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Ducks @ Sharks MORNING THOUGHTS: Ryan Miller is Good, But Would You Start Him?

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Ridiculous question, right? Right?

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks once again rode a heroic effort between the pipes from Ryan Miller all the way to a shootout against the San Jose Sharks. Unfortunately, this time they were unable to leave with the extra point as they did against the Carolina Hurricanes in PNC Arena, but the questions begs: Should Ryan Miller be the Ducks starter?

This is not to say that John Gibson is a poor goaltender. In fact, he is quite the opposite and I would go as far to say that he is a top-10 goaltender in the National Hockey League. However, if you have one goaltender that is earning you points in the standings and one that is not, wouldn’t you start the one that is?

The effort from Anaheim against the Nashville Predators on Friday night was lackluster at best, and they saw the results reflect that in their 5-3 defeat. Last night, the Ducks seemed to be playing with much more fire and excitement, and once again, the results showed as they were able to take a 1-1 tie to overtime, despite being heavily outshot in the game.

“He gave us a chance. That’s all you can ask of your goaltender. He was outstanding in net for us.” - Randy Carlyle

Best & Worst

Best -

Ryan Miller - This is an easy one to get out of the way as a best of this game. Miller looked incredible once again for the Ducks, stopping 44 of 45 shots to send the game to a shootout. John Ahlers and Brian Hayward had a brief discussion during the Ducks broadcast about whether or not Ryan Miller deserves to be in the conversation for being the Anaheim starter, and I agree. I wouldn’t start him quite yet, but I do believe that John Gibson will need to find ways to put some wins in the standings column, otherwise Carlyle may opt for Ryan Miller on a more consistent basis.

Corey Perry - It’s always nice to see Corey get on the scoresheet, especially after his recent slumps that have caused many to think that he no longer has his scoring touch. He had a few good looks throughout the course of the game but was only able to tally on the first opportunity he received a little over six minutes into the game. Here’s to hoping he can heat up and carry a bit of the offensive load while the rest of the injured Ducks heal up.

The Standings - I know this seems like a weird choice, seeing as the Ducks are currently 12th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference, but the fact that they are showing signs of life is pretty incredible, given what they’ve been dealt so far this season. They just finished their second set of back-to-backs that included travel between them in the last week and they still have 14 points in 14 games. They are also missing an abundance of core players out of their lineup in Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Cam Fowler, and Patrick Eaves, but they are still finding ways to put pucks in the net and get wins. The Ducks all-around effort should be celebrated, despite the fact that they are where they currently sit.

Worst -

Jakob Silfverberg’s Shootout Attempt - Normally the only sure thing for the Ducks, and, uh, this was his attempt in San Jose.

Tim Peel - I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t know that I’ve seen Tim Peel referee an Anaheim Ducks game without calling at least three minor penalties on the Ducks. He only called three against the Ducks today, and that seemed to be cutting back, if my memory is serving me correctly. I understand that more often than not, the Ducks are actually making mistakes that deserve to be called, but it’s the non-calls against opponents of the Ducks that really bother me.

3 Stars of the Game

3. Derek Grant - He set up Corey Perry on his goal with a pass that looked like it should have come from Ryan Getzlaf. That’s his 8th point of the season in 8 games with the Ducks and he moved his scoring streak to four games.

2. Joonas Donskoi - That shootout goal was filthy, and I suppose he deserves this spot for it. I mean, c’mon

1. Ryan Miller - Miller had 44 saves on 45 shots and probably deserved a win for the effort, but unfortunately, the Ducks were unable to solve Martin Jones in the shootout. Maybe Ryan should’ve been given a chance to shoot and win it himself.

Poll

Would you consider starting Ryan Miller?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Yes
    (72 votes)
  • 15%
    No
    (17 votes)
  • 18%
    This is the dumbest question I’ve ever seen
    (20 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now