The Anaheim Calling writing team knows exactly what the readers here crave. We all know you cannot get enough of goalie talk. Here is a preview of the second round goaltender matchup between the Ducks and the Oilers. Sadly, Viktor Fasth cannot come back and play for either team.
John Gibson will once again man the Anaheim crease after leading the Ducks to a first round victory against the Calgary Flames. Gibson was able to post a 3-0 record while earning a no-decision in Game 3. He was fortunate not to pick up the loss when he allowed four goals on only sixteen shots against. Luckily, backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier was able to come in and shut the door through overtime. It was hardly Gibson’s finest appearance. After a shaky first three games in terms of positioning and rebounding, Gibson was able to reaffirm his coach’s decision and stood on his head to seal the series win in Game 4. Gibson finished the series with a .926 SV% and 2.60 GAA.
Career wise, Gibson has a combined 4-1-2 record against the Oilers. Hopefully that trend can continue in this series. With players like Lucic, Maroon, and Kassian, the Oilers will be crashing the net hard. Gibson will have to be sharp with his rebound control in order to make life easier for the Anaheim defenders.
There is always a chance that we see Bernier come in relief again as well. Anaheim fans can rest easy knowing that “Bernbae” can step in and give the Ducks a reliable effort at any time. However, there is no reason to give him a start unless Gibson hits a wall.
Cam Talbot is coming off a 4-2 performance against the San Jose Sharks. Even though he gave up five goals in Game 3 to a depleted Shark team, Talbot was still able to finish the opening round series with a strong .927 SV% and 2.03 GAA. Edmonton was able to rally out of the gate after the 29 year-old posted two shutouts in Games 2 & 3.
These numbers are not out of the norm for the Edmonton crease creature. His career numbers are a .922 SV% and 2.32 GAA. That includes a 4-5-1 overall record against the Anaheim Ducks. It is notable that his save percentage against the Orange County squad exactly matches his career mark. Talbot is a legitimate goalie and should make life extremely difficult for the Anaheim skaters. Given the fact that Talbot wears the opposite CCM style pad of Gibson (a flat-faced, harder construction pad), the Ducks should focus on putting as many pucks from tough angles into his feet [Ed. Note: Anaheim Calling, where you come for all the “hard-hitting” goaltender equipment analysis. -JC]. There will be a better chance of pucks getting past Edmonton defenders and into high percentage scoring chances.
Who Has the Advantage?
Can I say no one? This series is about as even as it can get and the goalie battle is no different. If I had to give it to someone, I would have to go with Gibson. His career record against Edmonton gives him the slight edge over Talbot, but it really is anyone’s game.