It’s been a rough couple months for the Anaheim Ducks and now the team will have to play without their top goaltender.
John Gibson was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with what head coach and general manager Bob Murray is calling a head/back/neck injury. Veteran goalie Chad Johnson, who had been backing up Gibson, was also placed on IR with a head injury.
In Gibson’s place, Kevin Boyle will make his first career NHL start against the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday. Veteran Ryan Miller, who hasn’t played since early December with a knee injury, will serve as his backup.
The Ducks got off to a hot start to the season, led by Gibson and his Vezina Trophy-calibre performance, but have taken a nose-dive in the standings since mid-December. The team enters play Wednesday tied for last in the Western Conference with 51 points and have gone 2-15-4 since Dec. 18.
Wednesday will mark Murray’s first game behind the bench of the team he’s been GM of since 2008 after he fired head coach Randy Carlyle on Sunday.
Gibson suffered his injury when teammate Jaycob Megna ran into him during a loss to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 7. The collision forced Gibson to leave the game and he was unavailable for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Johnson started that game, a 6-2 loss, and Boyle took over to begin the second period for his first appearance in the NHL.
In 46 games this season, Gibson has a 17-19-8 record with a 2.93 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. In 30 games for AHL San Diego this season, Boyle has a 19-7-1 record, 2.72 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.