Ben Scrivens succeeding in LA

Steve Dangle
November 17 2013 08:15PM


                                     (via @theroyalhalf)

Ben Scrivens is the best statistical goalie in the NHL.

When Jonathan Quick went down with an injury last week, eyebrows raised across the hockey world. He was their undisputed number one goalie and their playoff hero in their 2012 Stanley Cup run. With Quick hurt, the Kings turned to Ben Scrivens.

Scrivens played just 1:20 of the game in which Quick was injured and picked up the shootout loss. Since then, he's been virtually unbeatable. He stopped 23 of 25 against the New York Islanders, stopped 26 shots in a shutout against the Devils, and stopped all 37 shots he faced in another shutout on Sunday night, this time against the New York Rangers.

As a result, Ben Scrivens has a .955% save percentage in the eight games he has played so far this season. That gives him the single best save percentage in the entire NHL among goalies with at least five games played. In fact, only Petr Mrazek has a better save percentage than Scrivens, but he has only played in one game: A 14-save snorefest shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers.

This isn't some post calling the Jonathan Bernier trade into question, by the way. Playing the "woulda shoulda coulda" game is pointless and exhausting. We're a month and a half into the season, for crying out loud. The fact of the matter is Jonathan Bernier has been fantastic for the Leafs so far this season. You could argue that the Leafs have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. James Reimer is 5-2-0 with a .942 sv%. Jonathan Bernier is 7-5-1 with a .938 sv%. The Leafs are near the top of the eastern conference. Injuries and mayors aside, life is good in Toronto right now. All this is, is a "Hey, check this guy out" post.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say Ben Scrivens is one of the more forgotten players who departed from the Maple Leafs this past offseason. Mikhail Grabovski is still a heavily debated player (with 18 point in 21 games), many fans bought into Matt Frattin's potential and style, and Clarke MacArthur gave Leafs fans plenty of reasons to cheer in his time with the blue and white. With the early success of Bernier in Toronto and Scrivens' lack of play behind Quick before the injury, he wasn't really mentioned. Now? Back-to-back shutouts and three shutouts in eight games gets you noticed.

Thoughts?

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 Brandon
November 17 2013, 08:23PM
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#Scrivens4Sochi

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#2 Kumail
November 17 2013, 08:26PM
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Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

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#3 Kumail
November 17 2013, 08:26PM
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Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

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#4 Chuck
November 17 2013, 09:56PM
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Kumail wrote:

Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

88 shots over 3 games averages over 29 shots per game.

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#5 Chuck
November 17 2013, 09:56PM
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Kumail wrote:

Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

88 shots over 3 games averages over 29 shots per game.

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#6 Chuck
November 17 2013, 09:56PM
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Kumail wrote:

Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

88 shots over 3 games averages over 29 shots per game.

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#7 whichonespink
November 17 2013, 10:34PM
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At the start of last season I had full confidence in Scrivens and Reimer. I had watched a year and a half of Scrivens play not well, for the Marlies, but dominant! I had no doubt he could do the job as at least a back up in the NHL, if not in Toronto, then elsewhere. Reimer has been, for the most part great, and Scrivens hasn't played poorly for more than a game or two in the NHL, in Toronto and LA. I know what the rules are, but dammit we didn't need to trade for Bernier. He's a great goalie, and a little younger than Scrivens, but I've yet to see any downside to Scrivens game or Reimers. They are both top notch NHL goalies, all they did was lead us to the playoffs for the first time in a decade and almost pulled off an upset worthy of the 93 Leafs team. I still don't understand why the trade was made. We had to good if not great goalies, so we gave up picks, a forward and one of our already good goalies for another good goalie. I didn't see the difference then, and I don't see it now. Harampf.

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#8 whichonespink
November 17 2013, 10:36PM
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** We had two good, if not great...

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#9 BobFromWinnipeg
November 17 2013, 11:28PM
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Too small of a sample in my opinion. He's faced 150 less shots than Reimer in one fewer game. Bernier has played 5 more games but faced 250+ shots. Scrivens got his last two shutouts against the Rangers and Devils who are bottom 5 for goals for. Not to take anything away from a 37 save shutout but just throwing out stats. Yes it's noteworthy but I don't see the big deal. Bernier has been solid, I myself feel more comfortable with him in net than I ever did with Scrivens, and he has given the Leafs chances to win games despite some poor defence so far this year. I love the trade and think the "goalie dual" is actually benefiting both goaltenders. Just my opinion anyway, a lot of hockey left.

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#10 Simon
November 17 2013, 11:31PM
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@Chuck

8 games, 154 shots, average of 19.25 shots per game

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#11 Kumail
November 18 2013, 12:00AM
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Chuck wrote:

88 shots over 3 games averages over 29 shots per game.

