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G65: Oilers vs Sabres: Campbell Unplayable

March 6, 2023, 4:21 PM ET [10 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Edmonton Oilers play 12 more games this month. Only two games this month are back-to-back. How many of those games will Jack Campbell play in?

The fact is Jack Campbell is almost unplayable at this point. The netminder had 9 wins in 10 games between January 5th and February 11th and an average SV% of 0.910. That was his best stretch of the season which still remains a hair under what I would consider league average goaltending.

In his last 5 starts, Campbell has no wins, and three OT losses and there is a strong case that he was directly responsible for each one of those losses. The last game in particular was a microcosm of Campbell's whole season. Edmonton should have won that game and needed their goalie to just make one more save. They couldn't get it.

At this point it might actually make more sense for the Edmonton Oilers to send Jack Campbell down to the AHL and bring up Calvin Pickard instead. The 30 year old goalie has a 0.911SV% with the Condors this season and has played in a total of 116 NHL games over his career. His numbers are not spectacular but he still may be an upgrade over Campbell. At the very least, sending Campbell down may at least get him some confidence and log some steady games in the AHL.

A couple weeks ago I said that I wouldn't be too hasty in buying Campbell out before next season. Now I don't know if the Oilers and Ken Holland have any other option. The Ekholm trade and to a lesser degree the Bjugstad trade have shown us that Ken Holland isn't afraid now to trade future assets for players that will help the team win right now. This is the Edmonton Oilers window to win a Cup and having a 5 million dollar goalie on the roster who cannot be counted on goes directly against that notion.

Tonight Edmonton will play against the Buffalo Sabres and Stuart Skinner will have the net. The Sabres are fighting for their own chance to make the playoffs which should make tonight a hard pressed battle on both sides. Edmonton is fairly firmly entrenched in a playoff spot but they have not been able to gain ground in their own division. The Golden Knights, Kings, and Kraken all have gone on winning streaks and while the Oilers should have been in that same position... read the above points again.

A Wild Card position means facing either the Stars or the Golden Knights likely in the first round. Finishing in 2nd or 3rd likely means facing either the Kings or Kraken. There is certainly a higher chance of victory against the Kings or Kraken than the Golden Knights or Stars. These are meaningful games coming down the stretch and this team needs to start playing it's best hockey.

Thanks for reading.
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