Following James Reimer’s shutout performance last week, the currently injured netminder said that when a goaltender has a shutout it usually has nothing to do with the guy manning the pipes. On this night, the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators had everything to do with Ben Scrivens.
Scrivens was making his second consecutive start as Reimer is currently sidelined with a strain in his knee. His first start since Reimer’s injury was decent, but a miscue when trying to come out and grab the puck resulted in Carolina’s game-winning goal in a Leafs 3-1 loss.
On Saturday, the Maple Leafs took on a Senators team that had three different players making their NHL debut thanks to myriad of injuries, including losing arguably the best defenceman in the league in Erik Karlsson. Yet, the Senators took it to the Maple Leafs, particularly in the second period where they fired 19 shots at Scrivens, forcing him to make several difficult and game-saving stops.
“I’ve face some rubber in the league before and it gave me a chance to test my mettle so I was pleased with the way I did” Scrivens said following the game.
In Carolina, head coach Randy Carlyle had no praise for anyone following an effort for which the entire team was flat. But he was singing a different tune about Scrivens’ game against Ottawa.
“No matter what happens in front of him, he’s playing the position that has the largest effect on whether it’s positive or negative on your night” Carlyle said. “He stood tall, he made some big saves, he was in good position, he battled hard. He was able to see pucks and had a big penalty kill at the end. Those are the things you have to have to win hockey games or the game could go either way.”
Scrivens is even-keel about his game, but couldn’t help crack a smile when he was asked if he was thinking about getting his first career shutout towards the end of the game.
“Umm….No” said Scrivens to the laugher of reporters following his coy expression. “I was focused completely on the game.”
Scrivens’ performance will alleviate some concerns about the Leafs goaltending situation…At least until Monday when they take on the Panthers in Florida. While James Reimer is scheduled to be out at least one more game with his injury, he has yet to get on the ice for a practice. We will see a lot of Scrivens over the next several days if not longer. Fans can take solace in the fact that on this night, he outdueled Craig Anderson, a goaltender who was first in the league in save percentage and second in goals against average.
Colton Orr’s rise from the ashes hit a new peak. Since his return to the Leafs this season, Orr managed to be a regular on the team’s fourth line. Against the Senators he was promoted to the third line, playing with Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur. The end result saw Orr log 12:51 of ice time, the most he has logged since January 8th, 2008.
“I thought he did fine” Carlyle said of Orr’s play. “It’s amazing how quiet things got when he stepped onto the ice.”
Frazer McLaren scored his first goal as a Maple Leafs and it stood up to be the game winner. It was just his second career NHL goal.
“I remember I scored on Roberto Luongo” McLaren recalled. He’s fit in well on the Leafs fourth line and it’s looking like he won’t be pulled out to sit in the press box anytime soon.