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Boudreau: Ducks ‘don’t know what we’re going to do’ with No. 1 goalie gig

Apr 10, 2014, 1:26 PM EST

Bruce Boudreau AP

In news overshadowed by clinching the Pacific Division, the Anaheim Ducks blew the doors wide open for a potential goalie controversy — and it came from their head coach, Bruce Boudreau.

Per the L.A. Times:

Asked if he expects to remain in goal over primary starter Jonas Hiller or 19-win rookie Frederik Andersen in the playoffs, [John] Gibson said, “We’ll see.”

Of his decision to play Gibson on Wednesday, Boudreau said, “It’s a little bit of a gamble … My gut feeling [was] that he’d be the guy at this stage who’d really jump up and do a bang-up job for us.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do now.”

Gibson, 20, is regarded as one of the best young goaltending prospects in the world. He captured tournament MVP at the ’13 World Juniors before performing equally well for the U.S. at the ’13 Worlds, backstopping the Americans to bronze while posting a 1.56 GAA and .951 save percentage.

In two games this year — and yes, they’re the first and only two NHL games of his career — Gibson has looked great, going 2-0-0 while posting a 1.00 GAA and .946 save percentage, with one shutout.

The big key, it seems, is that Boudreau went with Gibson for Wednesday’s game against the Sharks. The Ducks spoke about that game with great importance afterward, saying they were fired up to clinch the Pacific Division and force San Jose to face Los Angeles in the opening round — so, in short, Boudreau rolled the dice and went with Gibson in a game the Ducks really wanted.

Telling.

Compounding matters is the current state of Anaheim’s other goalies, Jonas Hiller and Frederik Andersen. Hiller has been mired in a slump for nearly a month, forcing Boudreau to admit the Swiss goalie was “really lacking in confidence.” Andersen, who’s enjoying a great rookie campaign and leading all first-year goalie in wins (19), is currently sidelined with an upper-body injury — with the Ducks offering very little as to when he’ll be able to return.

  1. c9castine - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    uh oh.

    as much as i would love for Gibson to take it and do something great, you cant have indecision in your net at this point of the season if your a cup contender.

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Gibson’s glove saves are out of this world. Lightning fast!

  3. dolanster - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Gibson is very capable, and cool under pressure. I say ride him, as he’s hot. You’d be crazy not to.

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Start the proven goalie. If he loses the first two, pull him for Gibby. Worked pretty well for DET in 08…(Hasek/Osgood…not that Ozzy wasn’t experienced).

      • dolanster - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        What exactly has Hiller proven?

      • 11111111111a22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        Nothin’. Just a career .935 SV% in the playoff with 3 SO’s in 20 games.

  4. skr213 - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Every year there’s some new hot goalie that everyone claims is going to be the next great goalie, and most of the time those kids fade away a year or so later. That said, it sure does seem like this kid has all the makings of being the real deal. As a Sharks fan, I hate that. But as someone who wants to see Team USA take it to the next level, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll be able to do!

    • thailer35 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Agree with most of what you’re saying, but goaltending wasn’t USA’s issue.

  5. govtminion - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    “I’ve hardly thought about who will play goal in the playoffs. I just keep thinking about how great it is to not be in Washington these days. Oh, it’s a beuuuuuutiful daaaaaaay…”

  6. mshantz22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Really? I know Hiller has had a rough go of things the last month or so, but before that slide I honestly thought he was one of the better goalies in the NHL. Give him a shot in the playoffs. Between his time in the olympics and previous playoffs, Hiller seems to show up in pressure situations. It would be nothing short of foolish to start the kid who has less than 5 career NHL starts over your #1 goalie.

  7. areaman714 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Yep. Gibby with two and Andersen with 23 total NHL starts and zero playoff starts between them . . . the NHL playoffs is such a different breed of competition than the regular season . . . it is tough to throw such inexperience to the wolves. With that, my one two and three goalies for the playoffs would be Hiller, Gibson, and Andersen with each being one a short leash. It all boils down to the defense, really. In Hiller’s last two games, the defense didn’t bother to show up. He was hung out to dry in the Oiler game and the Preds game he did give up a couple of softies.

  8. stcrowe - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    The kid is on a hot streak. Stay with him until it ends, then go back to Hiller.

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