Oilers' Campbell aiming to 'write a new script' in 2023-24
No one is more aware of how poorly Jack Campbell's first season with the Edmonton Oilers went than Jack Campbell himself - but the goaltender is eager to turn the tables in 2023-24.
"I just learned so much last year, my standard for myself is so much higher than that," he said Wednesday, per TSN. "Not to dwell on it, but so much good came from having such a tough year as far as my growth this summer. My focus is getting back to where I know I can be at and even elevating that from what I've done in the past.
"(I'm) just really excited for the opportunity to write a new script this year."
Fresh off of signing a five-year, $25-million deal with the Oilers that painted him as their starter, Campbell fell flat in 2022-23. He owned a respectable 21-9-4 record, but Edmonton has a penchant for outscoring its problems and his individual numbers were less than inspiring.
Campbell posted an .888 save percentage and 3.41 goals against average while his minus-18.87 goals saved above expected at all strengths trailed just Kaapo Kahkonen, Spencer Martin, and Elvis Merzlikins for the worst mark in the league, according to Evolving-Hockey.
The Oilers leaned on rookie Stuart Skinner as a result of Campbell's struggles and the 2023 Calder Trophy finalist started every playoff game for Edmonton. Campbell performed admirably in four postseason relief appearances, though, registering a .961 save percentage and 1.01 goals against average in just under 120 minutes of action.
"That's just kinda what I expect to do - forget about the numbers, but how I played," Campbell said of his springtime resurgence. "Just going out and having some fun, doing what I can do. It was nice to get a taste of it, but (it's a) pretty small sample. I'm ready to turn it into something bigger this year."
The 31-year-old admitted he has a habit of judging his performance "pretty heavily," which is why he focused on improving his mindset throughout the summer.
"I still have that standard of wanting to save every shot, but not necessarily losing a week's worth of sleep over it," he said with a laugh.
Campbell is set to compete with Skinner for more playing time in 2023-24. The Oilers open the season on Oct. 11 against the Vancouver Canucks.
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