Things got all testy last night between Montreal and Buffalo, with the Sabres defending their crease with furious anger. At the height of the animosity, Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner yanked Montreal's Michael McCarron through the air and the two then exchanged gloved punches. Lehner's netminding counterpart, Ben Scrivens, skated up to the blueline but never crossed the Rubicon:
After the tilt, which Montreal won 3-2, Lehner had some fightin' words:
"Scrivens had about 30 seconds to come and do something and he didn't," Lehner told reporters. "Next year, if he wants to go, I'm right here."
Scrivens demurred after the game, telling TSN "I don't want to predict how I would have done. He's a big boy and maybe a little wilder than I am."
Is this just psychological warfare on Scrivens' part, lulling Lehner into a false sense of security? Let's look at a tale of the tape.
Lehner comes in at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, a sizable advantage over the 6-foot-2, 193-pound Scrivens. The Buffalo keeper also has one good scrap in his past, this performance from 2012-13:
I genuinely wonder if Helenius forgot Lehner had two inches and twenty pounds on him when the Finn decided to charge down the ice. For the record, Hockeyfights.com has no entries for Scrivens.
So far, Lehner has the definite edge. But Scrivens is a pretty smart guy – he went to Ivy League school Cornell – so perhaps he could use his scholarly mind to find a tactical advantage on Lehner. After all, he has plenty of time for research, since the two won't face each other until next season.
And what about intangibles? Let's look at musical tastes. Lehner is a big fan of Swedish metal kings In Flames – that's pretty tough. Scrivens just adorned his Habs mask with deceased Motorhead icon Lemmy Kilmister, and even In Flames will tell you that no one tops Lemmy on the Pyramid of Loud.
But wait! On the other side of his mask, Scrivens pays tribute to Alexisonfire, a faux-hardcore shopping mall band for tweens (remember kids: death to false metal). So, does Motorhead minus Alexis on Fire equal In Flames? That's a tough call. Guess we'll have to wait until next season to find out.