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Scrivens owns the net

By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens went full-on god mode Wednesday night against the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks sent 59 shots at him, and that doesn't even include the 41 shots that were either wide of the net or blocked.

Scrivens stopped all of them.

His 59 saves were the most ever in a regular season shutout (Dominik Hasek had 70 in a quadruple-overtime shutout in the 1994 playoffs).

If you didn't realize by now, the Oilers' defense is head-shakingly terrible.

Edmonton has allowed 190 goals, the most in the NHL, and 32.2 SOG per game, the sixth most.

The Oilers' Corsi-for percentage (the number of shot attempts -- on net, missed or blocked -- a team takes over its total number of shots for and against) in close situations (tied score at any time or one-goal game in first two periods) is .436, third worst in the league ahead of only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres, according to extraskater.com.

But three months in the Los Angeles Kings Goaltending Academy might be enough for Scrivens to overcome it.

Scrivens went 7-5-4 with a 1.97 GAA, a .931 SV% and three shutouts in 19 games (15 starts) with the Kings, but the Kings could afford to part with the free- agent-to-be because Jonathan Quick returned from an injury and they have Martin Jones to back up Quick.

The 24-year-old Jones won his first eight NHL starts in December and is currently 8-4-0 with a 1.72 GAA, a .940 SV% and three shutouts.

The Kings have the best Corsi-for percentage in close situations in the NHL at .569, but they also do a great job of teaching their netminders not to fall out of position on rebounds and deflections.

Scrivens has taken that tutoring up to Edmonton with him and he'll need to keep putting it to use with the subpar defense in front of him.

He has a major test coming up Saturday against the Boston Bruins, who have scored six goals in three consecutive games. Scrivens will probably have to stand on his head again to knock off the puck-controlling Bruins, but fantasy owners must stick with the hot hand.

As for Scrivens' long-term outlook, the Oilers' defense will put a dent in his GAA, but the 27-year-old should continue to post a top-10 SV%.

Fantasy owners also should expect Scrivens to get the majority of Edmonton's starts going forward.

After all, Scrivens looks like Hasek compared to the other four men -- Devan Dubnyk (3.36 GAA, .894 SV%), Ilya Bryzgalov (3.22 GAA, .903 SV%), Jason LaBarbera (3.27, .870 SV%), Richard Bachman (3.03 GAA, .916 SV%) -- the Oilers have sent to the crease this season.

01/30 16:37:19 ET


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