(Candice Ward/USA Today Sports)

Ben Scrivens, goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers, stopped all 59 shots he faced during the Oilers’ 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

That performance set an NHL regular season record for saves in a shutout during the expansion era (since 1967-68), knocking a 54-save night by Phoenix’s Mike Smith on April 3, 2012, out of the record books.

The easy answer is the shots weren’t all that dangerous. Using the above shot-location information, coupled with shot type and strength of play, we can determine the likelihood of any shot Scrivens faced that night of becoming a goal, which averaged 8.4 percent. The league average save percentage this season is .913, meaning your typical shot in the NHL has an 8.7 percent chance of lighting the lamp, indicating that while plentiful, the quality of shots Scrivens faced were not all that spectacular. Just 17 of the 59 shots he faced had a higher probability of converting to a goal than what we would expect on average. More than a third were less than half as likely to tickle the twine and nine were one-third as likely than average.

The question we should be asking is: how did the Oilers defense allow that many shots to begin with?

Since 1987-88, there have been six games in which a goaltender has faced 59 shots or more in regulation. Only one other was during the salary cap era, when Carolina allowed 60 shots against in an October contest against the New York Islanders.

Date

Tm

Opp

Result

GA

SA

1989-03-12

PIT

@

CHI

W 6-5

5

62

1990-02-24

PIT

@

MTL

L 1-11

11

61

1991-02-23

QUE

@

CGY

L 8-10

10

59

1992-12-26

SJS

LAK

W 7-2

2

59

2008-10-25

CAR

@

NYI

W 4-3

3

60

2014-01-29

EDM

SJS

W 3-0

0

59

It shouldn’t be surprising that Edmonton’s defense would put it in such esteemed company. Ignoring special teams and lead-protecting situations the Oilers have been outshot 776-610 this season, the third-worst differential in the league.

Scrivens certainly pulled off the incredible, but if Edmonton wants to get back to the postseason with any regularity, they are going to need to address the porous defense.