Apr 30, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT
Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau was facing a big decision in goal for his club’s opening-round series.
On Tuesday, it looked like he made it.
The decision means Hiller will make his first playoff appearance since 2009 and Viktor Fasth will be relegated to a backup role.
Hiller and Fasth — the 30-year-old Swedish rookie — have essentially split time this season:
Hiller: 26 games played, 15-6-4, 2.36 GAA, .913 save percentage, 1 shutout
Fasth: 25 games played, 15-6-2, 2.18 GAA, .921 save percentage, 4 shutouts
But just because Boudreau’s gone with the Swiss ‘tender over the Swede, doesn’t mean we won’t see both during this series.
If the coach’s history is any indication, a flip-flop in goal is very possible.
“I’ve had two guys,” Boudreau told the LA Times. “Like in Washington, we had [Michal] Neuvirth and [Semyon] Varlamov when they were rookies and they both played the same equal amount. You didn’t know who you were going to start.
“The first year we had [Olaf] Kolzig and Cristobal Huet, very similar situation, and then we had [Jose] Theodore and Varlamov where I did switch and go to the first-year player after two games. Unfortunately, the teams I’ve coached, or fortunately, have had two good goalies and no real clear-cut [No. 1].”
It’s likely that Hiller’s postseason experience got him the nod over Fasth, though it should be noted he missed all of Anaheim’s last playoff appearance — a six-game defeat to Nashville in 2011 — while dealing with vertigo.
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