Ben Scrivens, slow start to 2012

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So the football team just won a championship and the Mayor apparently got kicked out of office, so on Monday morning I decided to look at Ben Scrivens. I think regular readers at this space know exactly what’s coming. Scrivens has just a .900 save percentage this season and is 5-6 with a 2.56 goals against average. He’s 28th out of 40 listed goaltenders in American Hockey League save percentage.

I mayhaps ought to have written this post after Dave Feschuk wrote Scrivens off as the Leafs’ “post-lockout saviour” based on eight minor league appearances since the beginning of the season. Actually, the whole article itself is just a general smear job. Here’s his comment after quoting Dallas Eakins saying perhaps Scrivens’ early season struggle was about getting “a little comfortable”.

Minor leaguers getting comfortable? So much for Burke’s Day One vow to eradicate the scourge of Blue and White Disease; even Leafland’s AHLers are regularly being nudged by their coach for alleged complacency.

There isn’t a lead pipe in the world big enough to fit inside Feschuk’s nostril when he stares down his nose at you. The irony is that when Feschuk is the only writer in the Star sports office capable of doing investigative journalism, but he seems content just picking on the team from afar. I guess since he goes to hockey games, he’s allowed to be critical of the team, or something.

Anyway, Scrivens has had a very good two years at the AHL-level. In 2011 and 2012, he was the fourth best goalie among ‘tenders who had faced more than 1500 shots, a much better sample size than eight games. I think the reality is that Scrivens isn’t good enough to be more than a 1B starter in the NHL, but the fun is in suggesting that he was supposed to be the key player in the Leafs’ future and then basking when he goes through the worst 10-game stretch of his AHL career:

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The black line represents Scrivens’ career total save percentage. The blue line represents a 10-game rolling average. Feschuk’s article was written a day after the blue line hit the lowest point.

I don’t have too much of a point to make. I haven’t really been watching the Marlies but have noted some concern about Scrivens’ play. Some of his record can definitely be attributed to luck. I doubt a guy who had as dedicated as an offseason as Scrivens suddenly became 20 points worse in save percentage.

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After all, which of the following save percentages is easier to trust?

  Shots Faced Save %
This Season 279 0.900
AHL Career 2827 0.924

Also, if you haven’t, check out Steve’s excellent interview with Scrivens from this summer:

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