A NIGHT TO REMEMBER...

Jason Gregor
January 30 2014 10:44AM

Nights like last night are why I love my job. Sports can be brutal, unforgiving, painful and heart wrenching, but it can also be electrifying, courageous, record-setting, breathtaking, fun and completely unexpected.

Ben Scrivens' performance last night was all of the latter, and it was AWESOME.

During the past eight years I've been asked a lot if I get sick of covering losing teams and discussing it with fans. I've never said yes, because I don't, but also because while being in a losing sports town is no fun for anyone, every day brings a new opportunity and story line.

Last night, Scrivens performed one the best story lines I've ever seen.

I was at Rexall Place almost two years ago, February 3rd, 2012, when Sam Gagner scored eight points. He scored on five consecutive shifts at one point. The atmosphere and energy in the building was incredible, and tonight was just as good, and maybe even better.

Scrivens grew up just of Edmonton in Spruce Grove, and last night I felt like the fans were cheering for one of their own. The fans were incredible. However, I think they'll need to come up with a new chant, because Scrivens, Scrivens doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Maybe Benny, Benny... Or Prof, Prof, Prof, since his nickname is The Professor.

But they were into this game, and from the start of the second period you could tell they sensed Scrivens was in the zone. The jubilation and excitement grew as the game went on, and on twitter and here in the Nation I could see the pure excitement and adulation from the fans.

You loved every minute of it, despite the fact the Sharks were dominating your team, and for one night that is how it should be.

It was not a banner night for the skaters, but I think it would be impossible to set an NHL record for most saves in a shutout, 59, if your teammates were playing great. You can't have both.

It was a shooting gallery at times. The Sharks directed 100 pucks towards the net, which is more than 1.5 per minute, but Scrivens stopped them all, and got some help from his teammates.

"Nick Schultz blocked a shot from the slot with five or six minutes to go. That was a shot that was going in. You win as a team," said a humble Scrivens. The elder Schultz might have helped him there, but for most of the game this was all the Scrivenator. (Picture courtesy of Dylan Lynch)

Those were just a few of Scrivens best saves. The crazy part about his game was how many ten-bell stops he made to preserve the shutout. It wasn't like the Sharks were shooting from just shooting from the outside. 

My only beef about the game was that he wasn't named all three stars like Gagner was in 2012. Scrivens set an NHL record, and he displayed the best regular season goaltending performance in the history of the game. I think that was equal to Gagner's 8-point night, but that is a small detail.

Sure, the Oilers defensive zone play was ugly, and after a dominant performance in Vancouver on Monday the second line was horrific last night, but that just adds to the memories.

According to boysonthebus.com David Perron was a team-worst 9% and -29 in Corsi. That is almost comical, because it helps illustrates the difference in performance from Scrivens to the rest of the team. Dallas Eakins pointed out that RNH's line relieved the pressure sometimes, but they too had some ugly post-game stats.

Through it all, however, the fans were into the game. That was the loudest Rexall Place has been since Gagner's epic third period, and their appreciation for Scriven's performance was extremely noticeable.

As I stood outside the Oilers dressing room waiting to do post-game interviews, the fans streamed past me and their faces told the story. Everyone was smiling, and most were still in awe of what they just saw.

In another season of SUCK, last night was a welcome reprieve and one the loyal fans deserved, whether you were in the building or watching at home.

Last night was one of those games that make being a fan worthwhile, and for a media member I was very lucky to have witnessed it. I gave away four sets of tickets to the game on my show yesterday, and this morning I received an email or twitter message from three of the winners.

All of them were extremely thankful to have had the chance to watch history. Usually most winners don't send a reply, which is understandable, but last night was so memorable those in attendance were pumped, excited and thankful to have witnessed it.

For one day we should relish and discuss Scriven's incredible performance. We likely we never see anything like it again.

One final note...The Sharks have had 40+ shots 12 times, and in those 12  five times they were 50+.

