February 01 2014 08:16AM
After setting a modern day record for saves in a shutout since expansion, things should get tougher for Ben Scrivens. That's the life of an Edmonton Oilers goalie.
The history of the two teams is connected in so many ways, and of course they've met in the grandest games of all, the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Oiler connections from the Bruins 1972 team: Ted Green (who would coach for the Oilers); Johnny Bucyk (from Edmonton, played for the Edmonton Flyers before going to the NHL); Garnet Bailey (scouted for the Oilers, also served as a minor league coach)
- Bruins connections from the Oilers 1990 team: Glen Sather (began his NHL playing career as an Bruin); Ted Green (a top defenseman for the Bruins); Garnet Bailey (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Lorne Davis (played for the Bruins in the 1950's); Craig MacTavish (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Bill Ranford (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin)
Of course there are many other connections, but the two clubs are tied together by more than those two Stanley Cup finals.
You've no doubt heard of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? The Oilers coverage this season has been a whole lot of ugly, and the defensive side of the puck is job one in the coming off-season. However, Ben Scrivens stole a game the other night, one of a very few performances this season where the Oiler goalie ripped the heart from their opponent (Bachman!).
An NHL team needs that, especially a team like the Oilers. This season has been a lot about poor goaltending and a shameful power play, but the Scrivens acquisition is a good sign for the future.
Sign that man!
After that San Jose game, we know the name of the starting goalie. After that, I assume there will be changes, especially in light of the Mark Fraser pickup.
Andrew Ference may draw back in—I can't imagine wild horses keeping him away—so a 'best guess' at the lineup might be this:
Things I'm looking for today:
- better coverage. Wow, man, they can't be that bad.
- less running around in their own zone. The Oilers style of chasing the puck is much harder than positioning, surely they've learned this (over and over again).
- a sleepy first period. This early game business usually results in a sputtering start.
- Taylor Hall. That is all.
- Boyd Gordon doing his usual spectacular work with little or no credit on the game broadcast.
- That second line surprising with solid play.
- A big crunching hit from Fraser in which he does not take a penalty and does not lose position.
- A power-play goal from the Russian.
GAME DAY PREDICTION
- GAME DAY PREDICTION: Boston, 6-3-1 in their last 10, might have a tough time with the upstart Oilers, 4-5-1 in their last 10. The Bruins have their share of wonky blue, and there aren't many Taylor Hall's in the eastern conference. A 3-2 OT win for the home team.
- OBVIOUS: Bruins physically dominate the Oilers, Chara scores, Lucic scores, Iginla scores and it's a 5-0 whitewashing that drives us to the malls shortly after noon local time.
- NOT SO OBVIOUS: The Oilers skaters, shamed by the San Jose performance, return to the responsible play of the previous two games and win it in overtime, 3-2. Scrivens first-star again!
Do the Oilers leave a defenseman behind in Boston? We wait.