As a hockey fan one of the best experiences to witness is a shut out; having your team hold the other scoreless is awe-inspiring. As a Ducks fan it was a great way to watch a goalie that is considered the best over prospect in the NHL win his first game in the NHL. Then to watch him do it again in his first playoff appearance is even more spectacular. That being said, if you take the stats from those two games SA (Shots Against) and Blk (Blocked Shots) then compare them to the three wins where a goal was score and the two losses, there is an interesting coincidence.
Let me first stat I am not a Gibson hater (as seen with many Ducks fans being tagged as Hiller haters.) I’m strictly basing my opinion on stats and game observation. I believe John Gibson is a future starter and as a matter of fact a grade-A starter in the NHL. I am however a little hesitant to tag him as the next starting goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks. Take the two shutouts for example the stats I was referring to at the beginning SA and Blk, Those two games combined result in SA of 46 and Blk of 47. The defense stepped up and stood tall in front of their goalie, now for reference those two games were Gibson’s first games in both the regular season and the playoffs.
As for the three games with goals allowed; the SA stood at 104 with a total of 111 given the 7 goals, the Blk drops to a staggering 51 that’s less than 50% of the shot total. Now to look at the two losses, here is where I’m going to break it down a little more. The two games combined SA of 35 with a total of 41 given the 6 goals, with the Blk at 27.
Now this is where I have to break it down a bit; being that Gibson was pulled just over the two minute mark of the second period of his second loss, his SA of 35 and 6 goals (=41) only accounts for 82 minutes TOI (Time On Ice) whereas the teams Blk of 27 accounts for 120 minutes TOI. In game 7 of the second round (His second loss) Gibson saw 18 shots allowing 4 goals in 22:02 TOI, but the team only had 11 Blk over the course of 60 TOI. It’s safe to assume that the team only blocked about half of those 11 shots prior to Gibson being pulled in the second period. From the Stats alone I believe Gibson needs an extremely strong defense in front of him.
As for my Game observations, I find that Gibson is a positional goaltender, he has trouble moving laterally which makes it difficult for him to pick up passes and the ever so popular one timer. Gibson needs to stand tall in front of the shots to make the save, which can be difficult with the speed the NHL moves. He’s a big man already standing 6’3” 210Lbs but he needs to find a way to make himself bigger. Gibson needs a defense that can stand in front of him game after game and right now the team needs a goaltender that can make the big saves behind an average defense. With hope the two can meet in the middle over the off season and through training camp.