Ben Scrivens and goaltending instruction
Ben Scrivens has appeared in three games with the Kings, a sample size that becomes even smaller when considering he has started only one regular season game since joining the team as an asset in the trade that sent Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs in June. Through 98 minutes of play this season, he’s 1-0-0 with a shutout, having stopped 31-of-33 shots.
It was clear that Scrivens was raising his play throughout his heavy training camp usage, with Darryl Sutter stating that “he got better every game” shortly before the start of the season.
But Scrivens has a grand total of 35 career NHL games under his belt – with only 28 decisions – and there is the factor that he has received instruction from several different goaltending coaches in his professional career, including Francois Allaire and Rick St. Croix with Toronto, and Bill Ranford and Kim Dillabaugh in Los Angeles.
There’s no indication whatsoever that the multiple voices have been problematic. It is, however, an interesting conversation topic with Ranford, who discussed Scrivens’ development since joining the Kings, and the convergence in the styles of tutelage the 27-year-old has received.
Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford, on Ben Scrivens:
I think it’s been a real, real good work in progress. There’s some philosophies that Kim and I have with our goalies that were different than what he was doing in Toronto. It’s one of those things – you have to gain that trust, and we’ve worked on that through the summer once we found out that he was coming to us, and then in training camp. As the season’s moved along here, he has worked hard at little things in his game, and the maintenance and the tempo that we have as an expectation for our goalies.
Ranford, on the differences between Scrivens’ instruction in Toronto and Los Angeles:
I think some of just the aspect of the tempo of his game. We focused on a little bit more urgency, eliminating delay in his game, and to give him more time to take in information when he’s moving from spot to spot. That’s probably the first things that we worked on right off the bat. Putting a little bit more urgency in his post-save – any time that situation comes about. And then the other aspect is he’s just kind of worked on his hand position a little bit, and just being a little bit more reactive with his hands.
Ranford, on a reference to Scrivens “searching for a happy medium” in his instruction:
He was working with Frankie Allaire, and I think his is a little bit more of a blocking philosophy than we have, and I’m more of a being in more of a reactive state…Francois Allaire’s been around for a long time, and you want to learn, and analyze his philosophies…and that’s probably where Scrivs is coming from, from the point of trying to find that happy medium. We want him to be reactive, and he was taught in certain situations to be more in a blocking state, and it’s finding that comfort level for him. I’ve always said I’m not a guy that’s going to mold a robotic-type goalie, and ‘this is the L.A. King goalie.’ We take the tools from within, and I’ve always said when what you do starts causing goals against, then I step in and make the changes. That’s kind of always been my philosophy with everybody. I’m not trying to mold a cookie cutter-type goalie. Each guy, if you look at the guys that we’ve had here in the past, they’ve all been a little bit different. But the biggest thing, the staple for us as L.A. King goalies, is attention to detail, work ethic.