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2015 Season in Review: Jason LaBarbera

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The backup to the backup goaltender played in five games for the Ducks and had some memorable moments in the 2014-2015 season.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Jason LaBarbera was signed to a one-year contract for $750,000 as a free agent last summer. This was assumed to be a signing to allow John Gibson to play in the AHL while Frederik Andersen took the No.1 position in Anaheim. What actually happened in the season, however, was a weird A-1 and A-2 goaltending share between Gibson and Andersen until Gibson went down with an injury. LaBarbera ended up backing up for the later half of the season switching off with a healthy Gibson upon return. LaBarbera only appeared in games in the Ducks' cursed month of November. Prior to signing with the Ducks, LaBarbera played seven games with the Edmonton Oilers posting a 3.28 GAA and a .870 SV%.

Season Recap

LaBarbera played 34 games with the Norfolk Admirals and appeared in five games for the Ducks in 2014-2015. In his 34 games with Norfolk, LaBarbera posted a 2.62 GAA and a .912 SV% with 3 shutout victories. As a goaltender with the Ducks LaBarbera posted a 2.61 GAA and a .909 SV% for a 2-0-1 record.

LaBarbera's first appearance as a Ducks came as an emergency start against the Colorado Avalanche on November 2, 2014. He had been recalled from Norfolk that morning and was planning on backing up John Gibson as Andersen was out with tightness in his leg. When Gibson went down in warmups with a "lower-body injury," LaBarbera got the start. With only one healthy goaltender the Ducks were forced to dress goaltending coach Dwayne Roloson as emergency backup.

Roloson

The Ducks played well in front of LaBarbera, only allowing 18 shots on goal and winning the game 3-2.

LaBarbera started the very next game against the New York Islanders as Gibson was only able to back up. LaBarbera had to play much better as he faced 36 shots. He was able to survive all the way to overtime where the Islanders scored a power play goal for the win.

LaBarbera's second win was his most memorable performance of the year. A 6-5 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings was one of the worst defensive games of the season. Just about halfway through the game, Frederik Andersen gave up his third goal of the game, putting the Ducks down 3-1, on what should have been an easy save against Trevor Lewis. LaBarbera was put in the game and finished the period down 3-2.

The Ducks quickly tied the game at 3 early in the third period, but then the Kings struck for 2 quick goals. It looked like the Ducks were going to lose for sure, but they somehow rallied for 2 goals of their own to tie the game at 5. Neither team could close the game out in overtime and the game went to a shootout. LaBarbera made 2-of-3 saves and both Jacob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler scored to give the Ducks the victory.

His save and wave on Jeff Carter quickly turned into a meme. Whether it was a call for a water bottle or an actual taunt toward Carter, this was the most memorable part of the game.

LaBarbera bye

http://puckyeahreactiongifs.tumblr.com/post/102523205997

LaBarbera's made two more appearances as a Duck in relief: against the Florida Panthers on November 16 (6-2 FLA) and against San Jose Sharks on November 29 (6-4 SJS).

2014-2015 Stats:

RS Scoring RS Goalie Stats PO Scoring
Season Team Lge GP A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct GP A PIM
2014-15 Norfolk Admirals AHL 34 0 2 1948 85 4 3 2.62 9 16 7 886 0.912 - - -
2014-15 Anaheim Ducks NHL 5 0 0 207 9 0 0 2.61 2 0 1 90 0.909 - - -


Ducks Impact:

In the grand scheme of things, appearing in 5 games though a single NHL season isn't much for a goaltender. LaBarbera did, however, earn the Ducks 5 points with his 2-0-1 record. All the games that he participated in were either huge blowouts against or wild close games. LaBarbera turned out to be an effective emergency goaltender in the 2014-2015 season. Now age 35, LaBarbera has signed a one-year, two-way contract for $600,000 with the Philadelphia Flyers.