Best: John Gibson
The Anaheim goaltender came to play tonight. Gibson stopped 35 of 37 Florida shots and did all he could to keep his team in the game. His best stretch came on 1:55 of 5v3 play in the second period. It will be interesting see if Gibson’s play suffers after February 4th, which is the day the NHL mandates that all goalies switch to streamlined pants. Most goalies have opted to wait until the last moment to get as much practice time in as possible with the new gear.
Worst: Everyone Else
The physical Anaheim skaters were no match for the Panthers’ speed. The offense was unable to get much sustained pressure on Reimer. As the game went on, Florida was able to shut the door completely. The Ducks finished with only three shots in the final period. The offense will need to play with speed against Tampa Bay if they want any chance of securing a win.
Best: Watching Jaromir Jagr
There’s a reason Jaromir Jagr’s favorite player is Jaromir Jagr. The veteran winger is known for his work ethic and it showed tonight against the Ducks. Jagr has a knack for finding the puck and making plays out of nothing. If only he could have played a full season with a healthy Huberdeau and Barkov this year. Please let him play until he is 50.
Worst: The Fourth Line
The fourth line had one of their worst showings of the season. Jared Boll in particular posted a 6.67% corsi for. That is 1 shot attempt and 14 against. Thompson led the trio by being on the ice for two shot attempts for. Impressive stuff. Sadly he also saw 19 shots against (9.5%). It is necessary for all four lines to be dangerous especially on a two-week road trip. Unfortunately the group did not give Carlyle much of a choice going forward. I recommend putting Ondrej Kase back into the lineup.
Honorable Mention (Could be a Best or Worst): Jagr outskating Bieksa
The two skaters started dead even at full speed and somehow the 44 year old legend out paced the Anaheim defenseman. Ducks fans were in need of some humor tonight and this surely fit the bill.
3. Aleksander Barkov
2. Jonathan Huberdeau
1. John Gibson- The first time I’ve ever given him a first star. It’s probably appropriate that he still got the loss.