The Edmonton Oilers fired their goalie coach today.
It was not a surprising move, given Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth have combined to give Edmonton the worst goaltending in the NHL this season, statistically speaking.
Granted, Scrivens and Fasth have too often been victims of poor play in front of them. (It’s a good debate — who’s more to blame for the Oilers’ struggles, and how can things be fixed?) But clearly more was expected of the duo. Edmonton’s five-on-five save percentage, considered the most reliable statistic to judge goaltending, is an NHL-low .895.
Here are the four other teams in the bottom five of that statistic:
Vancouver (.900): Which may surprise you, given the Canucks are 14-6-1 and Ryan Miller is tied for the lead among all NHL netminders with 13 wins. But neither Miller nor backup Eddie Lack have been consistently good. The Canucks have been winning thanks mostly to their reinvigorated offense. Case in point, two of Miller’s wins were 5-4 decisions over the Oilers.
Carolina (.904): This, on the other hand, probably won’t surprise you, given the Hurricanes’ 6-11-3 record. Neither Cam Ward nor Anton Khudobin have made a convincing case to be the full-time starter. While Ward had some decent performances at the beginning of the month, it’s looking more and more like the ‘Canes will be stuck with his $6.3 million cap hit until his contract expires after next season.
Columbus (.905): Bad news for the Blue Jackets. Good news for Sergei Bobrovsky’s agent, whose client is a pending restricted free agent. Neither Curtis McElhinney nor Anton Forsberg could hold the fort down while Bobrovsky was hurt.
Washington (.905): The Caps have done a much better job this season in limiting their opponents’ shots (26.8, compared to 33.5 last season), but both their goalies, Braden Holtby and Justin Peters, rank near the bottom in individual five-on-five save percentage (.910 and .895). In a related story, Washington has outright lost six games in which it’s finished with more shots than its opponent. The good news is that Holtby has been better of late.
PS — The top five? Nashville, St. Louis, Florida, Los Angeles, Ottawa.