Koskinen responds to criticism: 'It's not nice being thrown under the bus'
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen doesn't appreciate the public scrutiny he's received from his head coach Dave Tippett and the media.
"It’s not nice being thrown under the bus," Koskinen told Tommi Seppala of Finnish outlet Yle Urheilu. "I have to be better, but at the same time, we scored seven goals in my last six losses. I can’t score goals."
Tippett called Koskinen out during his postgame press conference on Monday for a puck-playing gaffe that led to the New York Rangers' opening goal in Edmonton's 4-1 loss.
"It's a brutal mistake, what are you gonna do? Call it what it is. We're playing well, it's a brutal mistake," Tippett said. "I thought we did a lot of things well tonight. Our goaltender wasn't very good, and we didn't find enough pucks at the net to get us back in the game."
The Oilers are 2-8-2 in their last 12 games, with both wins during that stretch coming while Tippett was in COVID-19 protocol and not behind the bench.
Koskinen hasn't won himself since Dec. 1. He's struggled over that span - posting a .866 save percentage in six losses - but as he pointed out, he's only received seven goals of support in that time.
Edmonton is now outside of the Western Conference playoff picture in terms of points percentage despite a 9-1-0 start to the campaign. Goaltending has been among the main issues:
The team expected veteran Mike Smith to be the primary starter, but he's battled injuries this season, forcing Koskinen and rookie Stuart Skinner to carry the load for the bulk of the year.
Koskinen, 33, is in the final campaign of a three-year contract that carries a $4.5-million cap hit, per CapFriendly.