Veteran Anaheim Ducks Jonas Hiller gradually rounded into form during the lockout-shortened season.
His goals-against average during the first two months of the season were 3.43 and 3.23. His turnaround came in March, when he played in 13 games and started 12 of them.
Hiller’s GAAs for the last two months were 1.95 and 1.94. His save percentages those months were .926 and .931.
So coach Bruce Boudreau selected Hiller to start Game 1 of the playoffs over import Viktor Fasth, who carried the netminding load during the season’s first half and played a primary role in April as well.
Boudreau used goaltending tag teams during his earlier stint in Washington, where he hand Olaf Kolzig and Critobal Huet, Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth and Varlamov.
“I’ve had two guys,” Boudreau told the LA Times. “Like in Washington, we had Neuvirth and Varlamov when they were rookies and they both played the same equal amount. You didn’t know who you were going to start.
“The first year we had Kolzig and Cristobal Huet, very similar situation, and then we had Theodore and Varlamov where I did switch and go to the first-year player after two games. Unfortunately, the teams I’ve coached, or fortunately, have had two good goalies and no real clear-cut (No. 1).”