Welcome to the Ducks' latest edition of Goaltenders 1A and 1B.
It once was Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Ilya Bryzaglov. Then it was Giguere and Jonas Hiller. And in both cases it was vice versa at times.
Now playing is the struggling Hiller and impressive NHL newcomer Viktor Fasth. As Hiller tries to shake off some early-season rust, Fasth has jumped in with victories in all three of his starts while allowing just four goals.
Fasth is clearly making a push for more playing time and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau now faces a tough call in terms of splitting the workload. Do you back Hiller and get him on track or ride the hot hand in a shortened season?
"He's doing a good job," Boudreau said of Fasth. "He's doing what he's supposed to do and that's make coaches make tough decisions. Hilly is the guy that we've relied on. He played 73 games last year. But it's a real pleasant surprise what Viktor's doing."
Boudreau pointed to the situation in Vancouver where Cory Schneider went into the season as the Canucks' No. 1 goalie but struggled early and has now been supplanted by former starter Roberto Luongo.
Having two netminders who can win games is better than not having one.
"You look at Vancouver, who's done the same thing," the coach said. "They wanted to go with Schneider and Luongo's played the last four games. Carolina just switched back to Cam Ward after going with Dan Ellis for a couple of games.
"So it's an interesting dynamic. But when you have two good goalies, you can afford to do that. And eventually the other guy gets hot and he takes over and does what he's supposed to do."
Said defenseman Toni Lydman: "No one goalie can play all the games anyways. It's nice to have two guys that you can throw out there against any team."
Decision time for Ducks as Fasth rises
Orange County Register | Feb 6