Best: John Gibson
The Anaheim goaltender stopped all 37 shots he saw to earn his fourth shutout of the season. Gibson is finding ways to steal points from opponents that the Ducks have no business of earning. If the Ducks are planning on making the playoffs and getting past the first round, they will need Gibson to continue to be one of the best goalies in the league. The only question is if he can stay healthy and keep his streak alive.
Worst: Antoine Vermette
Vermette was given a game misconduct in the third period for slashing an official. The center was angry with the linesman for an unfairly dropped faceoff. After last year’s Dennis Wideman situation with a referee, the NHL will not take this issue lightly. Even though the slash might have been more of a love tap, there is a strong chance that Vermette is suspended for some time. There is no place in the game for striking an official.
Best: A Win to End the Road Trip
What started as one of the roughest patches of the season turned out to only be a minor hiccup. Anaheim collected 5 of a possible 12 points on the road trip. They were able to beat Minnesota and Buffalo while forcing Tampa Bay to overtime. Without a win tonight, Anaheim’s two-week road trip would have been as disappointing as it can get.
Worst: Team Defense
A common theme of this road trip was allowing the opposing team to have their way at the Anaheim net. Minnesota was able to tally 37 shots, which tied for second most on the trip (Florida and Tampa Bay had the same total). The most shots against came against Washington with 39. The Wild severely out chanced and out played Anaheim in the defensive zone. If it were not for a stellar Gibson performance, the score could have easily been lopsided in favor of Boudreau.
Honorable Mention: Did You Know?
This was Anaheim’s first win against a current playoff team since December 2016. The Ducks beat Toronto by the score of 3-2 in Carlyle’s old barn. Anaheim’s schedule gets much harder from here on out.
1. John Gibson- The only person that deserves any credit.