John Gibson is in the NHL history books after recording a shutout again the LA Kings in his playoff debut. Called on after Frederik Anderson went down with an injury, the 20-year-old Gibson had just three NHL games to his name heading into Game 4 against the Kings. It was a bold decision by coach Bruce Boudreau, but it’s one which paid off as Gibson stopped 28 shots in an impressive debut.
Gibson’s performance was a historic one:
Gibson is the youngest goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) May 11, 2014
It wasn’t surprising to see the Ducks call on Gibson after Anderson’s injury, but it certainly was a shock to see him get the start over Jonas Hiller. Trailing the series by a score of two games to one, the Ducks needed a result in Game 4 and took a big risk in starting an unproven youngster.
What would the Ducks have done had Gibson faltered? Boudreau told NHL.com:
“If he didn’t pass the test, then we could come right back with [Hiller] on Monday.”
With that in mind, it seems like Boudreau and the Ducks weren’t worried about that happening. Gibson was called on to start an important game against the San Jose Sharks in April which had Pacific Division title implications. Gibson passed that test with a cool resolve which gave Boudreau faith he could handle a larger, more important start in the playoffs.
Gibson’s story is already an impressive one, but how long will this feel-good story last?