It is the first time in several years that the Anaheim Ducks don’t have much depth in goal. As a Duck’s fan, we’ve been spoiled with several spectacular goaltending tandems having Ilya Bryzgalov, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Dan Ellis, and Ray Emery in between the pipes for the past decade. Now, we have to rely mainly on Jonas Hiller.
Don’t get me wrong, besides his year of vertigo, Hiller has never steered the Ducks wrong. He has done a good job keeping the Ducks afloat and helped them stay in games. That kind of performance needs to continue this season if we want to see the team squeeze into the playoffs. The Duck’s have made some good acquisitions in the offseason, adding Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen and Teemu Selanne deciding to return is huge, but we all know the Duck’s will need to be consistent in order to enter into a playoff berth.
With the departure of Dan Ellis, Hiller needs to stay on his head for the team. Hopefully it’s a vertigo-free head.
Some good signs that Hiller can mold back into his stellar form, the form that ousted Giguere, was that he played in 73 games for the Ducks last season. The Ducks might not have made the playoffs, but Hiller was only four games under .500 playing on a struggling team. The season before last, Hiller played in over half of the season and put up a remarkable 26-16 record.
If the NHL is able to salvage this season, by not having a lockout, this year will show us what Hiller is made of. On paper, the Duck’s made moves that would suggest that their performance should improve; adding depth and size to the roster. If this should be proved otherwise, Hiller needs to shine like he did to earn the starting position he’s currently still in.
It is nice to have Jeff Deslauriers as backup. The goalie only played in four games for the Ducks last season while posting a 3-1 record. I’m sure we will see more of Deslauriers this season, but I also need reassurance that Hiller still has it.