Frederik Andersen, or “The Great Dane” as he is lovingly referred to by fans of the Anaheim Ducks, has been on the ball lately.
Although his addition to the Ducks from Norfolk was initially temporary, he was given an entry-level contract in order to be able to stay.
After trading Fasth to Edmonton, Andersen was made the permanent backup goalie on the team. Recently, however, John Gibson has also been pulled to play for Anaheim and now the team has a problem of who to start in the playoffs.
In recent games, Jonas Hiller has lost confidence and apparently the ability to block soft shots. Andersen has the ability to remain calm in the storm. Hiller always appears to lose track of the puck or cannot see around a screen.
For Ducks fans, they know Hiller’s drill is to run a streak of amazing performances, then begin to lose it and complete lose confidence. After that, be unable to regain it in a stretch of bad performances. Ducks fans can remember the abysmal playoff performance last year in which the Ducks lost in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings.
Based on that performance and his performance in the 2008-09 playoffs, he is trending down and while he may not leave Anaheim, he definitely has not earned a third shot at as the starting goalie during playoffs.
What Anaheim needs in net is someone calm and collected and who has experience with big games, but will not let the pressure get to them.
Out of the other two new goalies on the Anaheim bench, Andersen and Gibson, Andersen is the best choice.
The Great Dane has played a in high pressure games for the Ducks and has been successful in the majority of his matches. Out of the 24 full length games Andersen has played, he has won 19. The other losses occurred when Andersen was put in to replace Hiller after bad performances and the Ducks could not recover.
The reason the Ducks should choose Andersen over Gibson, is purely based on number of NHL games played. Although Gibson’s record is lossless, he has only played three games at the NHL level. Although Gibson is a stellar performer in net and does not let the game get to him, his body of work is yet to come and he will make a superb backup goalie.
It is the right time and the best possible venue to put Andersen in net as the starting goalie for the playoffs. Hiller has done well for the Ducks, but his time is winding down and Andersen’s time is just beginning. He is our best hope to make it through the playoffs as far as possible.
It’s time for Hiller to take a seat and Andersen to shine.
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