Ryan Miller’s immense importance to the Anaheim Ducks

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Ryan Miller (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Ryan Miller (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

In his first season as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Miller has given his new team a dependable goalie to spell starter John Gibson.  He has gone 6-2-4 in 14 games and a 2.14 GAA.

After a heart-wrenching loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators last year, Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray knew that acquiring a dependable back-up goaltender was a priority in the off-season.

Starter John Gibson is a top goalie option when healthy; however, he has battled injuries throughout his young career.  In the decisive win-or-go-home Game 6 against the Predators last year, the Ducks had to rely on back-up Jonathan Bernier to push for a Game 7 because of a lower-body injury to John Gibson.

Bernier had just a .750 save percentage in the game which the Ducks ultimately lost 6-3.  On the first day of free-agency, Murray signed the former Vezina Trophy Winner Ryan Miller to a two-year deal.  This deal is proving to be one of the most underrated acquisitions during the offseason.

Gibson was hurt with 6:40 remaining in the third period of the Duck’s final game before the All-Star Break when Jets’ captain Blake Wheeler lost an edge and collided with the knee of unsuspecting Gibson.

Miller came in to relieve the starter and earned the rare 0 save victory, although he saved all the shots in the shoot-out.  The Ducks ultimately came out victorious with the 4-3 win, however, Ducks fans nationwide await the announcement regarding the severity of the lower-body injury sustained to John Gibson.

According to Eric Stephens, John Gibson was pictured in practice in Boston ahead of the first game back from the break.  This is a welcome sign for all Ducks fans.

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If Gibson were to miss any time, the Ducks are in good hands with the veteran Ryan Miller.  As the Anaheim Ducks make their push for a playoff spot in the second half of the season, the importance of the tandem in net will not go unnoticed.