Crazy things can happen in individual games.
Sometimes good teams play poorly. Sometimes bad teams put together a strong effort and win. And sometimes good teams play well, bad teams play poorly, and the bad team still comes away with the win.
The latter is when goaltenders come through with unbelievable performances like the one Ben Scrivens had on Wednesday night for the Edmonton Oilers in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Scrivens, making his third start with the team since being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings earlier this month, made 59 saves in the win while turning in one of the best goaltending performances of the NHL season.
That's worth repeating. Fifty. Nine. Saves. The performance set an NHL record in the expansion era for most saves in a shutout breaking the old record of 54 saves that was set by Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.
Just to give you an idea of what he was up against during the game, just consider this:
Oilers Defensive Systems pic.twitter.com/0okhKkZXGt— Greg Sinclair (@theninjagreg) January 30, 2014
Just about the only thing Scrivens didn't do for the Oilers was score a goal himself, and if any goalie ever deserved to get one in an empty net situation, it was probably him for his performance in this one.
It can't be understated just how badly Edmonton was outplayed in this game. San Jose finished with 100 shot attempts to just 37 for Edmonton. According to the database at Hockey-Reference, this was just the fourth time since 1987 that a team allowed at least 59 shots on goal, had 28 or fewer, and still managed to win a game.
This fact was not lost on coach Dallas Eakins.
"I'm so happy for Ben and proud of him, but mad at the same time," said Eakins regarding the number of shots his team allowed.
"You preach all the time that you need the whole team to win, and tonight I'm rethinking that."
If you're going to get outplayed like that you better have one damn good goalie.
That's exactly what the Oilers had on Wednesday.