Yesterday, Anaheim Ducks Goalie Dan Ellis was put on the IR with a groin strain, and is expected to miss 4 weeks. To replace him the Ducks called up Iiro Tarkki from Syracuse of the AHL. He didn’t have to wait long to make his NHL debut as Ducks starting goalie Jonas Hiller left yesterdays game against Columbus with 1 minute left of the first period with what is being described as a “lower body injury”. The extent of Hillers injury is still unknown, and he is considered day-to-day. Lucky for Tarkki he made his NHL debut with the Ducks already leading the Bluejackets 4-1. After giving up a goal on the first shot against him by Derrick Brassard on a Columbus power-play. Tarkki went on to save 6 of the final 8 shots against him as the Ducks won 7-4.
How much playing time Tarkki will get for the next 4 weeks will likely have to do with the extent of the injury to Hiller. The Ducks next game is tomorrow at home against Dallas, then they play back to back road games Thursday, and Friday in Calgary and Edmonton. I would assume Tarkki starts at least 1 of those 3 games and perhaps 2, but we won’t know for sure untill we find out the health of Hiller.
It is important to note that although Tarkki did make his debut yesterday he is 26 years old and has a lot of experience in the Finish Elite league including last season where he played 55 games and had a great GAA of 2.09 , and a .924 save percentage. it was those numbers as well as his size of 6’2″ 191 lbs., and his ability to stay calm under pressure that made him one of the best UFA european goalies available this past off-season, before signing with the Ducks. Tarkki has also looked good this season in the AHL with a 2.85 GAA, and a .916 save percentage in 23 games.