4 Big Questions for the Edmonton Oilers in 2020-21

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Mikko Koskienen (19)
Mikko Koskinen #19 of the Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

3. Is the goaltending going to be good enough in 2020-21?

There is no doubt that Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland missed a huge opportunity to improve the weakest area on this roster during the offseason.

In what was a market dominated by elite goaltenders like never before, many felt certain that Holland would go out and acquire a franchise netminder in Free Agency.

However, for some baffling  and unknown reason, the Oilers stood pat while big-name goalie after big-name goalie went off the board.

And, to escalate things further, two of Edmonton’s North Division Rivals in the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks both upgraded their goaltending respectively by signing Jacob Markstrom and Stanley Cup champion Braden Holtby.

edmonton oilers
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

It made no sense as to why the Oilers didn’t go out and acquire a legit starting goaltender, instead opting to re-sign veteran Mike Smith to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Smith was solid for Edmonton in 2019-20, going 19-12-6 with a .902 Save Percentage and a 2.95 Goals Against Average to go along with one shutout, but he isn’t the long-term answer between the pipes for this franchise.

Then there is the other half of this less-than-average goaltending tandem, Mikko Koskinen, who put up a .917 SV% and a 2.75 GAA in 33 starts during the regular season, before struggling in the postseason with a .889 Save Percentage and a 3.16 Goals Against Average.

In a season where goalies will be relied on more than ever in a condensed 56-game schedule, it remains to be seen if Smith and Koskinen are good enough to carry the Oilers to the promised land.

They may not even be good enough to get the job done in a stacked North Division, so it may be up to Ken Holland to go and acquire a legit starting goaltender in a big trade in order to ensure that Connor McDavid has enough help to drag this team into the postseason again.

Marc-Andre Fleury, anyone?