GENTLE BEN

scrivens11

One of the pieces of news we received during the free-agent spree on July 1 was the knowledge that Edmonton was interested in another goaltender. It would be easy to assume that Cam Talbot—Ben Scrivens is the tandem for next season, and it may well be at the end of the day. The shopping news suggests we keep an eye out for change.

UGLY SEASON

After arriving during the 2013-14 season and flattening the competition around him, Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish signed Ben Scrivens to a two-year deal at reasonable money. Edmontonians slept well all summer, secure in the knowledge that the goalie problem had been solved. The wheels fell off early and often in year two and the numbers for Scrivens were alarming and drastic:

SCRIVENS RE

Scrivens was poor for Edmonton last season and he wouldn’t have been in 57 games if his backup was better (or healthy). Scrivens is a younger player, has been healthy and his resume suggests a save percentage of .897 is an anomaly. Scrivens’ four seasons of college featured good SP’s (.911, .930, .931,
.934) after year one and he had some interesting postings in the minors.
Reading (ECHL) for 13 games (.938) followed by parts of three seasons
with the Marlies (.924, .926, .917). He’s extremely likely to regress to the mean. 

He had a terrible year and may never get another chance at a starting job, and that’s a
fact.The question for Edmonton is can he backup Cam Talbot? Ideally, an NHL coach might want a more proven player and that may well be what happens over the course of the summer. 

brossoit ferguson 14-15

Brossoit photo by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

MINOR LEAGUES?

Laurent Brossoit had a fine AHL season but the smart play there is to have him play another year in the AHL (this time Bakersfield) with perhaps another cup of coffee (he was brilliant in his NHL debut) in the coming season.

One thing is certain: the additions of Cam Talbot and Miroslav Svoboda may be the first Peter Chiarelli adds at the position but they won’t be the last. Those two added to Eetu Laurikainen will give Edmonton a different look this fall but it’s just the beginning. Edmonton’s quality and depth in goal have been questionable every year of this century.

  • Randaman

    Scrivens is a back-up at best, and hopefully doesn’t sh!t the bed again this year.

    Just cause the future is looking more promising, it doesn’t mean that Scrivens past year should be looked at differently than the crap that it was.

    He was no good, and until he shows otherwise-he still is no good.

  • Randaman

    Same confused people that make excuse for him because of the defense he play behind and the same people that accuse Yak of being poor +/-.

    If Ben had problems with the defense, imagine the Dpairing that was on the ice with Yak. Yes/No?

  • Randaman

    Horrible goalie scenario…bottom 5 goaltending tandem in the league without any debate, possibly even bottom 3.

    Defence still soft and porous as well, Oilers will not be able to keep the puck out of their net again, same as every year…another long year ahead in Edmonton

  • Randaman

    He’ll be traded guaranteed. Seems like he’d be a good team mate and well liked in the dressing room. Unfortunately he”s said to be a pompous little prick, and points fingers at teammates rather than ownership for his poor play. Worst practice habits in the league and the reason he was called the “Professor” in LA was because they didn’t like him and often chided him for being a know it all dork… Apparently they couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. MacT so bothered by his play wouldn’t even speak to him near the end of the season. He’s done as an Oiler…book it & good riddance.

      • ubermiguel

        Well said. That know-it-all-dork knows enough to keep his nose clean (literally). I could see that LA dressing room being divided between the party-bros and the non-criminals…err…non-bros.

    • JackB

      DIDN’T KNOW THAT !!

      IF HE WAS LIKE THAT IN THE DRESSING ROOM . . . then I would also have to say he should go.

      DIDN’T KNOW THAT. Are you sure? Sources?

      DAMNIT ! . . . I wish we would have re-signed Bachman (Vancouver snapped him up pretty quickly!)

  • Ever the Optimist

    I am personally very happy with our curent 2 goalies. I was pointed to an article put out by oilers nerd alert which is very math heavy but looks in depth at the goaltending position and what leads to longterm success in regards to stats over a career.

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/goalies-are-not-voodoo-if-they-make-it-to-60-or-so-nhl-games/

    Ben is likely to rebound and increase his trade value, Cam is trending to a long term above average starter.

  • Randaman

    Scrivens is an AHL goaltender without question. He is a tire fire everytime he leaves the net to handle the puck and is technically unsound. I would look for a better back up for the upcoming season.

  • Randaman

    I think that every player under Dallas Eakins, deserves another chance!

