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Canucks vs. Oilers: Calvin Pickard, plus his Vancouver connection



Longtime Vancouver Giants goalie coach Paul Fricker began working with Pickard when he was in junior with the Seattle Thunderbirds

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Oilers goalie Calvin Pickard has a Decrease Mainland tie.

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The 32-year-old who’s slated to start out in internet for the Edmonton Oilers in Recreation 4 of their second-round playoff collection with the visiting Vancouver Canucks tonight has labored with Delta-based goalie coach Paul Fricker since he was age 14.

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They first related when Fricker was on the teaching workers of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Pickard went on to change into the WHL membership’s beginning goalie for 4 seasons.

Goaltender Calvin Pickard #30 of the Edmonton Oilers sprays water on his head through the second interval of the NHL sport in opposition to the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Area on April 17, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. Picture by Christian Petersen /Getty Photographs

Fricker moved to the Vancouver Giants after Seattle and has been with that membership for over a decade now. This season, Vancouver beginning goalie Brett Mirwald was named the WHL’s prime netminder. Their three earlier starters beneath Fricker — David Tendeck, Trent Miner and Jesper Vikman — all performed minor professional this previous season.

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The Canucks have a 2-1 collection’ lead over the Oilers. Stuart Skinner began the primary three video games and gave up 12 objectives on 58 photographs (.793 save proportion). Pickard got here on within the third interval in Sunday’s 4-3 Recreation 3 Vancouver win and stopped all three photographs he confronted. His final begin was April 17 on the street in opposition to the Arizona Coyotes.

Pickard was on InGoal Journal’s podcast this week and was extremely complimentary of Fricker, speaking about how he “owed the whole lot” to Fricker as a result of he let Pickard develop his personal model in junior and wasn’t tied to textbook method early on. Pickard worries about younger netminders turning into a “store-bought goalie … you’re a bit robotic.”

“He may have checked out me and been, ‘Oh my goodness. You’ve obtained to vary this and this and this.’ It might have been warranted on the time however he knew I used to be a pure and I might evolve to that sure (technical) normal in some unspecified time in the future,” Pickard instructed InGoal. “I went by means of junior and simply form of did my factor. I battled and competed. After which I obtained to professional and people guys obtained their fingers on me and I wanted it at the moment.

“Paul has been large. I nonetheless work with Paul. I’m going for dinner with Paul tonight. He’s my man.”

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Pickard’s a survivor. There was a time that he wasn’t thought of the perfect goalie in his family. Older brother Chet Pickard, 34, was a first-round choose, No. 18 general, of the Nashville Predators in 2008 after profitable his first of two straight WHL prime goalie awards with the Tri-Metropolis People.


Chet by no means performed an NHL sport. Amongst his closest calls was through the 2011 playoffs, when he was promoted from the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals to be a third-stringer throughout Nashville’s playoff collection in opposition to the Canucks. His final listed professional video games got here in 2021-22, when he wrapped up a seven-year run within the German league with Grizzlys Wolfsburg.

Calvin was a 2010 second-round choose of the Colorado Avalanche and has performed common video games with the Avalanche, Detroit Pink Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, the Coyotes and this 12 months with the Oilers.

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He’s seen motion in 139 NHL regular-season video games in complete. He’s performed 321 within the AHL, together with 4 off the highest of this season with the Bakersfield Condors earlier than Edmonton determined to flip locations with Pickard and Jack Campbell, who was purported to be Edmonton’s long-term reply in objective after they signed him to a five-year take care of a US$5 million cap hit per season in July 2022.

Pickard signed a two-year take care of a cap hit of US$762,500 with the Oilers on the identical day to be their third goalie. Pickard’s not signed a deal for greater than two years since his three-year, entry degree contact expired on the shut of the 2014-15 season.

Calgary Flames Brett Sutter scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Calvin Pickard in second interval NHL preseason motion on the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Picture by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

InGoal Journal’s Kevin Woodley says that on this period of video packages and analytics, the Canucks can have clips of each one of many 53 objectives that Pickard allowed on the NHL degree this season at their fingertips. They’ll have tendencies tracked. The place did the shot come from? The place did it beat him? Was he stationary or was he shifting?

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They’ll have each time he’s gone out of his internet to play the puck. When does he depart it for his defenceman? When does he go it up?

“There might be no stone left unturned,” Woodley mentioned. “It’s the playoffs. That’s the way in which it really works. I feel that’s why you see some goalies get uncovered. This isn’t some random Tuesday in November. That is probably seven video games in a row in opposition to the identical crew and the identical goalie. Groups will know tendencies and attempt to assault weak point as a lot as the opposite crew will enable them to take action.”

Pickard was 12-7-1, with a 2.45 objectives in opposition to common and a .909 save proportion for the Oilers this season. It’s probably the most he’s performed within the NHL since getting 50 video games with the Avalanche in 2016-17. That was Colorado’s first season beneath coach Jared Bednar they usually struggled mightily, winding up final within the league at 22-56-4. Pickard was 15-31-2, with a 2.98 GAA and a .904 save proportion.

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Skinner was 36-16-5, with a 2.62 GAA and a .905 save proportion, through the common season with Edmonton.

[email protected]/@SteveEwen

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