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Hiller ‘really lacking in confidence,’ says Boudreau

Apr 7, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

The Anaheim Ducks have done plenty to try and snap No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller from his ongoing funk, but nothing seems to be working.

After losing to the lowly Oilers on Sunday — a game in which Hiller allowed three second-period goals en route to a 4-2 defeat — Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau all but confirmed Hiller was struggling with the mental side of the game.

“I think [Hiller's] really lacking in confidence,” Boudreau said, per the L.A. Times. “Once the first one went in, he was worried until he regained his composure.”

The Swiss ‘tender is 6-9-3 in his last 18 outings and dropped his last three decisions — two of them to Edmonton — while allowing 11 goals on 67 shots, an .836 save percentage. Boudreau, who noticed Hiller was showing signs of fatigue recently, gave his goalie three consecutive games off from Mar. 29-Apr. 2 in the hopes of providing Hiller a mental refresher…but all it seems to have done is further muddle the situation.

Frederik Andersen, who’s been outstanding for Anaheim this year, played well in Hiller’s absence but suffered an injury on Friday versus Nashville, and didn’t travel with the Ducks on their current two-game roadie (Anaheim plays in Vancouver tonight). That forced the club to bring up 20-year-old phenom John Gibson — you can read more about him here, and here and here — and, given Hiller’s latest setback, it’s very possible Gibson could make his Ducks and NHL debut tonight against the Canucks.

“I’ll talk to the coaches and people and we’ll see what we’re doing,” Boudreau said.

Hiller, who acknowledged his recent struggles, said he’s not getting any puck luck at the moment.

“Seems like now I can’t get a break, like things find a way to hit me and go in,” Hiller said. “Those bounces happen when you don’t work enough.”

  1. jpelle82 - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    it would be even cool to see john gibson get a start…at 20 yrs old its almost unheard of for a goalie…will tune in for that one if it happens. saw a stat one time, all time average start age (1st ever nhl game) for a goalie was 23 1/2 yrs old. doesnt happen often.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      You got your wish, jpelle.

      http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/04/07/goalie-nods-ducks-prospect-gibson-to-make-nhl-debut/

      • jpelle82 - Apr 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        hope he tears it up

  2. patthehockeyfan - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Sad for Hiller.

    “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

  3. areaman714 - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Ducks r is a pretty stand up guy, he doesn’t play for (some, not all) stand up fans. Many of these fans were ragging on even when he was the best-playing goalie in the NHL. Ducks fans do not have a stellar reputation around the NHL. Their classless treatment of Hiller is one of the many signs and symptoms.

    • areaman714 - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      DUCKS R = HILLER. phone interface is imperfect with this site.

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