Carlyle said he would have no hesitation in playing Hiller, who improved throughout the season and finished with a 10-7-1 record and an impressive 2.06 goals-against average. "We feel that Jonas can go in and provide us with the level of goaltending that's required to have success," Carlyle said. "He's proven to us he's done it." - Los Angeles Times
According to the Los Angeles Times Online, with impending doom on the horizon for the Anaheim Ducks, Coach Randy Carlyle is considering starting Jonas Hiller over Jean Sebastian Giguere. The 26-year-old Hiller, in his first year with the Ducks and the NHL, posted a ten-win, seven-loss record appearing in twenty-three games. He had a 2.06 GAA (goals against average) and a .927 save percentage.
The biggest question for Carlyle is, does Hiller have the maturity to handle such a game? Clearly, starting Giguere at this point is a giant gamble anyway, so it might be better to give the rookie some playoff experience. At the end of the day the goalie in the net may not matter. The problem for the Ducks is not merely defense or goaltending; it's both. When one looks strong, the other fails and vice versa.
Regardless of the netminder, the Ducks defense must protect him. Otherwise, Game 5 will fall to the Stars and the series will be over. If the Ducks have lost all faith in Giguere, they must change it up in net. If they make a poor decision regarding the goaltender, they may be simply tossing the rookie Hiller into the fire known as the Dallas Stars.
Game 5 between Dallas and Anaheim is at 7:30 Pacific on Versus. If Dallas wins, tonight will be the first time in three years the Stars have moved into the second round.