Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scratches From Anaheim

The Ducks moved one step closer to clinching their playoff spot with a win at home to the Avalanche on Monday and they did it all without their number one goalie and one of their bigger defensemen.

Jonas Hiller and Andy Sutton were held out of the Ducks line-up as scratches, likely for different reasons.  Hiller has struggled with his vertigo and lightheadedness and I would imagine that he isn't terribly fit to even serve as back-up at the moment, while Sutton hasn't been the sharpest of the Ducks defense and he's already seen his fair share of time in the press box this season.

Hiller has only made 49 appearances, thanks to his vertigo symptoms this year, symptoms, which I believe, are being called vertigo to escape the taboo of concussions.  Only three appearances since the 25th of January is making it very hard to believe it is anything else, especially with some extended stints in between appearances.  In his 49 games played, Hiller has a record of 26-16-3 with 5 shutouts and 1 assist for 63 points, currently ranking 43rd in pool scoring before Monday night's action.  Hiller was on track to a top 20 finish in pool scoring before the injury problems occurred and I would be surprised if he got another start before the end of the year.

Sutton has only appeared in 39 games for the Ducks this season, being healthy for the bulk of the season and being a scratch to miss most of his games lost, picking up only 4 assists in the year.  With still one more year on his contract, he'll have to find a new home over the Summer or else I don't think he'll be much of an asset to anyone's pool team in Anaheim.

ImplicationsHiller is the only one of these two that is active in the draft and even if Sutton was taken during the draft, he would have been dropped early for a lack of production anyways.  Hiller belongs to Kristy and Don's team, a team that is currently holding the 2nd place position through Monday night's action.  Their lead was shaved down to 16 points, but they do have some man games available going into Tuesday night's busy time, so I imagine they'll be putting some padding on that lead, even without Hiller.  They have made it this far without their top goalie, why stop now?

A couple of weeks ago, I did include Hiller on the playoff pool sheet, in hopes that he would be better for a playoff run.  That isn't to say he won't be, but the longer he stays out of the Ducks line-up, the more skeptical I become about his condition.  He may be a good goalie to avoid this year.

Link to the Injury/News Page

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