Remember when Jonas Hiller won 14 games in a row and shut out the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium? Remember when he was being chatted up a Vezina candidate and there was no chance in [blank] that he was getting traded at the deadline?
Yeah, good times.
Fast forward to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Anaheim Ducks are deciding between two goalies for Game 1 against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.
Neither of them are named “Jonas Hiller.”
Curtis Zupke of NHL.com reports that all signs point to rookie Freddie Andersen getting the nod for the Ducks against the Dallas Stars.
So what happened to Hiller? Eric Stephens of the OC Register reports (reg. required):
A confluence of factors has pushed the Swiss netminder off to the side. Frederik Andersen's meteoric development -- a 20-5 record and 2.29 goals-against average -- and uber-prospect John Gibson's impressive work in his first three NHL starts have converged with Hiller's game falling off after returning from the Olympics.
Hiller made 18 saves in a shutout of St. Louis for his first post-Sochi start. He has won only three of 10 starts since and his numbers (3.30 goals-against, .881 save percentage) wouldn'y meet the standard of an average NHL goalie.
The thing is Hiller has been better than average and at times has flashed brilliance. Inconsistency has run hand in hand with that and it caught up with him in the season's final few weeks. And now Hiller finds himself doing extra work with Ducks goalie coach Dwayne Roloson while Coach Bruce Boudreau is expected to decide between Andersen and Gibson for Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series against Dallas that begins Wednesday.
Another consideration for Boudreau: Hiller is 1-8 with a .881 save percentage against the Stars over the last three seasons. Which is atrocious.
So it appears it’s Freddie time for the Ducks in Game 1. Boudreau seemed to believe that this was a good problem to have.
"I think we're in a position where we've go three good goalies. I don't think I can screw it up too bad, whoever I choose," he said.