. But in addition to finishing eighth in savings percentage last year, the Smith and Koskinen Oilers tandem finished 14th overall in 2019-20, with a .906 savings percentage. His results may drop to 28, but I don’t think it’s a big bet.


Article content

4. The 28th team in 2019-20 had a .898 savings percentage. The 28th team last year was at .895. Once again, it’s possible that Smith and Koskinen would completely screw up and end up with a .895 savings percentage. Smith certainly defied the odds last year when he came back strong from two dubious seasons and had arguably the best season a 38-year-old goalkeeper has ever had in the NHL. But the funny thing about goalkeepers on the aging curve is that those who are still good at 38 can often be good for a few years, as seen with Dominik Hasek, who was a strong goalkeeper until age 42, Jaques Plante , good up to 43, George Hainsworth, good up to 42, Gump Worsley, good up to 42, and Martin Brodeur and Ed Belfour, good up to 41.

5. ESPN’s rankings might upset some Oiler loyalists, but it’s really great news. I suspect it’s the kind of material that will cheer up a goalie like Smith. He seems proud and competitive. I could see such an insultingly low rank burning in his guts. As for Koskinen, he is in the final year of his NHL contract. If you play well, you can earn many millions more with a new NHL contract. If you continue to fight like you did last year, you will make a lot less money in Europe. That’s a great incentive for him to play well.


Article content

6. It is also the case that in Ilya Konovalov and Stuart Skinner, the Oilers have two goalkeepers with a lot of pro experience who could help this season if one from Smith or Koskinen crashes and burns. Edmonton is better covered in that regard than it has been in several years.

7. For tonight’s game in Winnipeg, Konovalov and Skinner will be on the net. Edmonton goes with a much more AHL-flavored lineup.








Konovalov Skinner

PS: This on Josh Archibald, news that he has some health issues outside of his vaccination status. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports: “Tippett update on Archibald. Having some health problems and not catching up. Doing more tests. Doctors are running tests on Archibald to determine what the problem is. He has not tested positive for Covid according to Tippett. He also said that at this time, while dealing with these health problems, he cannot get vaccinated, but did not specify if he planned to do so. “


Article content

Puckpedia reports: “If Archibald starts the year on IR, Oilers could have a starting list of 23 healthy + Stalock / Archibald IR + Klefbom LTIR with $ 4.13M over the limit. Set the LTIR pool with $ 33K of the maximum possible. “

You can then put Stalock to LTIR and be able to exceed the limit by $ 4.92M this year

Staples in politics

Alberta Needs More Vaccinated People, Not A Major Blockade Of Fully Vaccinated

Customers who attended the Edmonton Oilers hockey game on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 faced tighter security as everyone entering Rogers Place had to demonstrate a COVID-19 double shot or recent PCR test. .  All bags have also been banned from games this season.
Customers who attended the Edmonton Oilers hockey game on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 faced tighter security as everyone entering Rogers Place had to demonstrate a COVID-19 double shot or recent PCR test. . All bags have also been banned from games this season. Photo by Larry Wong /Postmedia

In worship

McCURDY: Player qualifies when Oilers sink Kraken 6-0

STAPLES: NHL insider on greasers’ options regarding Archibald

STAPLES: Will Turris take Archibald’s place in the lineup?

STAPLES: Player ratings against Flames, as the Oilers trample a pitiful Calgary squad



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.


Leave a Comment