In all this Western Conference hype, one team seems to have been forgotten: the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks have a 9-2-1 record, currently lead the Pacific Division, and sit right behind Chicago, the team they beat 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night, in league points. Anaheim is off to their best start since the 2006-07 season, which for them, ended with the Stanley Cup.
As the Anaheim story finally begins to emerge, one name, Viktor Fasth, is especially prevalent.
When the Ducks signed Fasth to a one-year, $1 million contract last May, they were really just signing a backup goalie for Jonas Hiller.
In fact, on January 26th, when the 30-year-old netminder made his NHL debut, the nameplate above his locker was even spelled incorrectly. Fasth, however, quickly established himself, helping Anaheim to take home the win that night against Nashville in a shootout.
Few had heard Fasth's name before this season. Fasth was Swedish Elite League's goalie of the year the past two seasons. Yet, he has been a surprise to almost everyone, including Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau.
"You mean that he's 30 and he played in Sweden and no one ever heard of him? That's probably the best part," Boudreau said to the Chicago Daily Herald. "That includes me. To start the season, I didn't even know what we had."
In his six NHL starts, so far, Fasth has taken home six wins. He currently has a 1.74 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage. He's a "rookie" and a backup goalie, but he is certainly turning heads.
Anaheim's No. 1 goalie, Jonas Hiller, is currently on injury reserve, but he isn't going anywhere. For now, Boudreau plans on using both goalies for the remainder of the season -- but Hiller better watch out: Fasth is on the fast track.