Last week, we addressed the Ducks’ simmering goalie controversy — the one in which Jonathan Bernier‘s play, teamed with John Gibson‘s injury, led to the annual “who’s your playoff starter?” conversation.
At the time, Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle classified it as a “1A and 1B” situation. Bernier catapulted himself into contention with a brilliant month of March, going 10-1-2 with a .941 save percentage.
Gibson, meanwhile, only made one appearance over a 14-game stretch due to a lingering lower-body ailment.
But then the calendar turned to April, and Gibson returned to health. He’s started two of three games this month and looked terrific, stopping 60 of 64 shots for a .938 save percentage.
He also had some things to say about the playoff starter debate.
“I didn’t forget how to play, right?” Gibson said, per the O.C. Register. “Just had an injury.”
When asked if he felt there was competition with Bernier to be the Game 1 starter, Gibson re-iterated his point.
“You’d have to ask Randy what he thinks,” he explained. “I’ve been here for the whole year. I got hurt for a month.”
Logic suggests Gibson will be the guy. It certainly appears to be trending that way. The Ducks are giving him a second consecutive nod tonight against Chicago, in a relatively important game — they can clinch top spot in the Pacific with a win and an Edmonton loss in San Jose.
If Gibson shows well again, it’ll silence any doubts about his readiness or rust accumulation.
But Bernier’s emergence over the last few weeks will make things intriguing, regardless of who opens as starter. Remember, Gibson was anointed Anaheim’s No. 1 in last year’s opening-round series against Nashville, only to lose that gig to Frederik Andersen after Game 2.