If you’re a fan of the Anaheim Ducks, John Gibson is giving you a reason to get excited in the face of the NHL lockout.
The 2011 second-rounder (39th overall) led the Ontario League with a .928 save percentage last season and is on the same track in 2012-13. Despite the fact his Kitchener Rangers have yet to score an even-strength goal and eight of their 10 tallies have been put up by either Matt Puempel or Radek Faksa, Gibson holds a perfect 3-0 record.
His only start last week was on the road against London, in a game that pitted the OHL’s top two teams against one another. Gibson faced 43 shots, turned away 42 of them and is the No. 1 reason Kitchener surpassed the Knights in this week’s ranking.
With a .969 SP and 0.97 goals-against average, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound 19-year-old has been a stud so far and, judging by his history, there is little reason to expect him to stall.
Here is this week's ranking, based off the weekly top 10 from the CHL.
One of only two undefeated teams left in all of major junior (the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, who hold a 3-0 record, is the other), the Remparts had little trouble with Sherbrooke and Val-d'Or, two of the Quebec League’s bottom-dwellers. Their big game of the week was in Chicoutimi, where the Remparts earned a narrow 2-1 win. This week, Quebec faces Victoriaville and two teams that haven't yet lost in regulation: Rimouski and Blainville-Boisbriand (No. 5 on this list).
Edmonton Oil Kings
Came out on the wrong end of a 4-1 decision against division-rival Calgary (who also appears on this list). Edmonton's power play is second worst in the Western League, but the return of overager Dylan Wruck from injury should help spark special teams.
The Rangers started the week with a 4-2 loss in Windsor as backup Franky Palazzese took the ‘L.’ But the big game was against London, which Kitchener beat 2-1 on the road, despite being outshot 43-27.
It wasn't a good week for the Knights, who managed only two goals in two home losses. London faces a stiff test against Windsor, albeit at home, this week, and should pick up an easy two points Saturday in Erie.
The only hiccup for the Armada was a wild 5-4 shootout loss to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, in which backup Jeffrey Noonan continued his struggles (3.65 GAA, .810 SP). The Armada have a tough game Thanksgiving Sunday when they head home for a showdown with the Remparts.
The Blazers earned three points in two weekend road games against division rival Victoria and held the Royals to nine shots in the final two periods of Sunday's 3-0 win. Draft eligible Cole Ully (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) scored three goals in the two games. He tallied nine all of last season.
Potential No. 1 NHL pick Nathan MacKinnon managed one goal and two assists in three games last week, which included a head-scratching 6-1 loss to lowly Gatineau. This week, the Mooseheads have a home-and-home with the Saint John Sea Dogs, who are off to a better start than expected (4-1-0).
Back-to-back home games against Kelowna last week resulted in two points, which would have been at least three if the Rockets didn't score Saturday's game-winner in the final minute of regulation. The Winterhawks leading scorer, draft eligible Nicolas Petan (5-foot-9, 166 pounds), has nine points in five games, but logged only one point last week.
Neither of Oshawa's opponents last week - Brampton and Belleville - are off to great starts, but both ranked in the OHL's top five of THN's major junior preview. Boone Jenner (Columbus 2011 second-rounder) continues to dominate, leading the OHL in scoring with seven goals and 12 points through five games.
The Hitmen received a passing grade in their first big test of the season, earning a tight win over the Oil Kings. But after taking a 2-0 first period lead on Red Deer at home, Calgary dropped a 3-2 decision, where a Zane Jones goaltender interference penalty tipped the scales in overtime.