From afterthought to No. 1– Nilsson getting it done for Oilers


Ah, the unpredictability of goaltending. Every day it seems there’s a new story that proves how hard it can be to forecast the most important position in hockey.

Take the case of Anders Nilsson.

At the beginning of the season, the 25-year-old former Islander was more of an afterthought in Edmonton. He was the guy who came to camp after spending last year in the KHL. It was supposed to be Cam Talbot who was going to give the Oilers some much-needed stability between the pipes. And if it wasn’t Talbot, hey, maybe Ben Scrivens could bounce back.

But Talbot hasn’t been the answer. In fact, he’s got the lowest save percentage (.889) in the NHL among goalies that have started at least 10 games.

Scrivens? He’s not even in the NHL anymore.

Nilsson, meanwhile, has won three straight starts and has a .957 save percentage in December. His overall save rate has climbed to .922.

So, of course the question is being asked — is Nilsson the long-term answer for the Oilers?

Wisely, he’s not going there.

“I’m trying not to get ahead of myself,” Nilsson told the Edmonton Sun. “I’m trying not to look back as much. I’m trying to live in the present moment all the time. I feel that helps me to get focused and stay focused.”

Nilsson is a pending restricted free agent. His current cap hit is $1 million.