At the beginning of the 2013-14 NHL season, Oilers fans were hoping this was the year that goaltender Devan Dubnyk went from hopeful to hope itself. He, along with free agent acquisition Jason Labarbera, were the tandem to take the Oilers to the promised land. Hooboy! Instead, a debacle of the first order was played out, as the Oilers only needed one month of horrific goaltending to end their playoff hopes.
Fast forward to today. Dubnyk and Labarbera are gone, and the net is now minded by Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth. Fasth is almost certainly going to be 1B to Scrivens, especially if he plays the way he did since coming to Edmonton as part of a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.
Here is his stats card, courtesy of hockeydb.com:
If there is anything against Fasth, its that he has such a small sample size to go on. He rates near a .920 over that small sample, but, he’s also 30 years old. Being that old and in the infancy of your NHL career usually translates to being a liability–teams assume there must be a reason why Fasth hadn’t already been noticed.
Fasth had a very strong start to his time with his original team, the Anaheim Ducks. Sadly, most of that buzz was silenced by a series of injuries. Even in his time here in Edmonton he had a bit of injury trouble, with upstart ex-Oil King Laurent Brassoit backing up Scrivens while he healed.
It’s difficult to make a true assessment of Fasth’s talents based on how little the NHL has seen of him. But, he didn’t gain a reputation for having a strong skill set out of thin air.
The Oilers will have to take a wait and see approach on him. He was worth a pair of draft picks, and if his numbers hold, he will have been a worthwhile trade.
Fasth was good in his seven games as an Oiler, and MacTavish seems to believe he will push Scrivens for the starting job. He may. The fact remains that BOTH goalies for the Copper and Blue are career back-ups, that neither of their teams deemed worthy of that position. Perhaps we are seeing something they never did. So long as we never see a start to the season like we had this past year, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
OIL ON WHYTE OUTLOOK:
Solid back-up, but injury will keep him out, leading to doubt as to his endurance.