The Toronto Maple Leafs demolished the Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio on Wednesday Night. Ben Scrivens was the story of the game. He finished the night with a .974 save percentage, and a 1.00 GAA and his first NHL win.
One game, one win.
Last week on the Maple Leafs video channel, Ben was asked what his best save was and he answered, "The one that hits me in the center of the chest because that means I am in a good position."
Scrivens in his first NHL game gave a clinic on the Francois Allaire patient drop-and-block style of goaltending. He was focused and poised and ready to deliver. Most of the 39 shots hit him in the center of the body with little movement at all.
He made the whole night look James Reimer easy. As if goaltending is something that is performed with the ease of driving the car to the market and buying milk.
The old blackberry was buzzing all night long—who is this guy in net tonight—he's amazing.
Scrivens is poised to become an NHL goalie very, very soon. Like Reimer, Scrivens is big and a master of the block-and-drop style. He can span the whole six feet of the net with his legs.
He also demonstrated great rebound management. Rebound control really is a misnomer in the NHL when your down in the drop-and-block style. In this new style you're going to be down and have rebounds. Most of these will come off your shoulders and off of your leg pads.
Rebound management is about dropping and then rebound after a rebound blocking and repeating this cycle until the puck is cleared, caught or frozen.
Ben Scrivens was the gold standard of rebound management. He looked like a young Patrick Roy.
The Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) is currently the Leafs backup and has been performing adequately in that job. He has gone 4-3 in last 7 starts. Gus's save percentage currently stands at .886 which does not qualify him for a Top 20 goalie.
After tonight's interview expect Scrivens to get another shot between the pipes real soon and to be pushing Gus to elevate his game.