Anaheim Ducks: Is Viktor Fasth The NHL’s Best Backup Goaltender?
The Anaheim Ducks couldn’t have been thrilled when they started the 2013-14 season with a 6-1 loss. Viktor Fasth, who was stellar as a rookie for the Ducks last season, was in net for that loss but has since bounced back in a big way. The Ducks rode the play of Fasth and Jonas Hiller to the second seed in the Western Conference last season, and it looks like that scene could now play itself out once again. Hiller has been rock solid this season, with three wins and only four total goals allowed. After that loss to start the season, Fasth has won both of his starts while allowing two goals in each contest. He still has a 3.33 goals-against average, but that number should steadily drop. For the time being the starter’s job is Hiller’s, but it’s impossible to argue with how nice the Ducks have it with two capable goaltenders in the fold.
Last season, the pair put up nearly identical records while splitting time almost right down the middle. Fasth had four shutouts to Hiller’s one and a slightly better goals-against. Once the playoffs rolled around, it was all Hiller as Bruce Boudreau chose to go with experience. This season it is the veteran who has taken the early lead but seeing Fasth bounce back puts the Ducks right back where they were last season. Fasth’s 33 saves against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night marked his best outing of the season, and a fifth straight win for the Ducks.
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