The topic du jour of the Edmonton Oilers amongst the media seems to be the goaltending situation. The coach and general manager have fielded several questions of the futures of Ben Scrivens and Ilya Bryzgalov, as both are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke briefly of how the team plans to split the reps between their two goaltenders for the remaining 22 games. The answer is, there isn’t one yet. However, Eakins did admit the team may lean more towards the younger Scrivens if he earns more starts with his play.
“It’s hard to say,” Eakins said. “I don’t have a crystal ball next to me. It’ll depend on their play. It may come down to if Ben plays well and Bryz is playing well, yeah we may give Ben a couple of extra starts. I think Bryz would understand that. Or, we might split it down the middle.I won’t know until we get started here.”
Eakins said although they may be inclined to look more at Scrivens over the next 22 games, Bryzgalov has a lot to play for and prove as well. Both goalies will be using their starts as an audition for this team or others. The competition could be beneficial to the Oilers.
“Yeah, and I think it’s important for Bryz to keep fighting along too. It’s on them both and that’s not going to change. Bryz has been a number one in the past. I think he has still got the potential to do that. I know Ben’s numbers line up and he is a confident kid and he wants to show the national hockey league that he’s ready to be a number one and I know that’s what he’s going to try to do. For me, it’s a great situation. You’ve got two goalies who are going to be looking for contracts. I believe they both like the situation and the opportunity that’s here and you want that competition. It’s no different than two defencemen having friendly competition or your number one and your number two centres having a friendly competition. You want them to push each other and that’s how your teams get better.”