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Hebert No. 1, Then There's the Rest

September 12, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Picking a starting goaltender apparently is a no-brainer for Coach Pierre Page.

"Guy Hebert is still the No. 1," Page said after practice Thursday. And that means Mikhail Shtalenkov will remain in his familiar role as Hebert's backup.

But the Ducks intend to give Hebert more rest this season because the NHL schedule has been compressed to allow for the two-week Olympic break in February. Page hopes to draw up a tentative schedule with goaltending consultant Francois Allaire that will allow Shtalenkov to start as many as 30 games.

Hebert had 29 victories in 67 games--both career highs--but suffered from fatigue at the end of the regular season and was sidelined by a groin injury for the final two games of the Western Conference semifinals against Detroit.

Shtalenkov played 24 games and earned praise for spelling Hebert late in the season and in the playoffs.


Enforcer Shawn Antoski played only two games for the Ducks last season and was sidelined more than half the season by a hernia, but he's moving at eye-catching speed after two days of training camp.

"I told him, 'I didn't know you could skate that well,' " Page said of Antoski, who has only two goals but 581 penalty minutes in 174 career games. "It's tough to find big, tough guys who can skate like that. "

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