In what has been a disaster of a season with very little to cheer for, I for one would like to thank Ben Scrivens. As a season ticket holder its been especially tough to go to games this winter. More and more empty seats are showing up every night and last night was no different. Facing a wind-chill that seemed like it would peel the skin off your face, Oilers fans bundled up against the cold and filed into their seats yet again. Only this time they got to witness history. For the people that stayed away; sorry you missed a beauty.
Rexall/Skyreach/Northlands has been privy to several moments of glory in it's 40 years. Stanley Cups, Wayne Gretzky et all destroying the record books, historic playoff moments, and recently Sam Gagner's eight point night. Last night was different because very few of us in the building knew that a record was being set. All of us though knew we were witnessing brilliance but it was more than that. It was watching a local kid put up a game for the ages and finally having something to cheer about in this season that can only be described as an out of control tire fire. It was more of a group "cleansing" session for all in attendance.
So Ben, thank you. You will forever be known to Oilers fans now for years and will be the topic of several "remember when" conversations. That was special.
A shout out to the "Kevin Lowe must go" and "Craig MacTavish and the old boys club" mob. So Ben Scrivens may never come close to doing that again, and may not be the long term answer in net for the Oilers, but you have to give credit when it is due. The GM made the trade to bring in Scrivens and it looks like a solid move so far. Couple that with the off season addition of David Perron and signing of Boyd Gordon, I think the GM gets a passing grade for his first year on the job. I also believe the Matt Hendricks addition was a good one and they may have the foundation of a good third line. I know its hard, but Mac T needs time to build this thing and you cant do it all in one or two summers. As long as there are positives moving forward, I will support this GM.
Lastly, that was a brutal performance last night for the Oilers skaters. The first line was good. They still gave up more chances than they created, but the fact is they were in on all three Oilers goals. The second line was historically bad. I'm not a Corsi expert and I don't play one on TV either, but I have never seen a line with single digit numbers. That is embarrassing. Sam Gagner is a good player but the Oilers will NEVER be a good team with him as the second line center. Too small, no idea how to defend. Period.
Job number one this summer is to fix the defence, and then sign the goalies. Upgrading the second line center is almost as important and must be done before this team can even think of being a playoff team.