In defeating the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers have now won their opening five games to begin the season.
It’s Edmonton’s first 5-0-0 start since the 1985-86 campaign, so spirits are high in northern Alberta at the moment, and Don Cherry believes that the goaltending has been a major factor in the Oilers’ hot start.
“I know the goaltenders are playing good again,” Cherry said on the Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Mike Smith is 3-0, just what he needed, just what the team needed, and the team is smoking right now.
“But when you have a [goaltender] playing good, you take that extra chance. … And McDavid is doing great – everybody’s doing great – but I tell you, Mike Smith is the guy that’s got ‘em going.”
Smith has posted a 2.67 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in his three victories so far this season.
The Oilers will attempt to make it six wins in a row on Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks.