The Anaheim Ducks are off to a 1-1-1 start this season and are coming off a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. Despite collecting three of a possible six points, the Ducks have scored just four goals through their first three games of the season. However, they’ve been helped in a huge way by their star goaltender, John Gibson.
After a rough first game, Gibson has rebounded to stop 65 of 67 shots over the last two games.
It’s not the number of shots he’s facing, it’s the quality of chances Anaheim is giving up. On top of that, Anaheim’s forward group doesn’t have the firepower to outscore their opponents. While the Ducks could just be starting slow, if the team wants to make a push for the playoffs, Gibson will have to be a significant part of it.
We saw what happened when Gibson posted just a .904 save percentage last season, after averaging a .922 save percentage in 170 games across the three prior seasons. His performance has a huge impact on the Ducks’ success, based on how much he’s relied upon.
It was certainly promising to see Anaheim play their best game of the season defensively against Minnesota. That said, even in a good game for the team, Gibson had to be perfect for the Ducks to win and it’s likely that he’ll need to be great all season for Anaheim to have a shot at the playoffs.
The good news is, Gibson is up to the task. He remains one of the league’s best goaltenders and if anyone can provide a team with stability in net, it’s him. But for the Ducks to have success this year, he has to continue to be the team’s best player.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Of the 56 games this year, how many do you expect John Gibson to start for the Ducks?