The Anaheim Ducks and the Calgary Flames are about to go into one of the most intriguing series of the second round. It pits one of the youngest playoff teams in recent memory against the powerhouse of the Pacific Division this season. While there are many headlines in this series, the biggest one could be Jonas Hiller returning to Anaheim to try to eliminate his former team.
Hiller and the Ducks didn’t have a dirty break. Anaheim just had Frederick Andersen and John Gibson, who were both ready to break out into superstardom. Hiller was going to make more money elsewhere and he could help another team win.
That is exactly what Hiller did for the Flames. Nobody was picking the Flames to make the playoffs this season. They looked like they were still in rebuilding mode. They are trying to build around 21-year-old Johnny Gaudreau and 20-year-old Sean Monahan. In fact, Hiller is the oldest player on the team at 33 years old.
Going into this matchup, Hiller can become a hero for Calgary. He already brought the Flames to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since they went to the Stanley Cup back in 2004. Now, he can send them to the Western Conference Finals after beating their division rival.
The Flames aren’t ready for a Stanley Cup. They need more experience. That doesn’t mean that they can’t win this series. If they do, it will be on the back of Hiller. He has carried this team through adversity all season long. He is the reason why this team did not miss a beat when Mark Giordano was lost for the season. He is the reason why they were able to eliminate the Vancouver Canucks so easily. If they are able to play Cinderella and beat the Ducks, it will be because of Hiller.
The Flames have been loose all season long. They will come into this series the same way. That is what happens with young teams. They don’t have anything to lose. Neither does Hiller. That is what makes this the storyline to watch in this series.