Anaheim Ducks: It’s Time for John Gibson to Stop Being Disrespected

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 15: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks skates around on a play stoppage against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on January 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Anaheim 3-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 15: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks skates around on a play stoppage against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on January 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Anaheim 3-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 5: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks during introductions of the game against the Los Angeles Kings on April 5, 2019, at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Misconceptions of John Gibson

There are two main misconceptions when it comes to John Gibson and they both are not correct and need to stop.

1. The Ducks should have kept Frederik Andersen instead of John Gibson.

This is a trend that has been going on since the trade that saw the Anaheim Ducks make Gibson their definitive goalie of the future. Frederik Andersen was a fan favorite amongst the Ducks faithful and in building up that fandom, fans look for any shortcoming that John Gibson has, and say, “should have kept Freddie!”

Here’s the thing, Freddie is a great goaltender (and he didn’t even make the NHL Network’s top 10 list, which is a travesty in and of itself) but when you put John Gibson up against Frederik Andersen head to head during their time as starters for their respective teams, there’s a pretty clear picture shown. Gibson has the edge in save percentage (93.01% ahead of Andersen’s 92.66%) he has a higher save percentage in low danger, medium danger, and high danger chances.

When you look at his expected save percentage (the save percentage a goalie should post when looking at league average performance based on the quality of chances he’s faced. Essentially what his save percentage should be when looking at the shots he’s faced) Gibson is 1.16% higher than what is expected of him (save percentage of 93.01% when expected save percentage is 91.85%) while Andersen is only .59% higher than his expected (92.66% save percentage when expected is 92.06%.)

Lastly, when you look at goals saved above average, (really simplifying it is the number of goals that a goaltender has stopped that theoretically, a “league average” goaltender would have surrendered) since 2016, Gibson has saved 45.04 goals above average while Andersen has saved 29.54 goals above average. Gibson has the nod in literally every category that looks at a goalie’s individual performance rather than a team effort. Luckily this opinion has died down a bit over the last year, but it is still out there and it shouldn’t be. The Ducks got the better goalie even if the Maple Leafs got a very good goalie as well.

2. John Gibson is so injury prone

This is by far the most annoying thing that’s said about John Gibson. Yes, Gibson like everyone playing a high impact sport gets banged up sometimes. But to say that John Gibson is always hurt is ridiculous. John Gibson became a full-time starter in 2016, in that time Gibson has played the 11th most games out of any goaltender. He’s played more games than Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tuukka Rask, Mike Smith, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jimmy Howard, Ben Bishop, Jonathan Quick, Corey Crawford, Semyon Varlamov, and Cam Ward among many others. Yet the majority of those goaltenders don’t get nearly the same amount of “injury-prone” claims as Gibson. Gibson is not injury prone.