John Gibson didn’t hesitate when the motivational question was raised to him the other day.
“I think we’re just going back to the playoffs,” said the duck all-star goalkeeper. “If you ask someone here, I want to playoffs and create opportunities. I think I’m used to the playoffs. We’ve been there for years, but obviously not in the last few years. did.
“That’s the motive.”
The chances of the ducks returning to the playoffs could rest on Gibson’s wide shoulders, where the coronavirus is expected to help carry teammates throughout the shortened 56-game season. From the opening round on Thursday, his destiny and their destiny are likely to be linked.
Breaking the top three in the reorganized and renamed West Division can be too difficult for a transitional team like a duck in the midst of a roster overhaul. However, the following five spots, including the fourth and final playoff berths, may be available.
Without a doubt, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights should be considered the top teams in the eight-team division. Next is the duck, Kings, Arizona Coyote, Minnesota Wild, and San Jose Sharks.
So why not a duck?
“We know what happens when we reach the playoffs,” Gibson said. “Anything can happen. I think that’s our goal here. We’ll be one of the four teams in the division to reach the playoffs and see what happens from there.”
Gibson spent a long offseason with his brother and junior penguin teammates near his hometown in Pennsylvania before rejoining his duck teammates at Great Park Ice in Irvine in November. He said he was ready to go.
The signature of free agent Kevin Schattenkirk was designed to strengthen the duck’s defense corps in front of Gibson, and the management and coaching staff demands placed on players such as Sam Steele and Troy Terry. Adjusted to ignite among young forwards.
In most respects, Gibson was a victim of poor play by his teammates last season. After all, he couldn’t save them from themselves. His 20-26-5 record, as well as his goal, was the worst of his career-against an average of 3.00 and a retention rate of .904 in 51 games in 2019-20.
The average and .926 ERA in the last 60 games of 2017-18, when the duck made it to the playoffs, was a big drop from his 31-18-7 record. His total wins, save rates, and appearances were his career record.
“I’m just doing myself, playing my game and helping the team win as many games as possible,” Gibson said of his personal goals for 2020-21. “As long as you play off, you can run. You get into the playoffs and have a chance to play. Who knows what will happen?”
Gibson said he requested additional work and additional ice time during the training camp.
“Because there are no exhibitions … whether it’s practice, before or after, or scrimmage, we need to get to work right now, because we really have everything until the first night with Las Vegas,” he said. “It’s not like the normal season.”
RED WINGS CLAIM DJOOS
The duck exempted nine players on Friday and all but the defensive Christian Juos cleared on Saturday. Detroit Red Wings claimed Djoos and his $ 1 million cap hit this season.
Andrew Agozzino, David Backes, Sam Carrick, Chase De Leo, Vinni Lettieri, Andrew Poturalski, Anthony Stolarz and Andy Welinski all eliminated the sway.