It was marvelous. The Oilers led by McDavid and Draisaitl didn't need to consistently put up 5+ goals to win games. Instead, led by not as many superhuman efforts, the team was capable of winning games 2-1 or 3-2, as they weren't concerned about the tandem of Smith and Koskinen fishing the puck out of the net after every third shot. This confidence also rolls into the playoffs and with a less fatigued core, they push deeper into the playoffs than people expected. Then I "woke up" and the Oilers lost another very winnable game by the score of 6-5 with the aforementioned tandem only making a combined 18 saves, in a game the Oilers dominated and out-shot the Jets 45-24. Now, should all the blame be placed on the goalies? No of course not. In this game Smith had little chance on the first two goals. There were some bad turnovers and the Oilers inability to get the puck out of their zone bit them in the behind on both. However, sometimes, you just have to make a save. As proven down the stretch by Hellebuyck. He didn't have the strongest game, but he played well enough to win and make the big saves when it mattered. The Oilers kept fighting back, but were let down time and time again. Down 4-1, get to 4-3 and then a deflected puck from high in the slot gets behind Mikko. In the third with the team finally back on even footing, Koskinen lets an, in my opinion very saveable deflection just go right by him to put the Jets out in front for good. Are there any easy answers here? No of course not. Holland rolled the dice on Markstrom and lost to Calgary. Then decided to go back to the well he knew, even though it was the downfall of the team last season. When Smith went out and on IR, it left the team in a bind to start the season. Holland decided to ride what he had in Koskinen instead of making a move at this time. Tippett was too afraid to even let Skinner between the pipes aside from one game against Ottawa. Even when Koskinen was getting lit up, he refused to make a change. This was very telling that the staff does not have any faith in the Oilers current AHL goalies. This puts the Oilers in a major hole, and the only way to address it will either be free agency this year or a trade. Now, the obvious trade candidates are in Arizona. However, I don't seem them as an ideal trading partner in this case. They'll most likely want to clear cap for the year, so being cap strapped themselves, the Oilers can't afford to take on either goalie without someone like Russell or Koskinen going back. Then you've got Boston. Both their goalies are UFAs after this season. If things went south there, do you try and make a pitch for Tukka? He doesn't have a NMC/NTC on his contract this season. Are you able to send them Mikko + and hope you are able to work out an agreement for him past this year? No, probably not. To me the most obvious trade would land in the form of Devan Dubnyk. He's lost a step for sure. He's not the goalie we gave up on, but he's not the goalie that went off in Minnesota either. He's somewhere in the middle. Even on a team like SJ where he doesn't have a win, as of yet, he's still putting up better numbers over 6 games than Mikko is this year. .917 save%(DD) vs .895(Mikko 13GP) He seems firmly entrenched in the backup role behind Jones right now. Is it possible that Mikko considers not putting SJ on his M-NTC list of 15 teams. Could the sun and sand entice him? Or is the fact that he's technically the starter here in Edmonton really enough to keep him from waiving it for SJ? Even though he's clearly in a Mike Smith led platoon. If SJ was interested and both goalies agreed to the change of scenery does either team make an add request? Does SJ ask for a pick or a prospect for the extra year of Mikko? Does EDM offer a conditional pick if DD takes us to the playoffs and wins a round or two instead? Does it even make sense to go after a goalie who'll be a UFA after this season. No. The price on a decent signed goalie will be way too high though. We can't afford to sell the farm on someone like Gibson. However, we cannot ride the Koskinen/Smith train to failure any longer. Holland needs to make a move to save this season, and that move needs to be in net. The defense is serviceable as Barrie gets more used to the system, and especially now that Bouchard is being given his chance to shine. Once Bear is healthy you can move someone like Koekkoek or Lagesson to the pressbox. So you can ride this out on D. The answer needs to come in net and that move needs to come soon.