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Sports Oilers’ Smith, Koskinen begin to answer goalie questions with strong play

15:51  21 october  2019
15:51  21 october  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Oilers’ early-season success a reward for commitment to patient play

  Oilers’ early-season success a reward for commitment to patient play In the early part of the season, the Edmonton Oilers have proven to themselves that patience and playing within their structure can be rewarded as they move to 4-0 with their shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. The post Johnny Gaudreau scores shootout winner as Flames rally past Stars appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.But there’s something happening here, as the Oilers ran their start to 4-0 Thursday night in Newark, taking down the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in a shootout to win yet another game in which they trailed three times.

Suddenly, the biggest question mark surrounding the Calgary Flames is beginning to be answered . And it's all thanks to Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen . Our goalie played really well,” said Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom after a 1-0 shootout loss Sunday night in Winnipeg, the rare

Between Smith and Mikko Koskinen , suddenly a big question mark is beginning to be answered .

(Video provided by CBC)

WINNIPEG — The only way the Edmonton Oilers were ever going to become more than the Connor McDavid travelling side show was to figure out how to keep the puck out of their own net. That point was driven home with a sledgehammer last season, when McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all had career seasons, yet the Oilers were never a legitimate playoff threat after about mid-February.

They needed a solution, starting in goal.

McDavid, Oilers trounce Flyers 6-3, extend Philadelphia's losing skid

  McDavid, Oilers trounce Flyers 6-3, extend Philadelphia's losing skid EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers' dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continued their scorching start to the season Wednesday, combining for nine points in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid registered five points (one goal, four assists) for the third time in his career, while Draisaitl added two goals and two assists in the win. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ethan Bear and former Flyer Brandon Manning all scored their first goals of the year in the effort.Netminder Mikko Koskinen had 49 saves for Edmonton (6-1-0), registering his third win of the season.

Oilers ' Smith , Koskinen begin to answer goalie questions with strong play . Fantasy Forecheck: Week 3 pickups, must-starts and DFS plays .

Mind Trick Questions . Hard questions to answer provide a challenge for even the most When you begin your route, there is an old woman named Mrs. Smith and a young boy named Raymond Some of the cleverest trick questions involve plays on words, and we have quite a few included in this list.

Then new general manager Ken Holland acquired a 37-year-old Calgary Flames cast off, and paired him with a big Finn who held the mantle of “Most Overpaid Goalie in the NHL.”

“Gulp…” said the fan base.

“Nope,” said 90 per cent of us talking heads who are asked annually if the Oilers have finally put together a playoff team.

Well, nine games into the season the Oilers are 7-1-1, and sit fifth in the league with an average of 2.22 goals allowed per game. Their team saves percentage?

How does .929 sound?

“Their goalie played well. Our goalie played really well,” said Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom after a 1-0 shootout loss Sunday night in Winnipeg, the rare double-shutout fashioned by Mike Smith and Connor Hellebuyck. “If we’re going to have success, you’re going to need a goalie who can actually stand on his head sometimes. Tonight we got one point, thanks to Smitty.”

Connor, Laine score shootout goals, Jets topple red-hot Oilers 1-0

  Connor, Laine score shootout goals, Jets topple red-hot Oilers 1-0 WINNIPEG — Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored in the shootout as the Winnipeg Jets ended a three-game losing skid with a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Sunday. Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid were stopped in the shootout. Overtime featured stripped pucks and tight goaltending. Edmonton goalie Mike Smith robbed Mark Scheifele in close and Hellebuyck followed that up by denying Connor McDavid on a breakaway.Smith made 23 saves for the Oilers (7-1-1), who came into the game winners of two straight.Winnipeg (5-5-0) was playing its fourth game of a five-game homestand.

Koskinen would exit SKA St. Petersburg, who was eliminated in the semifinals by the KHL’s other stacked team, CSKA. Over on these shores, The Koskinen ’s performance has been consistently good in the KHL though, including two seasons with Novosibirsk Sibir before SKA nabbed him.

Trying to make sense of Koskinen ’s new contract with Oilers . Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock loves the Mikko Koskinen With two pending UFA goalies heading into this season, it was always going to be an audition between Talbot and But the answer to why a contract with a .5 million AAV that is

Mikko Koskinen stole a game against Philadelphia last week when he made 49 saves, and in the two ensuing games, he and Smith have combined to allow one goal in 125 minutes of hockey.

The old guy from Calgary was fabulous in Winnipeg, and suddenly, the biggest question mark surrounding this team is beginning to be answered.

“It’s the strength of our team, I think,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse. “And if you knew the two guys who are back there I don’t think you’d be so surprised. How hard they compete. How they prepare for games and practices. Two guys who are hungry to be exceptional each and every night.”

OK, that’s fair. But lots of guys train hard and compete like banshees. And everyone is in shape.

In a game like this one, where Smith only saw 23 shots on net, but likely 10 of them were high quality scoring chances, goaltending is paramount. Yes, the Oilers team defence is better, but Smith was fantastic on the penalty kill, made two beauties in overtime, and simply refused to be the guy who let in the first goal.

Edmonton Oilers come from two down to knock off Capitals in overtime

  Edmonton Oilers come from two down to knock off Capitals in overtime Draisaitl and McDavid sparked an Oilers comeback win.The Oilers finally broke their long scoreless drought with 6:40 left in the first period. Darnell Nurse's centering pass went in off a Washington defender for the Oilers first goal in 165:58.

Three Most Fascinating Players : McDavid, Koskinen , Darnell Nurse. Number 97 would be a pick every year based on his captivating speed and skill alone. Re-signing Koskinen tied a baffling bow around the Chiarelli era. Along with Smith , it’s tough to know what exactly we should expect from Koskinen .

Naturally, there are some players who straddle that line, and they may feel as if they face two contract years. The reasoning is simple: teams can re-sign a player with a season remaining on a current contract, so important pieces often nab extensions at almost the first opportunity.

(OK — Carl Dahlstrom beat Smith on a wrister midway through the third that was overturned on an offside challenge, but stick with us here.)

On top of it all, Smith and Koskinen are two totally different cats.

Koskinen is a Vantaa man of very few words, as unassuming as a six-foot-seven person could possibly be. Smith is a good Kingston, Ont., boy, with a strong personality and eyes that burn holes in you if he doesn’t like a question.

“Two different personalities, but they have the same ‘Let’s get better’ mentality,” Nurse said. “Yeah, they’re different personality-wise. But their preparation, how they compete, that’s something they have in common.”

McDavid went pointless for the second-straight game and the Oilers ended up with three of four points, another rarely seen occurrence. He and Draisaitl had a pair of two-on-ones in overtime, the kind that have ended many an extra session. But in the end the Jets scored on both of their shootout attempts by Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine, while Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid both failed to beat ellebuyck on a perfect night for the Jets goalie.

“We haven’t played in too many like this one tonight,” said Smith. “Not a lot of shots, not a lot of great looks. We just stuck with it. I think that’s been a big staple for this group all year, that whatever’s happened with this group, we’ve found a way to just stick with the game.

“We played a good team on the road and in a tough building here and we found a way to get into overtime and get a point out of it. We’re finding ways to get points different ways but the points are important.”

Said Nurse: “That’s an old fashioned Western Conference muck fest. You get the point, and get outta here.”

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith named NHL star for the week .
Mike Smith was named third star after his performance helped the Oilers secure two wins in three games last week.Last week, Smith stopped 74 of 76 shots and compiled a 2-0-0 record, 0.98 goals-against average and .974 save percentage.

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