ANAHEIM, CA –
Two definitive outcomes were at stake when the Ducks headed into Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Nashville at an amped-up, yellow-clad Bridgestone Arena. There was no ambiguity. Nothing left inconclusive.
Win and have the right to play for the Stanley Cup. Lose and the season is over in a blink, another Cup dream dashed. This is the kind of game John Gibson wants on his shoulders. To have everything you work for on the line and the pressure that comes with that.
And yet when Gibson went through that Monday morning in a city bent on having a high-wattage celebration, the Ducks’ goalie was faced with a decision that wasn’t so clear. A decision he wished he didn’t have to make but was forced to when his body wouldn’t cooperate.
As a tender hamstring that forced him out of Game 5 continued to bark at him, Gibson was left with a choice. Playing at all costs might look heroic but what if that backfired and cost the team?