When the shortened season began with no pre-season, it was expected that the first handful of games would not appear the same for each team. However, in the case of the Anaheim Ducks, things seem like they're somewhat in a mid-season form — which pretty much means that we’d see the usual sight of goaltender John Gibson bailing his team out in close one-goal games.
Tuesday night in Glendale was no exception, as Anaheim took on the Arizona Coyotes.
In a game that marked debuts for Ducks defender Ben Hutton and forward Vinni Lettieri, Gibson led the team to a 1-0 shutout, with the lone goal coming at 10:59 in the first period. Forward Danton Heinen scored low far side after a wonderful forechecking effort, stripping the puck away from the stick of Drake Caggiula.
That same first period was the best of the night for Anaheim, who had a not-so-great-actually-no-it-was-bad second period, where the Ducks had just 22.22 percent of the unblocked shots and attempts (Corsi For) at 5-on-5 and just four scoring chances at all strengths.
The third period proved to be slightly better, with the team notching seven scoring chances, and a 5-on-5 CF% of 51.72, making Anaheim’s a final share of 5-on-5 unblocked shots and attempts 41.11 percent over the course of the game.
No doubt about it, the highlight of the night was John Gibson, who stopped all 31 shots from the Coyotes, who were also 0/3 on the power play to Anaheim’s 0/1. One cannot help but wonder if the Duck’s no. 1 netminder is taking tabs on the many times the team owes him dinner — as well as how much longer he can continue his stellar performance.
All I will say is, please, for the love of all that is holy, help the dude out so he doesn’t just combust in the middle of a game!
Anaheim will remain in Glendale, as they once again face the Coyotes on Thursday. Time to go burn sage, do some “Hello Dolly’s,” or conjure spirits so that the Ducks can help out their heavenly goal-savior.