John Gibson wasn’t to blame for Anaheim losing the first two games of its opening-round series — at home — to the Nashville Predators.
But Gibson’s getting the hook anyway.
On Tuesday, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed he’s going with Frederik Andersen tonight as his club looks to avoid falling into a 0-3 series hole.
The move shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
Gibson isn’t at fault, but he hasn’t been great this series either, allowing six goals on 60 shots for a .900 save percentage.
The Ducks are also in desperate need of a spark, and on Sunday we saw a similar tact pay off when Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill benched Jimmy Howard — who wasn’t at fault for either of his club’s opening two losses — in favor of Petr Mrazek for Game 3 against Tampa Bay.
Mrazek responded with a 16-save shutout, and the Wings were back in the series.
Finally, Boudreau did say prior to the playoffs that both Gibson and Andersen were likely to play. That came on the heels of Andersen’s impressive outing in the regular-season finale, a shutout win over the Caps.
From the Los Angeles Daily News, prior to the start of the Preds series:
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said he had John Gibson penciled to start Game 1 and hasn’t changed his mind. But there are also four days until then. “Got a long ride home though,” he said.
“Freddie was tremendous [vs. Washington],” Boudreau said. “That could have been as good as I’ve ever seen him. His movements. He was square to the puck. There was no extra movements in his game. It certainly was sending a message to us that I know he hasn’t played for a little bit but he’s ready for the playoffs as well.”
There wasn’t much to choose between Andersen and Gibson during the regular season. The former went 22-9-7 with a .919 save percentage, the latter 21-13-4 with a .920 save percentage.
This isn’t the only change Anaheim is making tonight.
Veteran forward Shawn Horcoff, who missed 20 games this year after getting suspended for PEDs, will make his series debut.