Oilers...59
Phoenix and Buffalo... 51
Phoenix and Ottawa...50
Islanders...48
Rangers...47
Colorado and Pittsburgh...45
Chicago...42
Toronto...41
Los Angeles...41

UPDATE....Here is a video of all 59 saves Scrivens made...Classic.

 

 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 whoaaaaa
January 30 2014, 12:58PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Mrs. Scrivens is now overjoyed other warmer teams will have a bigger interest in her husband.

Don't be a jerk.

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#2 Greenlingj
January 30 2014, 10:50AM
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The fans needed a night like tonight.

It has been dark times in Oil Country.

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#3 Gerald R. Ford
January 30 2014, 10:55AM
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Seeing the boys ready, willing, and able to throw every conceivable body part in the way of a puck to preserve the shutout ate away at a lot of the cynicism I've been feeling this year. Does it make up for Crapapalooza 13-14? No, but, there are certain moments in hockey that transcend the standings.

That was beautiful, and boy, did we need that.

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#4 TayLordBalls
January 30 2014, 11:19AM
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The Oilers got themselves a goalie - nice job MacT.

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#5 Taylor Gang
January 30 2014, 11:08AM
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Everything the Leafs trade turns to gold

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#6 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:26AM
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The Earth is two thirds covered by water......Ben Scrivens covers the rest!

Edit: the two guys who trashed this couldn't be bothered to do the math.....I get that!

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#7 Joilers8
January 30 2014, 11:15AM
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It is like playing golf and bashing the ball around and on the 18th you make "one" great shot. You are hooked again.

Tough to be a sports fan. Tougher to be an Oilers fan.

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#8 Shredder
January 30 2014, 10:53AM
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Goaltending is such an important position. Here's hoping Scrivens signs long term, for not too much $$ and he can keep up his stellar play. I'd like to see a 10 save shutout next time though.

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#9 Wow Ben!!
January 30 2014, 11:23AM
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Absolutely an amazing performance by Ben! Fantastic to watch.

My concern was after the game....every player, any one watching knows how bad the Sharks out played them last night and nothing needs to be said but, to have your coach act that disgusted after and not wait until today to say something about the team really shows where Eakins really is with this team.

Sure, he can be upset and rightfully so but, as disjointed as it is - everyone came together as a team finally and tried to help out.

He just should have let everyone enjoy the moment and get back to work today. Where is his responsibility in last night? He is the coach, if the systems aren't working change them to suit your players and their strengths not your players to suit you!

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#10 Oildrop89
January 30 2014, 11:34AM
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I go to a decent amount of games every year (10 or so), most of the time with friends.

Every once in a while I get an impulsive urge to just buy a single ticket while the girl's at the gym, go hang out in the 300's alone and just watch some hockey.

Man oh man has that impulse paid off... Game 3 of the Western Final in '06, Gagners 8 point night, and now last night.

So glad I picked up that ticket, the atmosphere at 3 of the 4 games I've ridden solo have been unforgettable.

Scrivens!!

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#12 Neal
January 30 2014, 01:41PM
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vetinari wrote:

I'd be looking to lock Scrivens up sooner, rather than later. I'm thinking a two year extension, preferably around $1.25M to 1.50M per year would be perfect. You need to make sure that this wasn't just a "one time" performance, but paying him a bit more than LaBarbara ($1M/1 year) shouldn't be controversial.

You think Scrivens would sign for that? Really? Wow.

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#13 Smokey
January 30 2014, 11:36AM
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YakZ wrote:

Awesome performance! But I worry about whether or not he wants to be here or not. The kid knows it was all him last night...I don't think he wants to be part of "the ongoing rebuild..." *cough *cough.

He might feel he's better than the rest of the team and deserves to be a #1 goaltender on a contending team.

*sigh*

He will be here. Guy was discarded by two other organizations after showing he was legitimate both times, he has a chance to be a starter here. Being a starter for the worst organization in hockey is better then being the backup for the Blackhawks.

