Tag: Pekka Rinne

Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks

For Ducks, Gibson’s injury might’ve been blessing in disguise


Prior to tonight’s Game 2 against Chicago, Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau had some interesting remarks about Frederik Andersen’s emergence in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Fortunately for us, or unfortunately, [John Gibson] got hurt in early April and Freddie ran with it a little bit,” Boudreau explained. “He’s gotten better and better and better.

“I think it’s taken the worry out of Freddie’s game and it’s taken the worry from us about him being able to handle playoff pressure.”

Gibson, the club’s 21-year-old goalie of the future, got hurt while battling for Anaheim’s playoff starting gig, and his injury all but took the decision out of Boudreau’s hands — which, hindsight being 20/20, could’ve been the best thing that happened to the Ducks.

Why? Well, the “worry” in Andersen’s game, as alluded to above, was partly due to Boudreau’s (ahem) colorful dealings with his goalies.

Like last spring, for example, when Anaheim became one of the few teams in NHL history to start three different netminders — Gibson, Andersen and Jonas Hiller — in a single postseason. Andersen opened as the playoff starter in Round 1 against Dallas, only to cede the job to Hiller, who eventually closed out the Stars in Game 6.

Hiller then opened Round 2 against the Kings, lasting just two games before Boudreau went back to Andersen — but when the Andersen got hurt, it was Gibson, not Hiller, who took over, as the Ducks eventually fell to L.A. in seven games.

Unsurprisingly, Boudreau’s handling was met with negative reviews. Hiller called the situation “frustrating” after leaving in free agency; in March, Andersen all but assumed he’d be embroiled in yet another “who’s the starter?” saga heading into the playoffs.

“I know we both have to battle for it,” he told the O.C. Register. “I know it’s going to be a long season. You saw it last year. We had three goalies playing due to different circumstances. I know that.”

Boudreau’s penchant for flip-flopping predates his time with the Ducks. In Washington, he yanked Jose Theodore in favor of Semyon Varlamov during the 2009 playoffs; a year later, after vowing “there is no short leash” for Theodore, Boudreau yanked him in favor of Varlamov.


So it’s easy to see why, this year, Andersen (9-1-0, 1.86 GAA, .930 save percentage) isn’t as mentally taxed. The notion of yanking him in favor of Gibson isn’t constantly looming; in fact, of all the goalies to play at least six playoff games, only Andersen, Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne have been in net for the entirety.

And it seems all that uninterrupted action is paying off.

“I think [Andersen’s] getting more confidence,” Boudreau explained. “He’s played through two rounds now. He’s seen the pressure that comes with it.

“You don’t win unless your goaltender in any playoff series is really good. You need it.”

Rinne breaks shutout streak record at Worlds

Norway v Finland - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship
1 Comment

Pekka Rinne’s time at the 2015 World Hockey Championship didn’t start very well, but sure improved quickly.

During Monday’s tilt against Belarus, the Finnish netminder set a tournament record for longest modern-day shutout streak, going 206:26 to break the previous mark set by Slovakia’s Jan Lasak in 2004.

Rinne set the record early in the first period.

As mentioned above, things didn’t start especially well for Rinne at this year’s tourney. He opened with a 5-1 loss to the U.S. on the first day of competition but got better — and in a hurry — following up that loss with wins over Denmark (3-0), Norway (5-0) and Slovenia (4-0).

In Finland’s last game, a 3-0 win over Slovakia, backup Juuse Saros got the nod.

Rinne’s shutout record at the Worlds is a feather in the cap of a pretty successful campaign. The Preds netminder earned his third career Vezina nomination on the strength of a 41-17-6 record, .923 save percentage, 2.18 GAA and four shutouts. The 41 were were two off his career-high, set in 2011-12 (when he finished behind Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick in Vezina voting.)

Preds re-sign goalie Mazanec: one year, $575K


The Nashville Predators have brought back one of their young goaltending prospects, re-signing Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way deal worth $575,000 at the NHL level.

Mazanec, 23, made his big-league debut during the 2013-14 season in the wake of Pekka Rinne’s hip injury, getting significant minutes in tandem with Carter Hutton. The Czech netminder earned NHL Rookie of the Month honors for November that year and finished with a .902 save percentage and 2.80 GAA, but then spent almost all of this season in AHL Milwaukee with Rinne and Hutton filling the Preds’ No. 1 and 2 spots.

Mazanec did appear in a pair of games for the Preds this season, allowing just four goals on 47 shots.

With Rinne and Hutton both under contract for next season — the latter’s heading into his final year, the former’s locked in through 2019 — Mazanec will probably spend next season as a workhorse in Milwaukee, and on-call for spot duty in Nashville.