Through the first two games of their series against Calgary, the Ducks had zero questions in goal. John Gibson started both, stopping 65 of 69 shots for a .942 save percentage.
He was playing great.
But then came Game 3.
Gibson started yet again, but was hooked after allowing four goals on 12 shots. It was at that point head coach Randy Carlyle made the switch to Jonathan Bernier and, with it, changed the entire complexion. Bernier stopped all 16 shots faced, and the Ducks rallied for a 5-4 OT win.
“[Bernier] came in and calmed things down,” Carlyle said on Tuesday. “His whole demeanor, and the way he approached and played in the situation, he was a guy that settled everything down.
“He made some big stops, and he wasn’t rattled. He wasn’t scrambling. He didn’t do anything that he hasn’t done for the last 20 games he’s played for us. He just came in and played his game.”
Carlyle re-iterated a few times Wednesday how calming an influence Bernier was. Which is funny, because he was very brief on everything else goalie-related.
Very, very brief.
From the transcript:
Q: Would you come back with [Gibson] for Game 4? Would that be the right message to send to him?
Carlyle: Well, I’m going to pick one goalie. It’s going to be one of them.
Q: Have you made up your mind?
Carlyle: Have I made up my mind? Oh yeah.
To be clear, nobody pinned Gibson’s removal on Gibson. The Ducks came out flat, and even Carlyle said the team had to get through “hurdles of our inefficiency” before staging its remarkable comeback.
And hey, Carlyle has played coy about his starting goalies in the past, only to stick to Gibson as the club’s No. 1.
But at least he’s making things interesting.