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#14 Posti
January 30 2014, 10:57AM
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That save on Demers was awesome. Even Demers looked at Scrivens and said "Wow". He had nothing but net and Scrivens caught it.

Hopefully they can play this spoiler role well.

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#15 gr8one
January 30 2014, 12:06PM
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Oildrop89 wrote:

I go to a decent amount of games every year (10 or so), most of the time with friends.

Every once in a while I get an impulsive urge to just buy a single ticket while the girl's at the gym, go hang out in the 300's alone and just watch some hockey.

Man oh man has that impulse paid off... Game 3 of the Western Final in '06, Gagners 8 point night, and now last night.

So glad I picked up that ticket, the atmosphere at 3 of the 4 games I've ridden solo have been unforgettable.

Scrivens!!

Perhaps you need season tickets, it seems that you may be a good luck charm of sorts.

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#16 Mack Stong
January 30 2014, 03:10PM
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Boys on the Short Bus wrote:

Okay everyone back on the bandwagon. The electricity in the rink a new record is set. Which could not have been broken without the complete futility displayed yet again with this sorry squad. Ben you better be first to thank your teammates you really could not have done it without them. If you watch the game on medium fast forward it looks like Short Track Speed Skating in the oilers end. What a joke

I don't believe this is a case of jumping back on the bandwagon….

I believe in this abysmal season, it is one of the few bright spots we were all privileged to experience….

The Sharks are one of the elite teams in the NHL and have (as the article articulates) put up shots in and around that quantity on other teams.

It was the first in a long while where we saw the Oilers rally around the great performance of one of their own and really stand behind him - literally!!!

You're just to stupid to enjoy a great performance and seeing guys rally around that performance. This is what Oilers fans have been yearning for for many years now…

The only joke around here is you buddy!

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#17 Rama Lama
January 30 2014, 10:53AM
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Amen.......what a performance and one for the ages.

This does highlight the need to get bigger as the bigger team here imposed their will and there was nothing we could do.

LT has mentioned that we should go out and get Brian Campbell........after watching last night I say it's time to build a team that can at least compete with bigger teams.

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#18 S cottV
January 30 2014, 01:50PM
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Unless MacT has something up his sleeve regarding the possible acquisition of an unquestioned top end goaltender, it wouldn't be too much longer with continued good play from Scrivens and Bryz - to consider signing both of them for a couple of years.

The Oilers are not ready to contend until something is done to upgrade the d corps. So - it is probably premature to bring in and pay for a big time ufa goaltender, without the d corps dealt with.

If the Oilers can sign two big name defenders and a big name goaltender - go for it, but somehow I think we are going to - for the most part, have to wait for d corps development.

With improved goalie support (ie no more 59 shots against) maybe - the tandem of Scrivens and Brys will do just fine.

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#19 OILERSORDEATH
January 30 2014, 11:15AM
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I realize the Sharks dominated alot of the game but other than LA or Anahiem, or Chigago the Sharks do that to every other team. Thats a highly skilled Veteran squad. Go Oilers!!

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#20 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:33AM
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@Smokey

Big and skilled beats small and skilled!

Edit: Except for when the Scrivenator Scrivenates.

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#21 tileguy
January 30 2014, 01:46PM
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vetinari wrote:

I'd be looking to lock Scrivens up sooner, rather than later. I'm thinking a two year extension, preferably around $1.25M to 1.50M per year would be perfect. You need to make sure that this wasn't just a "one time" performance, but paying him a bit more than LaBarbara ($1M/1 year) shouldn't be controversial.

I'm think 2.5 to 3 times that amount my friend, he is UFA.

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#22 Johnnydapunk
January 30 2014, 02:28PM
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This may get trashed but it's just a view, but if the worst case scenario happens, the Oil could try to resign Scrivens to decent Number one goalie money, and resign Bachman as a backup, and spend some freakin' money on some Defence-men.

