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Carlyle plays coy, but Gibson looks to be Game 1 starter

Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Duck tends goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 12, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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John Gibson was first off at Thursday’s morning skate, and appears to be the Ducks’ No. 1 goalie as they open their series against the Flames.

Just don’t ask head coach Randy Carlyle to confirm it.

“Did I make that decision?” Carlyle said during today’s media availability, when asked about the choice to go with Gibson. “I didn’t make any decision on who’s going to play in net tonight. You guys, obviously, can surmise, and I know how much you like to have your input to what goes on.
Watch Ducks vs. Flames on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

“We think that we have both [Jonathan] Bernier and Gibson at our disposal.”

Anaheim’s starting goalie debate has been going on for the last six weeks. After Gibson missed significant time in March with an injury, Carlyle classified his netminding scenario as a “1A and 1B” situation. Bernier catapulted himself into contention with a brilliant month of March, going 10-1-2 with a .941 save percentage.

Gibson, meanwhile, only made one appearance over a 14-game stretch due to a lingering lower-body ailment.

But then the calendar turned to April, and Gibson returned to health. He’s started three games month and looked terrific, stopping 97 of 101 shots for a .960 save percentage.

He also had some things to say about the playoff starter debate.

“I didn’t forget how to play, right?” Gibson said, per the O.C. Register. “Just had an injury.”

When asked if he felt there was competition with Bernier to be the Game 1 starter, Gibson re-iterated his point.

“You’d have to ask Randy what he thinks,” he explained. “I’ve been here for the whole year. I got hurt for a month.”

Give the reporters credit. They tried to ask Randy what he thinks.