Monday, February 18, 2013
Anaheim's No. 1 netminder
By Luke Lapinski
Depending who you ask, Jonas Hiller may still be considered Anaheim's No. 1 goalie. The 31-year old has had some very good seasons with the Ducks, and certainly entered the 2012-13 campaign atop the depth chart. But he scuffled a little bit to begin the year, and his backup has be flat out phenomenal.
That backup, of course, is Viktor Fasth. The Swedish netminder has taken the league by storm, starting eight games already this season -- and winning all eight. His numbers are unreal at the moment, as he boasts a 1.78 goals against average and .933 save percentage to go with that 8-0 record. Bruce Boudreau's group looks like one of the teams to beat right now, with the offensive weapons up front getting it done, the defense blocking shots and Fasth stopping nearly everything that happens to get through.
So is he the new No. 1? Hiller is back from a lower-body injury and appears ready to go. But it's going to be tough to keep Fasth -- who started both ends of a back-to-back over the weekend and landed two more wins -- out of the lineup for any extended period of time. Boudreau may simply need to ride the hot hand for as long as possible, slipping Hiller in here and there for now. Ultimately though, this is a great situation for the Ducks to be in. In a shortened season like this, both goalies figure to come into play. Regardless of who's the leader on the depth chart, Anaheim has to feel very comfortable in that department.