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Goalie Mask Tournament of Greatness: Anaheim Round One - #3 Hiller vs #6 Giguere

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Hiller supplanted Giguere for the starting spot; now his final Ducks mask faces the one that the other backstopped Anaheim to the Cup with in 2007.

Action in the first round of the Anaheim Ducks Era bracket of the inaugural Tournament of Greatness is under way featuring a pair of multi-season designs worn by two multi-year starters for the Ducks. The higher seed is the final mask worn through a goalie's final two seasons with the team, while the lower seed is the one that protected the goalie who won the club's only Stanley Cup. The Play In meeting between John Gibson's Pac Man and Jonas Hiller's Movember masks is in the books, with the recap and result with updated bracket coming tomorrow, so lets gets things going for the modern Ducks era.

#3 Jonas Hiller 2012-2014

ACmaskTOG1314Hiller

It's almost appropriate that the highest seeded Hiller mask is one that draws on elements from most every one of this other designs as a Duck. Flat, matte black background as inspired by his 10-11 plain black mask with the gold logo that's seeded number four in the tournament. There's liberal use of metallic gold, with claws at the top resembling his half & half mask from the end of the 09-10 season. The Wild Wing statue on the chin that's a literal golden cutout of the statue that was prominently featured on his 11-12 mask. The Ducks logo vent holes by the ears that were first introduced on said Wild Wing statue mask. Wrapping text across the forehead that would be seen again on the Stadium Series mask. It's all there.

Over the final two years with Anaheim Hiller went 44-19-11, but despite his goals against averages being top three in his seven years with the club two of his bottom three save percentages. Come playoff time he was better, but not a difference maker, against Detroit in 12-13 with a .917 SV% and 2.46 GAA as the Ducks fell in seven games in the opening round. The next year his poor play down the stretch gave Frederik Andersen the reins for the playoffs, with Hiller only getting the opportunity to be a hero in relief to close out the Stars series before losing both series opening home games to Los Angeles in round two. The goalie who put the team on his back in 08-09 with a blisteringly hot 13 run through Presidents Trophy winner San Jose and taking defending champion Detroit all the way to game seven in round two never re-emerged, and he was allowed to walk in the off season.

#6 Jean-Sebastien Giguere 2006-07

ACmaskTOG0607Giguere

Coming in to the 06-07 season Giguere had yet to get a mask painted in line with the new color scheme, and actually began camp and preseason with a darker, updated version of his 02-03 mask that is currently battling Mikhail Shtalenkov's Indiana Jones lid. When it came in though it became the trademark design for Jiggy that he'd sport for the remainder of his time with the Ducks, save for a stretch in the 09-10 where the orange storms on either side gave way to windy blue skies and the Duck on the forehead was only partially roughed up with stitches on its left side. This was the design Giguere sported an updated version of when he made his lone NHL All-Star appearance in 2009.

After a down year in 05-06 that saw Ilya Bryzgalov commandeer the crease for the majority of a surprising Western Conference Final run, Giguere bounced back in a big was in 06-07. He posted the second highest save percentage of his career at .918 (good for eighth in the league), and the 2.26 goals against average was not only fifth best in the league but the second lowest (to that point) of his starting career. All this while ringing up a career high 36 wins, which is still the Ducks franchise single season record. Come playoff time he raised his game another level, improving his SV% to .922 and dropping the GAA to 1.97 in winning 13 of 17 decisions to backstop the Ducks to the Stanley Cup.

It's Voting Time

Which mask design is better? Vote in the poll below, share your thoughts in the comments, and remember if you comment about it on Twitter with #ACmaskTOG your chosen mask will get another point added to the total. The poll is open until noon on August 11, so be sure to cast your vote and share with as many Ducks fans as you know!

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Historical game information and stats in this article taken from www.hockey-reference.com