And buy a proper heat gun and make all the D-mans shin guards Craig Ludwig style-wide :-P

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#23 Oilfan
January 30 2014, 03:55PM
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Ur comments on radio are right on. Eakins is a rookie coach who is egotistical and a tad overwound.(IMO) His response to the game outcome was un-necessarily sour. His ego is influencing his decisions. His coaching style leads me to think he is more about showing one and all that he is boss. Some of his player deployment decisions often puzzle media and fans alike and frankly seem arbitrary and pointless.

His coaching logic just doesn't make sense. His personality and questionable tactics may one day catch up to him and the price may be his job. There is too much ego in this equation IMO. See this seasons PP and PK results. Last night I would have called a 30 sec timeout when the team was completely unravelling killing that penalty and facing off in their own end, when the outcome was very much in doubt.

The Oil would be better served ny a seasoned coach not in love with the sound of his own voice. Look, listen and compare the reaction of coaches of teams like the Hawks, Blues, Sharks and Ducks. Eakins sounds like a real idiot with his public comments.

My point is I agree with your comments about the tenor of his comments. The rest is purely my admittedly non-expert view of Eakins.

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#24 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:11AM
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Besides the historic part.....my favorite thing about the Scrivenators record setting performance is that it gives all the young guns a taste of glory! What it feels like to win in epic fashion....even if you're being dominated. It's not just a moral builder, it's a team builder. They got a somewhat twisted taste of playoff hockey last night and they're gonna want more!

On an unrelated note, I heard that Eakins took Scrivens to Timmies after the game for donuts and a double double!

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#25 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:19AM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

Seeing the boys ready, willing, and able to throw every conceivable body part in the way of a puck to preserve the shutout ate away at a lot of the cynicism I've been feeling this year. Does it make up for Crapapalooza 13-14? No, but, there are certain moments in hockey that transcend the standings.

That was beautiful, and boy, did we need that.

Gerald R Ford wins the internet today! That is all.

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#26 Oildrop89
January 30 2014, 01:16PM
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@Boys on the Short Bus

How dare anyone enjoy a rare, incredible performance resulting in a win.

Sure it was because of our defensive ineptitude, but right now WHO CARES? The seasons done, over, we're buried deep. We've seen bad goal after bad goal scored on us time and time again.

This was a one time performance and Ben will surely let in a softie or two over time but last night was amazing.

Whatever though, Down with Lowe, Fire Eakins, death to the optimistic fan and yada yada.

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#27 Johnnydapunk
January 30 2014, 01:49PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Everything the Leafs trade turns to gold

I laugh at it seems true, especially with goalies.

I mean Rask for Raycroft because Justin Pogge was the Leafs goalie of the future... -what's even funnier was that the Bruins were gonna release Raycroft and the Leafs could have had him for free. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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#28 spliff
January 30 2014, 07:58PM
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Eakins commended Scriven's performance, then mentinonded that our defense needs work, which it true. Not a big deal.

I'm seening some positives in the Oilers these days. Love of third line, Scrivens may be a keeper, Jultz is starting to progress and I have a feeling next year he might take the next step.

If MacT can get a legit 2nd line Center, and at least one top pairing D, and a legit 2nd pairing D, I believe this team will take a big step next year.

The youngins are getting more savvy, and for the first time in a long time, I am feeling a twinge of optimism for next year. Also, they must keep Eakins for stability. I think Eakins has learned a lot this year too and will be better next year.

In MacT I trust (albeit hesitatingly).

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#29 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:05AM
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PROFESSOR SCRIVEZINA !

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#30 dave
January 30 2014, 11:36AM
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So, does anyone here not really believe that real goal tending would have the Oilers confidence up and likely 15 more points in the standings this year? Had we had this from day #1, it's a different season. Likely still not playoffs but certainly there would have been different post game interviews with a few more smiles.

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#31 Anthony
January 30 2014, 11:37AM
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Last nights performance reminded me of the days of the late 90's when CUJO was between the pipes. Back then the Oilers didn't have much talent on the ice aside from a handful of players and CUJO ofcourse. When the Oiler players were throwing their bodies in front of the pucks it reminded me of back then... in a good way hopefully this builds some character into the young players of today.

