After being criticized by his coach recently, Mikko Koskinen stood up on Saturday as he was one of the main architects of a victory that ended a seven-game losing streak for the Edmonton Oilers.
• Read also: Jordan Subban targeted by a racist gesture
• Read also: Emotion please!
• Read also: The key to success, according to Kent Hughes
While the score was 3-3 after two periods against the Calgary Flames, Koskinen made no less than 17 saves in the final period – 44 in total in the game – including one with a perfect slide at the costs of Dillon Dube.
Moments later, Leon Draisaitl scored the game-winning goal and the Oilers won that leg of the Battle of Alberta 5-3.
“I think it’s my best save in the National Hockey League (NHL), rejoiced Koskinen after the game. When you think about the situation and where we are, we really needed the win and we got it, so we have to be happy.”
Draisaitl never hesitated to raise the role of the masked man in this liberating victory for the Oilers, who had lost 13 of their 15 previous outings.
“Obviously it feels good; losing is awful, Draisaitl said. It’s not fun and you feel like there’s always a cloud around you when you lose. Obviously we are not where we want to be yet, but this is the first step and we have to start at some point. [Koskinen] was amazing, and it was a team effort.”
It was the first victory since the 1is December for Koskinen. In the meantime, the Finn suffered seven setbacks. He allowed 33 goals during this stretch, which represents an average of 4.71 goals per game.
After a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on January 4, head coach Dave Tippett openly criticized his goaltender for an allowed goal early in the game. He himself had been the cause of a penalty a few seconds earlier.
“It’s a brutal mistake,” repeated the pilot several times at a press conference.
Tippett was certainly not the only one to blame the keeper for the club’s failures. Fans and fans have also pointed out his bad times. And it is thanks to his teammates that Koskinen got away with it.
“You know, sometimes it’s hard. You never want to see this stuff. You open the internet and you see your face. So sometimes it’s hard not to see it. I usually try to disconnect from everything.”
«[Mais] I felt the guys were behind me, that’s all that matters.”