    Dallas could turn Wayne Gretzky into a DUD, so I say give Ben a chance………let’s not Duby him!

  • Serious Gord

    To my layperson’s eye Scrivens seemed too frantic and error prone in net – compounding the (many) errors his skaters made in front of him. If a better option comes along at not too dear a price I would think replacing him t be a good idea.

    It is hard to understate the perils:

    As of right now, the supporters of talbot had better be right. Again the team seems to be starting the season with two unproven goalies.

    If both fail and the team plumbs the depths of the standings yet again burning off a year of mcdavids elc with little progress in the standings going with talbot and Scrivens will be seen as one of the worst mistakes in oiler history.

  • JackB

    I remember last year hearing that Fasth was technically better than Scrivens, but Fasth was more injury prone . . . (which turned out to be the truth)

    When posters state Ben is “too active in the crease” (that’s technique), gives up too many rebounds (that’s technique), and WE KNOW he’s not very good handling the puck and should stay in his crease (again technique).

    We sure hope Talbot turns out as good as he was hyped by Woodguy . . . and maybe he will. BUT . . . we could be one injury to Talbot away from Scriven’s being our starter again for more than just a few games.

    I sure hope Ben is spending the summer with a goalie coach trying to improve his technique! Do the development staffers follow roster players in the off-season like they do for prospects?

  • Chris.

    People like Ben. I get it. He is an engaging individual and an easy guy to root for.

    The theme seems to be: give Scrivens “another chance”… Don’t worry everyone; Scrivens will get “another chance” as he still has another year on a one way NHL contract. (He might not get that chance in Edmonton but I digress)

    I’d be more comfortable with an established veteran backup to help mentor Talbot during his first season as a starter. I’d also like both the goalies to be comfortable handling the puck as this will become exponentially more important during the many 3 on 3 over times this upcoming season. Ben is brutal when he tries to make plays with the puck…

  • S cottV

    I hope the new regime is successful at implementing stable two way team play over the next couple of years.

    Be a team where a good goalie – is made to look great. If we ever get a great goalie, he would be made to look King like.

  • radicator

    Ah, Lowetide, you’re just stirring the goalie pot again. Same old arguments posted…

    My take: I don’t see the defense as much improved over last year yet. Until that changes, I don’t expect Scrivens to be better.

    Maybe McLellan will make the forwards more responsible. McDavid will help keep the puck in the O zone more.

  • Kevwan

    If the Oilers were going to move on from Scrivens, the time to trade him was either at the draft or prior to July 1. They could have retained salary or bought him out. It looks like all the other teams have satisfied their backup G plans.

    PC said that he wanted to sign Bachman but the goalie wanted to try another organization. I think the talk of signing another goalie on July 1 was to replace Bachman as someone to push Talbot and Scrivens. Brossoit should be left in the AHL and Laurikainen should start in the ECHL. The team needs an AHL goalie, hopefully one that can handle a NHL callup.

    Gustavsson, Budaj and Emery are the only UFA’s left with any real NHL experience. PC can wait until the final regular season roster moves are made and someone should shake free on waivers.

    PC’s actions have shown that he’s ready to let Scrivens have a chance to rebound. He’s also shown that he might like some insurance – just in case.

  • radicator

    For everybody that doubts talbot I wouldn’t blame you because of the maxing dmen he played behind but he stil averaged 31 shots a game that’s not nothing so either he can or can’t handel playing 45-55 games so we will wait

    • Serious Gord

      Facing high shot totals is not indictive of quality. A good defensive team will give up the “easy” save shot rather than a more non predictable one. The average shot against in the NHL is 29.

      Just look at the wild and Dubnyks situation. It’s also interesting to see how many shots the oilers let threw to their goalie.

  • McNuge

    Read staples E journal cult of hockey article about trading…Nuge for Rask. Rediculous, lets just start making random sh@t up for attention like Eklund.
    1. He’s your #1 center 29 other teams will take in a heartbeat
    2. Let’s just roll Mc D against the heavies and hope he can walk on water
    3. Drai at #2 at this point in his career ruin the damn guy. Nuge killed it in his Rookie year despite missing last portion of the season still should have won the Calder on a terrible team.
    4. Trading for a goalie, all be it a great one, for a legit, young 2 way center, that still has a massive ceiling? You lost your damn mind.
    If your going to fabricate or start a trade rumor/ scenario, at least make it believable. All players are tradeable but a guy like Nuge bettrt be an awesome return. Include Bergeron now we are talking. Think I’ll be taking a break from reading your columns till you give your head a shake and stop throwing around non sense

  • BigMcD

    Confidence is as big a factor for goalies as it is for players.

