EDMONTON, Alberta -- We're watching Sabres practice here at Rexall Place and I got here just in time for the end of the Oilers' media access following their workout. A key note from coach Todd Nelson: Taylor Hall is day to day after taking a shot to the leg Monday in practice and missing Tuesday's loss here to Minnesota. His status for Thursday's game is uncertain.
One of the last players left in the room when I arrived was goaltender Ben Scrivens, and he was unhappy when an Edmonton reporter asked about outside perceptions that it would be better for the Oilers to lose Thursday's game and let the Sabres draw even in the "race" for 30th place and the top draft lottery position.
There were three of us with Scrivens and he made sure to preface his remarks by telling us he wasn't mad that reporters were asking such questions. He was simply disgusted that this is a topic at all this season.
"If anybody even insinuated to me ... that I was trying not to win or was going, 'Hey, you should take tonight off', we'd have a fight," Scrivens said. "That's the most unbelievable thing you can say to a professional is 'try not to win this game.' It's mind-blowing that people even think that we're not trying to win."
And Scrivens was just getting warmed up.
"Maybe I'll label some people but it's people who've never played competitively, it's people who don't know what the hell they're talking about, people who have never played a competitive game in their life and they're trying to say you should tank a game. It's head-shaking. Really.
"Not that they're stupid questions, but they're questions about a stupid topic because it's people who keep bringing it up that have no idea what they're talking about."