“It will be exciting just to be on the same ice as him”
Edmonton Oilers rookie goaltender Stuart Skinner has earned the assignment from head coach Jay Woodcroft to start in net against the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin on Monday night.
It will be Skinner’s first time facing the legendary Ovechkin and he says he is excited to get the chance to see Ovi’s famous photograph up close.
“He’s an amazing player,” Skinner said. “If not, he has one of the best shots in the league the best shot in the league He still makes 50 each year. He is an amazing player. Credit to him and I can’t wait to see the take.”
This shot by Ovechkin has marked the string behind 162 different goaltenders during the Caps captain’s storied career. If Ovi beats Skinner on Monday night, he’ll be just one goaltender behind Oilers great Mark Messier (164) for the third-most goals against individual goaltenders.
In addition to being Ovechkin’s 786th goal, it also marks his first goal against Karel Vejmelka, the 162nd goalie Ovechkin has scored in his career. Only Jaromir Jagr (178), Patrick Marleau (177) and Mark Messier (164) have scored more goals.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) November 6, 2022
“I’ve been watching him since I was ten,” Skinner continued. “I know he’s got a good goal. I know he can make some really nice plays as well. He’s one of the best players to play the game. It’s really exciting to play against him. It’s going to be great.”
Skinner, 24, played his first NHL game during the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin’s 16th year in the NHL. By the time Skinner played his first full Canadian junior season in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2014-15), Ovechkin had already scored 422 career goals with the Caps.
“It’s unreal,” Skinner finished. “It’s going to be exciting just to be on the same ice as him. It’s a really fun moment for me to be able to watch his take. At some point, I’ll be able to tell people that Alex Ovechkin shot me, which is a really cool thing to say .
Skinner enters Monday night’s action with a 2-2 record, a 2.10 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. Veteran Jack Campbell has seen most of the starts in Edmonton’s net, but Skinner has fared better in terms of saves than expected. MoneyPuck he has it at a plus 5.6 compared to Campbell’s minus 4.4.
Screenshot via @EdmontonOilers/Twitter