With Jonas Hiller improving in recent games, the Anaheim Ducks might have faced a tough decision regarding who to start against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Viktor Fasth’s injury likely simplified that decision.
The 30-year-old “rookie” suffered an upper-body injury this morning, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.
(Stephens elaborated a bit more on NHL Network’s “NHL Live,” saying Fasth “tweaked something” and that it doesn’t look serious.)
The issue is serious enough that Fasth won’t suit up behind Hiller. Instead, it appears that it will be Jeff Deslauriers … if he makes it on time. In the event Deslauriers cannot, rumor has it that amateur goalie Zach Sikich could dress as the No. 2 for a night, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
If Fasth’s issue is significant instead, it would present a great chance for Hiller to assert himself as the No. 1 goalie (or at least improve his situation in the 1a/1b rotation).
While the 31-year-old Swiss netminder’s overall numbers are shaky, he’s improved his play recently, with a 5-0-1 mark (including a shutout) in his last six games.
At some point, the question following Viktor Fasth might change from “Is he for real?” to “What took the NHL so long to find him?”
The 30-year-old “rookie” improved his career-opening record to 7-0-0 as the Anaheim Ducks dispatched the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Friday. Fasth stopped 26 out of 28 shots against a Red Wings lineup that lacked Pavel Datsyuk.
The Ducks strengthened their grip on the Pacific Division lead to 21 points, placing them second overall in the West behind the even-hotter Chicago Blackhawks. (They’re also tied for second in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, who also have 21 points.)
What’s especially impressive is that a road swing isn’t slowing them down; they’ve won four out of five contests with one away contest left in the six-game trip (tomorrow against the Predators in Nashville).
While the Teemu Selanne-Saku Koivu-Bobby Ryan remained hot, the scary thing for the rest of the league is that Corey Perry showed signs of breaking out of his early slump. He scored his second goal of the season and added an assist as part of a more varied Ducks attack.
The latest update from the OC Register is that Jonas Hiller still needs time to recover from his lower-body injury. The Ducks might not be too anxious about that, although with a back-to-back game scheduled, Bruce Boudreau might face a tough choice in net.
(If he opts to rest Fasth, they’d start journeyman Jeff Deslauriers.)
On Friday, Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau announced that netminder Jonas Hiller would miss his third straight game and that Viktor Fasth would get the start against Detroit.
Boudreau said Hiller is showing improvement from a lower-body injury sustained last Friday vs. Dallas, but that he’d still require more rest.
Of course, there was no guarantee a healthy Hiller would’ve replaced Fasth anyway.
The 30-year-old rookie has been a revelation this year, starting the season 6-0-0 while posting a 1.74 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Earlier this week, Boudreau raved about Fasth’s play.
“His demeanor is so calm,” Boudreau said. “He settles everything down when he’s on top of his game. He moves very Carey Price-ish, like side to side, almost robotic. It’s been such a pleasant surprise.”
Jeff Deslauriers will serve as Fasth’s backup tonight in Detroit.