Scrivens' net worth shoots higher
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens reacts after allowing a goal to the Senators at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont., Nov. 12, 2011. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
TORONTO - In the next couple of days, Ben Scrivens, in all likelihood, will get the official notice that he has been anticipating: You’re going back to the Toronto Marlies.
But the 25-year-old Scrivens, whose cerebral enthusiasm would rub off even on the hardest of hearts, won’t depart the Maple Leafs with his head hung low.
“This entire call-up has been a great learning experience and I have been extremely fortunate to get some playing time,” Scrivens said on Friday as he took off his equipment following practice at the MasterCard Centre.
“Now that I’ve had it, which has been great, you just want more of it. That’s where my mindset is.”
All indications are that James Reimer will re-join the Leafs, if not start, during their two-game trip to Boston and New York. When that happens, Jonas Gustavsson will revert to his backup spot and Scrivens will resume his role with the Marlies.
Scrivens hasn’t played since the Leafs lost against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 20. In eight appearances, he is 2-4-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. Not the best numbers in the world, to be sure, but there were some nights that Scrivens was close to unbeatable.
Above all, he has served notice that he can be a dependable goaltender when he is recalled, a trait that has run through the majority of players summoned from the Marlies this season.
“There is a lot of talk of refilling the cupboard, and it’s coming through to fruition now,” Scrivens said. “You need guys who are going to step right up and play, and not just kill minutes, but make positive contributions on the ice.”
The bonus for Scrivens is that in the body of work he will take back to the Marlies — the relatively small sample size notwithstanding — is a gamut of situations, from stoning teams on the road to having to recover mentally from getting pulled at home.
“Columbus, we score four and I have a big lead to work with,” Scrivens said. “Phoenix, we’re down two goals and the whole game I felt like I had to keep us in it to give us a chance. Boston, where it was just a blowout. Coming cold off the bench against Florida.
“The great thing about this game is if I get another chance, it’s going to be a whole new set of experiences. The game is always changing, so dynamic.”
For Leafs coach Ron Wilson, Scrivens, through his overall performance, only confirmed what the staff knew.
“We’re convinced he has a bright future as a goaltender and we knew that after training camp,” Wilson said. “That’s why you have not seen us make any moves (for another goalie) in the meantime, because although they are inexperienced, these guys are going to be really good for a long time.”
Scrivens’ time is not yet now. But Reimer could get hurt again, or Gustavsson could, and he could be right back up with the Leafs.
“If I go down and start thinking, ‘Why shouldn’t I be at this level?’ — that’s when I am going to get myself in trouble,” Scrivens said. “I would want to stay up all year, but that won’t happen. I got a chance. I’m going to go back to the Marlies if that’s what they want, and work just as hard as I can with that team.
“Last year starting in the ECHL, maybe I should have been a little higher. But I wasn’t and I had to go down and play and earn my spot with the Marlies. That’s what I did. I’m going to do the same thing here (in going to the Leafs from the Marlies on a full-time basis).”