    We’ve seen how the lack of it has affected some of the young Oilers forwards.

    I think it’s fair to argue that we’ve seen it happen with a few Oilers goalies (especially the inexperienced ones) as well.

    With an actual NHL coaching staff -maybe some of the best coaches in the NHL- behind the bench, and a more experienced D in front, I expect goalies like Scrivens to play more confidently. He doesn’t need to play great…he just needs to be “decent”.

    At the IIHF tourny, Canada didn’t need to have a top 10 goaltender to win. “Win” is an understatement, they dominated. Let’s discount the goals-for considering the talented forwards involved, the paltry few goals-against in the entire tourney is worth noting when you had a very average looking Smith playing goal. Everyone bought into McLellan’s system. Even with Ovechkin, Russia looked like they were completely outclassed.

    Again, let’s completely disregard the goals Canada scored, Russia couldn’t muster any pressure, shots, or chances to the point where it became comical.

    Will team defense be as good on the Oilers? No, of course not, there was a lot more experience on that Canadian team. But it’s worth noting that the Defense on that team (while better than the current Oilers D roster) wasn’t that special compared to some playoff teams. The forwards were also more experienced than the current fwd lineup, but with Hall and Ebs buying-in, I don’t see much issue with the rest of the Oilers cast buying in as well.

  • Ah yes, another season, another player the fans turn their backs on. . Seems like only yesterday I scoffed at all the Scrivens is the answer chatter when he came over from LA.
    Hear we are a quick 2 years later and well I hate to say I told you so but. . And now we get ready to anoint yet another backup from a top notch defensive team as the answer. …as the World turns

    • Ah yes another day when you come on here to do your sad form of gloating about everything that has gone wrong to this group of fans. Another day when your sad pathetic life has caused you to think instead of doing something positive, i’m gonna waste time on another fans Blog site. What a sad state affairs your life must be.

      Come on back anytime though. We know we are the closest thing you have to a social life. And we feel sorry for you, that this is all you have.

      The World turns , you’re right about that. Too bad your just standing still.

    • BigMcD

      Hey MEATHEAD…I Don’t think anyone is saying Talbot is the man.
      It’s been a wait and see approach.
      I don’t think Edmonton fans were behind Scrivens at all last year.
      Even with the poor defines Scrivens sucked.

  • New Team/most importantly Coaching/Mgmt. I would not jump to the conclusion he is terrible based on 2 years with an Oilers team that was disfunctional at all levels-his history prior to that was fine. Easy for him to lose confidence which is key for a G. Look how badly mishandled Dubnyk was. We need a top 2 D before a backup G. Focus all of your expendible assets there.

  • “Edmontonians slept well all summer, secure in the knowledge that the goalie problem had been solved.”

    This is an exaggeration. There were a number of us out there – the minority to be sure, but still reasonable number – that viewed Scrivens as an unproven risk and Fasth as a goalie trending the wrong way.

    This was classic Oilers – hoping for the best and no plan for the worst.

  • B_Oliver

    Guys, a point is that Carey Price might have tanked after a couple years in Edmonton. When a goalie has no faith in his defense (or forwards backchecking) then he’s prone to cheat. What looks like a soft goal is really the result of the goalie’s focus being split between the shooter and the uncovered guy in the slot and the other uncovered guy back door. I don’t think we really know whether Scrivens was bad or his tanking was assured by the team he played for.
    Just sayin…

    • BigMcD

      Totally agree. With better coaching and one more top D he will be in a better position to succeed. Scrivey had a bad year but much of it was out of his control. We dealt Dubs ’cause he was under performing……..

    • B_Oliver

      I think it was a combo of both. Lost his confidence, tough to gain back behind one of worst D in the League. But his Save percentage if he is a NHL starting goalie should still of been in the low 900’s at least.

      People dont realize that Scrivens was a “good bet” based on his track record. So its easily possible he could become a very good backup in this league.

      I’m honestly not sure he will be around here to do it though? Chiarelli may have another plan in mind. But if not i’d give him the chance to prove himself. He’s got a strong competitive spirit about him which I like so I’m cheerin for the guy to turn it around.