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Ducks’ goaltending concerns highlighted in Dallas

Apr 24, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT

Frederik Andersen Frederik Andersen

The Anaheim Ducks had the best record in the Western Conference, but they entered the first round with one glaring issue. Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller struggled late in the season and it snowballed to the point where his confidence took a hit.

It was enough of a concern that Anaheim ended up starting 24-year-old rookie goalie Frederik Andersen over him. He was great in the regular season, but has a 3.17 GAA and .898 save percentage in four playoff games against Dallas. It got to the point in Game 4 last night where Andersen was pulled in favor of Hiller, although the damage was done and the Ducks lost 4-2.

After the game, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if he felt Andersen wasn’t as sharp tonight.

“I didn’t really notice it in the first period because I didn’t think they had a lot of opportunities,” Boudreau said. “But after they scored their second goal, I told Hilly [Jonas Hiller] to get ready because I didn’t think he was that sharp, but then he settled down and I think right after that made a flurry of good saves, and I thought, OK, he is settling down. Then in the third period, when they got that goal, I thought it was time.”

Now the question is if they go back to Andersen or give Hiller a shot after the Ducks suffered back-to-back losses. Anaheim has already made tough lineup calls in this series. Last night for example, future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch.

When it comes to naming a goalie for Game 5 though, there’s no clear choice and that’s bad news for a Ducks squad that hopes to go far in the playoffs.


Frederik Andersen’s key to bouncing back: have a short memory

  1. patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    So unlike the Kings’ goalie dilemma earlier this year: an embarrassment of riches with Quick / Scrivens / Jones.

    John Gibson is the future #1 for the Ducks. No offense to Hiller and Andersen; but, bring the kid up and give him a chance in goal. I doubt he’d do worse than either Hiller or Andersen.

    • areaman714 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      They tried the goalie with less than thirty games experience/zero playoff experience thing and it hasn’t worked out thus far. Andersen has looked ok at best this series. Bringing in a goalie with 2 NHL games experience is throwing fuel on the fire . . . Go with the veteran.

  2. mshantz22 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Anderson looked terrible last night on most of the goals. The ducks really should put their STARTER in. Hiller has played a lot of good hockey this year and his numbers in the playoffs are pretty good. Putting in another rookie goaltender would probably give the Ducks the same goalie play: ~0.900 save percentage and a 3+ GAA.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Not too sure about your Gibson prediction: probably give the Ducks the same goalie play: ~0.900 save percentage and a 3+ GAA.

      Gibson’s numbers in the 3 games he played for the Ducks are .954 SV% and 1.33 GAA. Granted, it’s only 3 games. Yet, it isn’t a reason not to give him a shot.

      With Kitchener in the OHL, his 2013 stats are .946 and 2.17. For 2012, .938 and 2.67.

      Looks to me like Gibson knows how to stand on his head.

      Hiller’s too much into his own head now; Andersen probably has a better head on his shoulders at this point.

      • bildomac07 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        A tough call for sure, but I think Gibson’s time will come and it’s a big roll of the dice to “try it out” now. Say you throw him in there and he gets torched it will follow him until he can prove otherwise. Now I understand the flip side if he comes in and slams the door and the Ducks go on a run then sure it looks genius, but I think it’s too much to ask and too much of a gamble at this point. I’d roll with the veteran in my opinion, but I can also see a scenario where Gibson takes off and why you’d make that argument. I just think it’s a bit of a roll of the dice at this point.

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        Thanks, bildomac. I see your point.

        I think it takes a gamble, though, if you want to advance and play for The Cup. Playing it safe? Not sure about that. At some point, you gotta say, “What the hell? Let’s roll the dice.”

        As to playing it safe, Jason Brough has a fascinating piece somewhere above this post about ‘score effects’ and how teams (Pittsburgh and Columbus in this instance) change their game when they’re playing with a lead.

        I don’t know. When it comes to the playoffs, I have the attitude that it’s balls-to-the-wall hockey, and that you do anything and take any chance in order to advance. (Glad I’m not a coach :))

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        And, one P.S. Gibson doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who gets scared about a challenge. None of that, “omg, I’m in the playoffs!” ‘deer in the headlights’ stuff. He’s good. He knows he’s good, and he’s confident. I’d roll the dice.

      • bildomac07 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        All good points, it’ll be interesting to see what they decide to go with.

  3. hockeyhotstove99 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    There’s an old saying, “Dance with the girl that brung ya (to the dance)”. Coaches get too smart for their own good. Hiller was the man for most of this season and the guy who reeled off 15 wins in a row at one point. You don’t change goalies for Game 1 of the playoffs simply because the starter had 3 losses towards the end of the season. It could be too late now and it would serve Budreau right.

    PS – I wouldn’t have scratched Selanne either.

    • hockeyhotstove99 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Let me correct myself…it was two losses by Hiller towards the end of the season, not three.

      • areaman714 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        Two losses where one game primarily (the Oiler game), the defense left him hanging out to dry. I say Hiller. If he gets on another hot streak, I think the Ducks can roll through the west (and the D must play better).

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