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Boudreau Has Tall Task of Choosing Among His Trio of Goalies

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 2:55 PM PT / News
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Boudreau Has Tall Task of Choosing Among His Trio of Goalies
“I’ve told all the goalies that it’s a game-by-game situation," Boudreau said. "I told them who’s starting tomorrow. We’ll re-evaluate after the game, and then we’ll take it from there.”
By Adam Brady

His team won a second straight Pacific Division title two nights ago and goes into next week’s postseason as one of the top teams in the NHL. Yet in some ways, you wouldn’t want to be in Bruce Boudreau’s sneakers right now.

That’s because Boudreau has the unenviable task of having to choose a starting goaltender for Game 1 of the playoffs, not to mention two pivotal games this weekend to end the regular season.

In one corner, you have Jonas Hiller, who has been Anaheim’s No. 1 netminder for most of the season, but hasn’t been his sharpest in his last three appearances. His roughest outing in that stretch came last Friday night vs. Nashville at Honda Center, when he gave up four goals on just 17 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Predators.

Hiller was pulled from that game in favor of Frederik Andersen, who took a slap shot from Preds defenseman Shea Weber off his mask in the second period and was replaced by Hiller to start the third. Andersen, who has been outstanding this season (19-5-0 record, 2.27 goals-against average and .924 save percentage), hasn’t appeared in a game since. But he went through a full practice today at The Rinks – Anaheim Ice and had a positive report.

“I wanted to get a full practice in and see how that felt, and it felt pretty good,” said the 24-year-old Danish rookie. “It’s just a matter of how I feel on the ice positioning-wise and how I see the puck too. But I felt pretty good.”

Said Boudreau of Andersen’s work today, “It was more about getting him ready. The other guys have been practicing really hard and/or playing. Freddie’s been sitting at home not doing a lot. I thought he needed a real good practice today, whether he’s playing tomorrow or Sunday.”

“I wanted to get a full practice in and see how that felt, and it felt pretty good,” said Andersen (right). “It’s just a matter of how I feel on the ice positioning-wise and how I see the puck too. But I felt pretty good.”

And then there’s 20-year-old newcomer John Gibson, who was pulled up from AHL Norfolk in Andersen’s absence and performed admirably in his first two NHL games. He saved all 18 shots he faced in his debut last Monday night in Vancouver, and stopped 36 of 38 in an intense matchup Wednesday with San Jose in which the Ducks clinched the division crown.

Minutes after the game ended, Boudreau was asked about his goaltending situation and admitted, “I don’t know what we’re going to do now.”

The Ducks are getting ready for two key games this weekend – at LA tomorrow night and then home to the Avalanche in the regular season finale Sunday evening at Honda Center. Both games are important for a Ducks team that is currently leading Colorado and St. Louis by a point in the battle for the Western Conference crown a No. 1 seed in the postseason.

Yet after today’s practice, Boudreau remained coy about his choices in net. “The math doesn’t work there,” he said of his three netminders. “I’ve told all the goalies that it’s a game-by-game situation. I told them who’s starting tomorrow. We’ll re-evaluate after the game, and then we’ll take it from there.”

Boudreau said he’s not losing any sleep over the decision. Not yet, at least. “I don’t feel any pressure because you just hope you make the right call,” he said. “There’s a one-in-three chance. One has [playoff] experience, and two don’t. One has experience of playing 27 games in the NHL, and one has two games. They’re both very good young goalies. I feel comfortable with anybody going in net, quite frankly. You make the decision and you live with it.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07
A. Khudobin 3 3 0 .909 2.70

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