Of all of the impressive performances at the Winter Olympics, Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller proved just how good a player he is going to be for the Anaheim Ducks as he came ever so close to guiding the minnows to an unlikely semi-final place.
Hiller stood on his head in making 42 saves in their quarter-final defeat at the hands of the United States, conceding just one goal to Zach Parise early in the third period as the Swiss, one of the outsiders for the tournament, eventually only succumbed 2-0 to a late empty-netter.
The Ducks netminder came into the season in competition with Jean-Sebastien Giguere for playing time in Anaheim, and despite some poor results for the team he soon saw off his competitor, who was eventually traded to Toronto.
Indeed the only problem he may have over the rest of the season is tiredness, since he has already matched his career high in playing 46 games in the NHL this season, and with only Vesa Toskala as his backup now, you can expect him to play the vast majority of their remaining games as they seek a playoff place.
Sadly for Switzerland, who also surprisingly (as far as NHL Predictions go) made it to the quarter-finals in Turin in 2006 as well, their offensive stars could not match Hiller’s performances as they totalled only 11 goals during the whole tournament.
But with only one defenseman – Mark Streit – even playing in the NHL it really comes as no surprise that they had to leave it to Hiller to get them so close to what would have been another Miracle On Ice.
When he gets back to Orange County, Hiller will be focusing on his part in raising Anaheim from their current 11th place in the Western Conference and into the top eight where most would have expected them to be at the start of the season.
The good news comes with their recent form, as the Ducks have shifted themselves up from next-to-last in the Conference at one point to now just two points back of Calgary as they prepare for the restart of games on Wednesday.
Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry were all showing signs of hitting top form before the Olympic break and with the trade deadline to possibly add to their ammunition as well, NHL Betting believes it could be an exciting end to the season for Ducks fans who had been giving up on their hopes only a couple of short months ago.