Anaheim Ducks Goalie Frederik Andersen Outshines Vancouver Canucks

Fredrik Andersen

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

While most teams have good reason to tighten defensive zones with a backup goalie in net, the Anaheim Ducks have had the luxury this season of playing as sure a game with backup goalie Frederik Andersen on the ice as that with starting goaltender Jonas Hiller.

In a year of record marks and defining firsts for many players amongst the Ducks’ roster, Andersen is the player who might stand out most of all, holding an impressive 17-5-0 record during his rookie season in net and signing a two-year contract extension at the end of October

Andersen continued his outstanding blue paint presence Saturday night in the Ducks’ last road game of the week against a Vancouver Canucks team currently clinging for dear life to any hope of a playoff berth they might have left. Although the Canucks out-shot the Ducks 32-21, Andersen made 31 saves and held all the right rebounds to keep the home team off the board, except for a single wrist shot by Vancouver’s Brad Richardson.

As the Ducks begin to prepare for the playoffs, a backup goalie with Andersen’s capabilities adds peace of mind to a team that hasn’t necessarily drifted toward the end-of-season finish line as smoothly as intended; offense has been hard to come by in a few recent games for the Ducks.

Another factor Anaheim faces this time of year is the season-looming question regarding Hiller’s playoff capabilities. Last year, things got shaky in the Ducks’ net as the seventh seed Detroit Red Wings managed to best the then-second-place Ducks into an early summer break. Granted, Hiller is coming off the most outstanding year of his career with Anaheim, often times being the determining factor in a Ducks win.

While the playoffs certainly bring a different atmosphere and clean slate to all 16 teams, the question of Hiller’s postseason capability is no longer a heavy one with Andersen’s proven achievements thus far; the newest Anaheim duckling has what it takes to assist this team in their run for the Stanley Cup.

Jessica Bradley is an Anaheim Ducks writer for RantSports.com.  Follow her on Twitter @jessiebear23 or add her to your network on Google.

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