To say Jack Campbell’s tenure with the Edmonton Oilers has gotten off to a rocky start would be putting it lightly.
The 30-year-old netminder, who was signed to a five-year, $25 million deal last offseason after an All-Star campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has a 4.20 goals-against average (GAA) paired with an .874 save percentage (SV%) in 2022-23.
Perhaps his worst start of the young season came on Saturday afternoon in a tilt against the Dallas Stars — one in which he allowed six goals on 36 shots. To his credit, he owned his poor play and made it clear he needs to be better moving forward.
“It was kind of like it’s gone all year for me personally,” Campbell told reporters after the 6-2 loss to Dallas. “I just haven’t brought my best. Frankly, it’s just been pathetic the way I’ve been playing. I owe it to this team to bring my A-game, and they haven’t seen it yet.”
colin miller makes it 2-0 on a long shot jack campbell will want back. pic.twitter.com/lxcTmbsNJV
— zach (@zjlaing) November 5, 2022
The accountability from Campbell isn’t surprising. This is a player who teammates, both in Edmonton and Toronto, have raved about. He expects nothing but the best from himself, and is never the type to blame his struggles on others. While that is ultimately a good thing, he has been known to be too hard on himself at times, which can result in his confidence taking a hit.
The good news for the Oilers is that backup goaltender Stuart Skinner has been outstanding early in 2022-23. Through five outings, he owns an extremely impressive 2.10 GAA along with a .944 SV%. Given how well he has played, it wouldn’t come as a major surprise to see head coach Jay Woodcroft give him plenty more starts in the coming weeks as they wait for Campbell to play like the goalie they had envisioned.
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