Anaheim Ducks: Reacting to John Gibson Being Ranked 10th by NHL Network

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 15: Goaltender John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks defends the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 15, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 15: Goaltender John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks defends the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 15, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The NHL Network has released their goaltender rankings, and John Gibson came in at 10. There are a lot of issues with the Anaheim Ducks netminder being so low on the list.

Over the past few weeks, the NHL Network has released a list of, in their opinion, the Top 20 centers, wings, and defensemen currently in the NHL. The Anaheim Ducks received no love on these lists, which doesn’t come as a surprise. However, we all knew that John Gibson would make it onto their goaltender list with ease. Finally, yesterday, they released their goaltender rankings via Twitter, and Gibson came in at number 10.

Due to the Anaheim Ducks being a smaller market team with limited coverage league-wide, some may believe that it is an honor that he even made it onto their list at all. Still, many people have been calling shenanigans on the list of Top 10 Goaltenders (as well as the other lists.)

It hasn’t just been Anaheim Ducks fans who have called out the NHL Network for ranking John Gibson so low, but Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning fans, among more, have all claimed that he should have been ranked higher. Even fans in our own division have called this list a joke, with fans of the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, and the Vegas Golden Knights calling out the network.

While there is no arguing the fact that the NHL Network has a group of professionals working for them, this does go a little further in proving that smaller market teams don’t get as much attention as the larger market teams. To add insult to injury, the Network even tagged the wrong team when discussing why they chose to rank Gibson 10th overall. All of the goaltenders that made the list deserve to be on there, but it is the order that deserves to be scrutinized.

John Gibson Deserves More Credit

One thing the Anaheim Ducks currently lack on their roster is a generational talent like a Connor McDavid or Nikita Kucherov. Ryan Getzlaf is one of the only players that could come close to that elite status. However, that is a completely different story between the pipes. John Gibson is the Sidney Crosby of netminders; the Anaheim Ducks créme de la créme.

As mentioned, every goaltender on the list deserves to be there. Nevertheless, it would be a reasonable argument to say that most of these goaltenders were ranked higher than Gibson because their teams made an appearance in the 2019 Stanely Cup Playoffs. Of the 10 netminders to make the list, John Gibson and Carey Price were the only two that didn’t make the playoffs.

With all due respect to Jordan Binnington, his stats are only better than Gibson’s due to his small 32 game sample size during the 2018-19 season. Yes, he did play for the team that would eventually win the Stanley Cup, but 32 games gives him the added benefit of having stats that are better than goaltenders who have played 50 games or more.

This is also the case for several of the other players on this list, as Gibson played more games and saw more ice time than half of the goaltenders in the Top 10. Several of the goaltenders who were ranked above him had a higher save percentage in fewer games, and for those who didn’t play fewer games, only .001% separated them from John Gibson.

Throughout the season, it was evident that Gibson was overworked, as stated several times by General Manager Bob Murray. However, he still managed to take it in stride and post impressive numbers despite facing more shots against (SA) than all of the players on the list, aside from Carey Price. Due to the insane SA totals, he also managed to make the most saves of any of the goaltenders on the list, again, aside from Price.

We Don’t Need Fancy Stats To Prove What We Already Know

There are several other statistics that we could jump into to prove that John Gibson deserves to be higher on the list, but in all honesty, I don’t understand most of the fancy stats. However, it doesn’t take fancy stats to be aware of the fact that John Gibson is an incredible goaltender who isn’t given the credit he deserves.

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Was he perfect last season? Not necessarily. There were moments when he made mistakes and there are likely several goals he wants to forget that he ever let in. When the Anaheim Ducks were at their worst, he definitely struggled to keep the entire team from sinking. He isn’t a superhero, but he comes pretty close, and I think we sometimes forget that hockey players are just as human as we are.

Nevertheless, John Gibson still had a phenomenal season. He was often the only player to show up for his team, and the Anaheim Ducks 2018-19 season turned into the John Gibson show. The rest of the goaltenders on this list, aside from maybe Carey Price, all had teams in front of them that showed up and played like they wanted to win. Gibson was deprived of that for a majority of the season, yet he rarely ever faltered.

While the NHL Network may not see his worth, the important thing is that the fans do. The list that the NHL Network put out that was voted on by the fans ranks John Gibson 5th overall. We like that list much better, and even though John Gibson will always be number one in our hearts, 5th overall is a great place for him to land after such a difficult season. The only place he can go from here is up!

Next. Five of the Worst Playoff Games in Ducks History. dark

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