It could be me. Maybe we're all spoiled by the Ducks regular season success the past few years. As I sat down to write this blog, I was ready to tear into the Ducks for their lack offense again last night. I even had the first paragraph written when I thought to myself that the negativity is neither warranted nor is it the message I want to put out. Last night's shutout win is a positive for the team.
John Gibson's performance in defeating Los Angeles, 1-0, was simply marvelous. At a time when someone needs to carry the Ducks on their back, he consistently steps up. He has been Anaheim's best player over the past two months. From December 19 through February 19, Gibson has:
Started 23 games
Allowed three of less goals 21 times.
Posted three shutouts.
Has a record of 13-8-2, despite the fact his team scored three or less goals 20 times.
Saved 25 or more shots in a game 15 times.
Backed the team to an 88.4% on the penalty kill.
A win is a win whether 6-3 or 1-0. The Ducks will take the two points Gibson earned them and move on.
Ducks @ Arizona
Tonight the Ducks are in Glendale, Arizona to play the latter part of back-to-back games. The quick hop to the desert is a breeze compared to the two week odyssey Anaheim was recently one. Their next five games will take place in SoCal with a five day break in the middle of it all.
A starter in goal has not yet been named by head coach Randy Carlyle, but Jonathan Bernier should draw the assignment. Gibson has been used quite frequently as of late so a day of rest could do him some good. Last night, defenseman Brandon Montour was given the night off and Korbinian Holzer took his spot. The rookie, Montour, should tag back in tonight. Winger Corey Tropp hasn't seen the ice for Anaheim since his recall earlier in the week and will continue to watch from the press box. Here is the expected lineup: