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Inconsistent goaltending could sink Oilers

The NHL playoffs are made of 16 teams that compete for the Stanley Cup. Photo courtesy of the NHL.
The NHL playoffs are made of 16 teams that compete for the Stanley Cup. Photo courtesy of the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers will face off in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, with the Oilers making their first appearance since 2006 and the Panthers seeking revenge for last year’s finals loss.

The Oilers started this season 5-12-1 through their first 18 games. There were even talks about disbanding the team, with a possible trade that would include Leon Draisaitl.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner struggled early in the playoffs.

Instead the move was to fire Head Coach Jay Woodcroft and hire Kris Knoblauch as his replacement. The team finally caught the spark it needed and ended with a 46-18-5 record under Knoblauch.

This is heavily due to the team’s superstars: Draisaitl finished with 106 points and Connor McDavid had 132 points.

The power play is what creates the team’s success. It was ranked fourth during the regular season, and they rank first in power play and penalty killing through the playoffs.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner struggled early in the playoffs, but he got hot at the right time and was a leading factor in the Oilers’ Western Conference victory.

Goaltending for the Panthers has not been in question once this playoffs.

In Florida, Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been a top contributor to the Panthers’ playoff run. He has posted a 12-5 record through the first three rounds, and he has a 2.20 goals against average.

Another key player for the Panthers is captain Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov is one of the top two-way players in the NHL. His defense leads to the team’s offense, which has been one the best throughout the regular season and playoffs.

He has scored six goals and has 11 assists in the playoffs.

The series will come down to goaltending and special teams.

Even though McDavid is looking to expand his legacy, the series is leaning more towards the Panthers because of how inconsistent the Oilers’ goaltending has been.

With that said, the Panthers should win the organization’s first Stanley Cup in six games.

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Trevor Brain
Trevor Brain, Staff Writer
Junior Trevor Brain is a first-year Staff Writer. He can be found playing hockey, lacrosse, and golf.
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