Goaltender's dad talks up the Oilers' chances of lifting the Stanley Cup

Well, it has been a nerve wracking couple of weeks for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, to say the least. For a while it looked like the Florida Panthers would prevail in their hunt for the Stanley Cup. They won the first three games of the series and then all of those brooms got put away because the Oilers clawed their way back, winning the last three games to tie the series. Two of those games in rather dramatic fashion. And to many fans, Stewart Skinner is a reason for that comeback. Skinner is a hometown hero living out his childhood dream at as the goalie of the Edmonton Oilers. Now, Sam Skinner is Stewart's dad and he's been good enough to join us on the line this morning. Good morning to you, Sam. Good morning, Steven. How are you? I am just fine. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time with us. First off, this series when they were down three games, you tell me honestly what was going through your head? Well, you know, just Stewart. Stewart had his rookie year last year and this was his first year in the NHL and was a starter, which was, you know, amazing enough for us. It was, you know, surreal. And to get to the playoffs, we were just like, wow, could you imagine just being there? But when they were down 33, nothing, You know, I always, always used to tell Stewart, never, never count yourself out. Just always focus, just always keep working. If you're doing your best, if you're working your hardest, you believe in what you're doing, then then it's successful. And the team just seemed to really gel. I, I felt the first three games they just weren't connecting. They just, you know, they were playing, they were playing hard, but things just weren't working out for them. That wasn't going their way. And, and, and then when they won the first one and, and the second one and, and then the third one, and, and now here we are. Our, our sports person was saying, our sports guy was just telling us a few minutes ago that it, it took Edmonton a while to, to figure out the game. The Panthers were playing that kind of neutral zone trap. And then and they, they figured out a way around it. And, and that's what put them ahead in the last three games. Yeah, I, I I'd have to agree with that. And I'd have to say too, that the Oilers, the the Oilers needed to start playing their game. They needed to start their, I mean, they're, they're hard to hard to play with when they're skating there. They have some very fast skaters on that team. And they just need to start playing their games instead of adapting to the other teams games. And you know, you kind of saw that a little bit in every series and it's better just to come out play, play your game and let them try to figure you out. But but with them doing what they've done, the team, the team as a whole, they're very together. They're very net tight as a group and they believe in each other. And it's going to be exciting game tonight. And I mean, you know, until the finals, you know, things have things have been pretty great for the team. I mean, sixteen straight wins. What what did that do to your son's confidence? I'm telling you, it's just amazing just watching what's happening and all these little, you know, well, they're not little that you know, all the records that, that, that Stewart's been breaking, those are things that you know, you don't even you don't even look at, you know, like it was funny. One of the gentleman that was interviewing him said, did you know you broke this record today? He said, no, I had no idea. So you know, it, it was like us like we just don't know until we hear it. Sometimes we hear from friends, they they text us something. Oh, is this that right? So it's just, yeah, it it just, I think it just really bolstered him into, into an area. I remember his goalie coach when he was about, I think he was about 1314 years old and his goalie coach was was coaching a lot of the NHL goalies. He said, Hey, you know, I would like you to bring Stewart down to down to Calgary and I'm doing a session down there. And of course we just said yes because we figured it'd be another session that we would normally go to with them. And we went down there and I'm walking in with my young son and saw the saw the, you know, what roommate needed to be in. And it was a different arena than we'd ever been at, obviously. And so we're walking in and, and we look in there and, and there's Dubnik and there's Razor. Oh, I can't remember his name. I'll think of it. Anyway, here's 5 NHL goalies, one from, you know, men and, and, and Stewart and, and I, I said, I said, what's going on? I don't understand. He says, OK, it's OK. So they went and, and they, he was there for a few days working out with these NHL goalies, just Stewart and these NHL goalies. So then afterwards I said, I don't understand. And he says, well, he