He has faced 154 over 8 games... 154/8 = 19.25

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#12 Alex
November 18 2013, 01:49AM
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Better to sort it by games Scrivens has started - don't have the numbers in front of me now but I'm pretty sure it's closer to 29 than 20. 26-ish?

What this illustrates more than anything else is that goaltending is so darn difficult to predict, so cheaper is better. All the Bernier supporters have failed to point out that Scrivens costs the Kings like...less than 1/5 what Bernier costs the Leafs.

I won't get into the trade other than to say that if things continue the way they are right now, the Leafs got the second-best goaltender in the trade this season. Sure, you can bet against Scrivens continuing to put up a .955, but it'd be pretty contradictory to claim that all of the Leafs' regression won't happen and yet Scrivens is a sure bet to fail.

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#13 STAN
November 18 2013, 02:06AM
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Look, appearing 8 games is not the same as PLAYING 8 games.

8 games would be 480 minutes, based on a 60 minute game.

Scrivens has played 339 minutes, or 5.65 '60 minute games', which means he's facing an average 27.25 shots per 60 minutes.

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#14 XiC
November 18 2013, 06:58AM
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For the numbers he provides, Scrivens is once again the most cost efficient goalie in the league.

After watching his dominance with the Marlies and last season, I never doubted Scrivens would be a good goalie. Sure, this is beyond any kind of expectation but by seasons end I think he'd likely retain an above average SV%.

I didn't like the Bernier trade and as good as he is now I would have liked the trade to never happen. Some more cap space, a second rounder, and Frattin for a marginal if any difference in goals saved just seems like a no-brainer (no-Bernier?) to me.

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#16 Jonathan
November 18 2013, 08:22AM
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Only Leafs fan would cry about losing a goalie when we have two playing like superstars. Let's see how Bernier's doing when he's Scrivens age. On the flipside, let's see how Scrivens is doing when he's got more than 5 games under his belt.

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#17 King
November 18 2013, 09:22AM
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All this is, is a "Hey, check this guy out" post.

Smart way to word it, there's no doubt in my mind that the trade was good for both teams and we're both happy with what we got. Just because he's not on the Leafs anymore doesn't mean I mind seeing Scriv doing well

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#18 Leaf Fan in Mexico
November 18 2013, 09:22AM
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@Jonathan

You are so right, albeit the cap thing is a concern. I was still unsure of Scriven's confidence which for some time back in the days was the big worry for me about him (and Riemer). The only way to test that of course is playing... and remember how tired we got of testing the Monster's confidence. Short term a definitively a good trade, long term, Bernier had to establish bona fide elite status to merit the cap space.

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#19 Lara Raycroft
November 18 2013, 09:56AM
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Debate about the trade aside, I feel good for Scrivens on this one. Dude did great for the leafs and will continue to do great wherever he goes. Good on him.

But to harp on upsetting trades, there are three ex-leaf goalies above BOTH of our superstar duo (who are superstars, no doubt). Giguere having an outstanding year when he has played... Scrivens, as noted... and I guess its ok to see Rask so high since we got our money's worth from Raycroft instead.

I don't want to change anything I just wanted my frustrations heard.

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#21 millzy09
November 18 2013, 10:53AM
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Oh my god! Who cares if Scrivens is cheaper...have you looked at the Leafs goaltending payroll? We have 2 of the best goalies currently playing making a total of less that most starters in the league. I remember when people were saying "yeah we'll see" about the Leafs goalies when they started hot yet now that we are talking about a goalie elsewhere, a small sample size is more than sufficient to form an opinion.

Scrivens is playing great and could sustain some great numbers but let's all calm the f down. The Leafs did just fine and at the end of the day, Bernier (or Reimer due to having Bernier) both have waaaay better trade value than Scrivens. Good on him though, I'm happy he's doing well and I even picked him up in my fantasy league but everyone needs to be happy with the amazing talent we have in Toronto and quit worrying about traded players.

Scrivens has 2 shutouts....but, no, let's forget the trillion asterisks next to his 1st SO...

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#22 Derek
November 18 2013, 01:13PM
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Kumail wrote:

Great he's the best statistical goalie in the NHL so what? You didn't mention how Johnathan Bernier faces over 32 shots a game while Scrivens only faces around 20. Also the LA Kings have a much better defense than the Maple Leafs have as you can see on the amount of shots given up by each team. If Scrivens was on the Leafs would be this "statistically" good? I doubt it...

Weird how this didn't apply to Reimer/Scrivens sucking but Bernier being amazing when the situation was reversed, eh?

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#23 Hakim
November 18 2013, 02:29PM
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Good on Scrivens to get some light. He deserves it. I thought he was a solid back up for the Leafs, and he's definitely proving his worth with the Kings. Leafs are doing amazing in net, and Kings don't have to hold their breath as Quick heals up. Good trade.

No backsies.

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