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#32 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:38AM
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Holy Sh*t ! The NHL.com stats page has a picture of an Oiler on the Leader Board !! Quick someone capture the screen shot. SCRIVENATOR !

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#33 michael
January 30 2014, 11:44AM
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The performance gets you highlight of the year.I was riveted to my couch. I had to piss so hard by the half way mark that my eyeballs were floating.I did not want tomiss a moment of this historic night. When the SJ Shark took the penalty with 2:09 to go I was cheering like a rabid dog. I went nuts. cripes even my wife understood the moment and was cheering right there along with me.Its one to remember.In a season of abject misery this brings both relief and hope.I cannot remember when we last had a goalie who stole us agame like this. But sure as heck I'll remember this one.

Could Scrivens be the guy? Ride this horse till its dead. Eakins has faith in the guy.He'srode him before in the AHL. Saddleup Ben Scrivens opportunity is bashing down your door.

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#34 Puck JammeR!
January 30 2014, 11:55AM
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Scriven on a Prayer

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#35 Mustangheart
January 30 2014, 11:18AM
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WOW !! Like most Oiler fans, that was a night to remember and long over due. To watch the fans give several standing ovations did the world of good to the owners, management and more importantly the players.

What I do hope this leads to in the future is that the players now believe that they have a reliable goalie in place and for the over-all confidence of the team to improve that they can take on and beat the best in the NHL.

If the Oilers can obtain this in the remaining games in the season, we'll be in better shape for next year.

Oilers, Well done !!

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#36 YakZ
January 30 2014, 11:11AM
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Awesome performance! But I worry about whether or not he wants to be here or not. The kid knows it was all him last night...I don't think he wants to be part of "the ongoing rebuild..." *cough *cough.

He might feel he's better than the rest of the team and deserves to be a #1 goaltender on a contending team.

*sigh*

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#37 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:52AM
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tileguy wrote:

As a positive, the Oil are the fifth team that they have pounded 50 shots on, that's once every 10 games.

Is that how often they play us? Once every 10 games?

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#38 Hair bag
January 30 2014, 11:59AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I think Scrivens would re-sign given the opportunity. However, i get he played a great game but is it really a good idea to re-sign for something ludicrous just yet? I guess we'll see after the Bruins game...

Agreed. He has never been a starter yet so far in his career so I don't think he has much leverage to demand too much money just yet. Hopefully they can sign him to a 2 yr bridge contract and then if he can prove that he can be a consistent backstop sign him to bigger money then...

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#39 tileguy
January 30 2014, 12:20PM
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NsxZero wrote:

Aside from most of our line jumping in the crease it was also nice to see Petry mow over a shark onto his ass.

And didn't we see Eberle clobber burns? strange night.

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#40 Oildrop89
January 30 2014, 12:45PM
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@pkam

Certainly ain't you!

For every incredible game I've been to there's been 5 stinkers.

I was at that 3-0 game against the Stars, we played a strong game and Lehtonen was the difference.

It was nice to have things go the other way last night!

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#41 Oilbaron
January 30 2014, 05:36PM
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Wow I can't believe people have a problem with Eakins' post-game interview. Seriously, do we have to cry about everything?

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#42 tileguy
January 30 2014, 10:58AM
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Interesting stats courtesy of Fear The Fin.com-

The Sharks were just four shots shy of the all-time single-game regulation record since the NHL began tracking shots on goal.

As it stands, the Sharks made it to the 50-shot mark for the fifth time this season. No other team has done that more than once.

Ben Scrivens has now stopped 97 of 99 Sharks shots this season.

In a little over 18 minutes of five-on-five ice time, David Perron was on for 21 San Jose shots and 1 Edmonton shot. Perron has been one of the Oilers’ best players this season but that’s ineptitude taken to another level.