says Stewart needs to understand that this is normal, that these, that these goalies are just regular guys that work hard at their task. He needs to learn that. Sam and I, I, I'll never forget those words ever. You know, here's this young boy and he, you know, he says he just needs to understand working hard at his task. It's a normal, it's a normal thing. So that was that was quite amazing. You know, for us, it was, you know, it was one of those things that, I mean, I took so many pictures, my camera broke so well, I can imagine. I mean, that's just that's that's crazy. Did he always want to be a goalie? Yeah. Well, right at the beginning, he was about seven years old. He started playing hockey, you know, the Timbits and and he was a he was a sentiment. And honestly, Steven, I thought, oh wow, he look at him going, he's scoring goals, he's passing the puck, he's making plays at such a young age. I thought this is just this is something else. So he kept playing hockey, obviously. And the next next year, next year or the year after, I was working out of the country and I had I just got back and I called my wife. I said I'm in time, I can pick Stewart up from his practice. So she said sure. So I drove down from the airport and went to pick him up and our, our our neighbor right behind us here, John Good, who's a big reason for this too. And we always chuckle about it. He was, he was coaching Stewart and I was walking down in the in in the arena to pick Stewart up. And John came out and he looked at me and said, how you doing, Sammy? And he had a bit of a, you know, one of those funny smiles on his face, like I wasn't quite sure what that was about. And outcomes Stewart with his goalie bag with pads on it. And I says, what is going on? And he says, they're going to let me play goal, Dad, They're going to let me play goal. Yeah. And I look, I look back at John and John's course, he's, he's about 40 feet away, which was a good thing. And, and he, and he's kind of chuckling. He said, it's OK, Sam, it's OK. Everybody gets a chance. And he's just going to have some fun. So I said, Stuart, you want to play goal? Oh, yeah, Dad, I do. So we got home from the rink. And of course, he had older brothers, Steven, Scott and Sheldon. And I said to the boys, when we got home, I said, listen, I'm going to tell your brother to get his goalie stuff on and go out in the backyard. And I want you guys to go in the garage and get those 2/5 gallon buckets of pucks and I want you to shoot on them. And they said, yeah, I said, yeah, I want you to go shoot on them. I'll come out in about a minute or so. And by that time, he should be, you know, relieved of his desires to play goalie. So. So anyway, Stuart, I went. I said, hey, Stewie, I said, how'd you like your goat? Get all your equipment on, goat in the backyard, and your brother's going to take shots on you. Yeah, that's the best ever. So he's getting all dressed up and nobody goes in the backyard with all the goalie stuff on and went into the net that we had out in the backyard there. And the boys are just, you know, shooting. And, I mean, they're shooting pucks. So I thought, OK, that's long enough. I'll go out there now and go and console my son, right. So Scotty took a slap shot when I got out there. It's Stewart in the in the shoulder. And Stewart, all I could hear was yes. And I thought, well, I'm done. So, you know, he, he, he just loved it, just loved it. And of course, I, I, you know, I coached for years and years and years. And I used to go in when I was coaching for the certification program, you know, and I used to have a joke where all the guys, I said to the coaches, I said, now do you know how you how you pick a goalie? And I said, I'm going to show you how you pick a goalie. And I would have one hand closed and the other hand opened and I'd have them both up in the air. And I said, you just look at all the kids in the room and say, which hand is the marble in? And if they don't know, then they're a goalie. And of course, then it came back on. So, yeah, Sam, what a story. Listen, thank you so much for the time this morning. We really appreciate it. And we are all pulling for Stewart tonight and for the whole team. Congratulations on getting this far. And I don't know, after watching the last three games, I'm feeling pretty confident. But I'm not going to jinx anything at this point. Yeah, I I feel the same. And for us, it's stressful excitement every so often. Every so often when Sue hits the floor, it's like clear. And then she gets me next time. Great to hear you this morning. Great to meet you over the phone and and enjoy the game tonight. Thank you, Steven. All right, thank you so much. You take care. Bye. Bye. Go Oilers. Go Oilers. There you go. Sam Skinner, who's the father of Oilers goalie Stewart and Skinner. That game starts 5:00, our time tonight.

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