Boudreau Has Tall Task of Choosing Among His Trio of Goalies

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 5:55 PM / News
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Boudreau Has Tall Task of Choosing Among His Trio of Goalies
His team won a second straight Pacific Division title two nights ago and goes into next week\u2019s postseason as one of the top teams in the NHL. Yet in some ways, you wouldn\u2019t want to be in Bruce Boudreau\u2019s sneakers right now.
“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 - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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