Oilers make a big change in goal on Monday morning.

Oilers make a big change in goal on Monday morning.

Newly appointed head coach Kris Knoblauch is making a big change in goal almost immediately.

Jonathan Larivee

It would appear that Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch has already seen enough when it comes to the Oilers goaltending situation.

In his first 3 games as head coach Knoblauch has opted to go with 25 year old Stuart Skinner, emerging from those games with a pair of wins and one loss. Skinner had a strong performance in one of those outings, a solid performance in another, and a rather regrettable performance most recently against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In spite of the fact that goaltender Jack Campbell has yet to enter the mix under Knoblauch, the newly minted Oilers head coach is making a goaltending change that won't involve the Oilers goalie currently commanding a cap hit of $5 million. Instead, on Monday, Knoblauch has made the decision to insert goaltender Calvin Pickard into the lineup ahead of a Monday night matchup against the Florida Panthers.

Pickard, who has yet to play in the NHL this season, has been having strong performances with the Oilers American Hockey League affiliate team the Bakersfield Condors. In 4 games Pickard has recorded a 2.03 goals against average and a .939 save percentage and it would appear that Knoblauch believes those performances have earned Pickard a shot at the NHL level this season.

Campbell on the other hand has continued to struggle even at the AHL level, with a 4.36 goals against average and a .819 save percentage over 3 games with the Condors. Given the sheer disparity in the numbers you can hardly blame Knoblauch for making this move, but it is certainly a bold one on the part of the new Oilers head coach.