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 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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#2 Spydyr
January 30 2014, 02:03PM
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whoaaaaa wrote:

Don't be a jerk.

Don't be naive.

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#3 Will
January 30 2014, 01:12PM
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I know one performance does not a consistent player make (looking at you Gagner), but does this performance mean Scrivens is number one signing priority on Mac T's list before free agency?

Does 4.5 mill for four years get this done? Is that good term and contract?

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#4 Smokey
January 30 2014, 11:30AM
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Not hearing the people complaining anymore bout the Dubby trade. Granted people got to start realizing bad looking trades often are done to rid of cap killing numbers.

Anyways I wonder if Scrivens agent called Maclowe this morning looking for a 3 year deal? I hope that his impressive play solidifies the goaltending, and really all we are looking for is a 1a or b. I like the Scrivens/Bryz tandem. Love to see Scrivens given a 2 year 1.5 to 2 mil deal and Bryz given a one year 1.5m and let them battle it out.

Last night the Gagner line was brutal. Eakins could not bench them cause Gordon's line was just plain bad too. Frankly Gagner has come around enough and hopefully we can trade him.

Philip Larson can go via trade. He's got legitamite NHL offensive skills, but he must of gone to the Marc Andre Bergeron school for defence as a youngin. The play on PM was not great on the boards and was compounded by the ref's interference. Frankly don't get this organizations hatred of Fedun. I guess he did not turnover enough pucks, and scored too little in his 10 minutes a game earlier in the year. I'd swap Larson out for Fedun for awhile.

That was pretty close to Justin Schultz worst game as an Oiler, if it wssn't for the goal he'd sit a game. The Hall line was bearable last night and was merely oportunistic. Eakins needs a haircut to get rid of his early 90's doo. Can't take him serious with that New Kids on the block moptop.

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#5 Boys on the Short Bus
January 30 2014, 01:00PM
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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

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#6 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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#7 vetinari
January 30 2014, 01:27PM
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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.

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#8 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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#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 Ed in Edmonton
January 30 2014, 01:01PM
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Only 26 more to go and the Oil are in!!

I see part of the "plan" is if we limit the opponents to under 60 SOG we should win the game.

Scrivens was great last night and deserves all the accolades he is getting. But, Ron Tignutt never established himself as an NHL caliber starter despite one other worldly performance. Scrivens is still working on getting himself a NHL gig for next year and last night will go along way to upping his stock.

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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 Taylor Gang
January 30 2014, 11:08AM
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Everything the Leafs trade turns to gold

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#15 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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#16 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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#17 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 11:05AM
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PROFESSOR SCRIVEZINA !

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#18 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 30 2014, 12:54PM
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In order to win

Professor will find a way

still stuck on the isle*

*yes, that is a Gilligan's Island reference, if you don't know what I mean, you-tube it youngster.

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#19 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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#20 TayLordBalls
January 30 2014, 11:19AM
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The Oilers got themselves a goalie - nice job MacT.

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#21 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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#22 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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#23 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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#24 Hair bag
January 30 2014, 11:47AM
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Sisyphys wrote:

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

I'm not convinced that the professor will be so keen to leave when he has as good a chance here to finally be a number one goalie as he would anywhere. I'm sure that is his ultimate goal to be the starter somewhere - this could be his best opportunity! And he would get to do it I front of friends and family. Time will tell....

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#26 pkam
January 30 2014, 12:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Scrivens will want to be a starter. Where else will he get a better opportunity? Also, it is one game.

When he beat the Preds 5-1, he wasn't tested very much. One game won't change his decision, but a contract offer will, and I don't see many other teams where he could have a legit shot to win the starting job.

I can think of a few teams which will be interested. NYI, Panthers, Flames. The Jets and Flyers may also be interested.

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 Johnnydapunk
January 30 2014, 06:04PM
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michael wrote:

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.

I can name 4 teams in the market for a proper Number 1 not including the Oil.

Florida as Markstrom hasn't been convincing and Thomas is a question mark

New York Islanders as I don't know how much faith they have in Nilsson and Poulin, Nabokov is a UFA this year so it's all up in the air

Buffalo, but depends on Miller

St.Louis as both of their goalies are UFA

There are a few teams that may be in the running for a 1a position, and Brodeur is also up in the air so a 1A position may open up there as well.

Whilst I have said that it's a buyers market this summer, nothing is really clear and I do hope that the Oil can keep him in a 1A role with the Oil still looking to sign another Goalie. But if they can sort out their comedy Defence, then I could see Scrivens being a proper number one here and bring up Bachman and pay him Number. 2 money.

Hopefully it all works out though, with better D and solid goaltending, I have a lot of belief that the Oil can become something pretty decent.

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#31 Brian
January 30 2014, 08:31PM
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In the last few months, I have ridiculed the Oilers, and all the Suits associated with the team noteably Bucky and Smitty. KLowe has been a favourite target. I will continue to rip those three whenever my mood hits.

However, I sense the barge is turning , slowly . I sense that the guy at the helm is finding the direction to port . And I'm going to say that the new guy on deck is and will , figure out how to coach the mates.

It's coming , slowly like an old man trying to, but it's coming. Hang in there .

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#32 Boys on The Short Bus
January 30 2014, 11:43PM
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@Mack Stong

This is what the Oiler fans have been waiting for. Getting their ass kicked by a good team in a meaningless game. Yes great individual performance and awesome response from long suffering faithful at Rexall. All this drama about this being one of the best goaltending performance is ridiculous. This isn't even close to being the best Oiler performance. Ranford 90, Cujo 97. Playoff hockey, playoff race, the first couple games in October. You know the ones before fans start debating the lottery pick. I won't call you stupid because I'm not 12

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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 Hair bag
January 30 2014, 11:47AM
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Sisyphys wrote:

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

I'm not convinced that the professor will be so keen to leave when he has as good a chance here to finally be a number one goalie as he would anywhere. I'm sure that is his ultimate goal to be the starter somewhere - this could be his best opportunity! And he would get to do it I front of friends and family. Time will tell....

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#39 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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#40 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 30 2014, 12:05PM
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After watching so many players leave here and play better elsewhere, this could be the second time this season that a player comes here and is better than he was with his previous team....Perron and now maybe Scrivens.....and if this turns out to be true I will give our Pro Scouts Mega Props!

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#41 R U Kidding Me!
January 30 2014, 12:38PM
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What do we have to do to keep the Oilers goalie coach away from Scrivens?

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#42 jonny94
January 30 2014, 12:42PM
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I don't see why Scrivens wouldn't want to sign with the Oilers? He would clearly get the chance to run away with being the starting goalie here. He's the right age to be mixed in with the players we have within the rebuild moving forward and on top of it all Edmonton is familiar territory to him. Aside from his wife being from LA their really isn't anything I can see that would hold him back from resigning with the Oilers especially if we have a winning record for the remainder of the season with him between the pipes.

I'm all for signing Scrivens but at the end of the day lets just give him a couple of more games and see how well he does to determine the term and price.

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#43 Bubba
January 30 2014, 12:55PM
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Gregor, best performance by a Goalie I have ever seen. That was one to tell my grandkids about. "Where were you when Squiggy set the record?" Well I was watching TV, I wish to heck I was there. Man what a Game Bubba

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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 tileguy
January 30 2014, 11:50AM
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@S cottV

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

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