Wild West: Low-Owned Ducks Who Can Help; Anaheim Goaltending Situation

Kevin Wickersham


Anaheim Ducks: Miller Time?


By Kevin Wickersham


Note: all ownership totals pertain to Fantrax leagues


Part of a four-way logjam with Colorado, Los Angeles and Minnesota for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference as the All Star Game break winds down, Anaheim has survived their ridiculous spate of early injuries in decent shape.


Just when all seemed relatively repaired and in order for a playoff push, John Gibson’s injury suffered Thursday night when Blake Wheeler lost his edge and plowed into the netminder’s legs has the Ducks sweating again. While Patrick Eaves, counted on as a major player in the Anaheim offense, has missed all but two contests thus far with Guillain-Barré syndrome, the remainder of the primary crew is back.


It shouldn’t be a surprise given his role with the franchise, but Ryan Getzlaf leads the club with 25 assists and is second in points with 31 in 26 games, slightly less than half the 50 Anaheim has logged thus far. Before his December 11 return the Ducks’ record stood at 12-11-7, ever since Anaheim is 12-6-2. Given a shorter time span, with Ryan Kesler back in the fold beginning December 27, they’ve maintained the same pace with an 8-4-1 record. So they’re catching fire as we near the schedule’s final third.


In addition to providing a reliable option for Gibson’s rest days, Ryan Miller was signed with an eye toward their young number one’s past injury problems. It appears we will now get to see if that works out, perhaps for an extended period of time. Jonathan Bernier excelled in that role last year, as he has in Colorado during Semyon Varlamov’s recent absence.


Miller has performed admirably in limited action this year and presents potentially good value should Gibson’s injury keep him out of the net for a good while. With a .929 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against to go with a 6-2-4 record in 14 appearances, the now 37-year-old legend may have to test his stamina with regular playing time.


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