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#43 Sisyphys
January 30 2014, 11:25AM
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YakZ wrote:

Awesome performance! But I worry about whether or not he wants to be here or not. The kid knows it was all him last night...I don't think he wants to be part of "the ongoing rebuild..." *cough *cough.

He might feel he's better than the rest of the team and deserves to be a #1 goaltender on a contending team.

*sigh*

Agreed. Think that's the #1 concern with this move MacT made. Is he playing like a great goalie? Absolutely. However, that makes our job even harder at the end of the season. You want him to play well so the Oilers do better. Then again, if he plays well, he'll end up getting offers from other teams, and you can't blame him for wanting to leave. It would be a constant barrage in goal every night for him here. Why do that to yourself if you can make decent money somewhere else? To me, a 1G position in Edmonton wouldn't be worth it.

Think we should enjoy this while it lasts, because I predict our goalie issues arise again this off-season when we can't keep either Bryz or the Professor

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#44 S cottV
January 30 2014, 11:35AM
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tileguy wrote:

Interesting stats courtesy of Fear The Fin.com-

The Sharks were just four shots shy of the all-time single-game regulation record since the NHL began tracking shots on goal.

As it stands, the Sharks made it to the 50-shot mark for the fifth time this season. No other team has done that more than once.

Ben Scrivens has now stopped 97 of 99 Sharks shots this season.

In a little over 18 minutes of five-on-five ice time, David Perron was on for 21 San Jose shots and 1 Edmonton shot. Perron has been one of the Oilers’ best players this season but that’s ineptitude taken to another level.

Perron's numbers skewed by Gagner dominated in the middle and the defence pairing that he mostly played with.

Corsi, number of shots and territorial play in general, is mostly driven from the back end and the guy playing in the middle.

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#45 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:51AM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

Seeing the boys ready, willing, and able to throw every conceivable body part in the way of a puck to preserve the shutout ate away at a lot of the cynicism I've been feeling this year. Does it make up for Crapapalooza 13-14? No, but, there are certain moments in hockey that transcend the standings.

That was beautiful, and boy, did we need that.

Sign in locker room should be changed from "Chop Wood, Carry Water"....to "Ready, Willing and Able".... And they should hang Gregor's poster of the Scrivenator in there!

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#46 Taylor Gang
January 30 2014, 11:54AM
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I think Scrivens would re-sign given the opportunity. However, i get he played a great game but is it really a good idea to re-sign for something ludicrous just yet? I guess we'll see after the Bruins game...

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#47 DisappointedFan
January 30 2014, 11:54AM
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@dave

Scrivens played an UNREAL game last night, he may very well be the goalie the Oilers have needed since day one this season. But at the same time, he had to stop 59 shots...you can't expect ANY goalie to stop 30-50 shots every night like Roloson did after the playoff run without burning out. The team in front of him should take this win as a sign of confidence from the crease..that they can't hang him to dry like again because he didn't just steal that game for them, he very well could have stolen them back their confidence from the depths of the hockey underworld.

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#48 Spydyr
January 30 2014, 12:30PM
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Mrs. Scrivens is now overjoyed other warmer teams will have a bigger interest in her husband.

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#49 michael
January 30 2014, 04:32PM
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pkam wrote:

That is backup goalie price. Why would he want to sign here to be a backup goalie?

He'll sign here because of the following:

A His opportunity to be a number 1 here is huge. Name me another team that has a #1 opening? B. His relationship with Eakins. Trust goes both ways. C.He grew up in Spruce Grove and the Oilers were his team. For every Joffery Lupul there is a Ryan Smyth. Those who can handle the hometown hero pressure. D.Money. Oilers have cap space and need 2 goalies. That is 4 reasons why I think he signs here.

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#50 Oilerz4life
January 30 2014, 07:09PM
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Oilbaron wrote:

Wow I can't believe people have a problem with Eakins' post-game interview. Seriously, do we have to cry about everything?

Even Bob McKenzie was pointing out Eakin's douchebag comments after the game. But what would Bob McKenzie know about hockey?

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