Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson couldn't relieve Jonathan Bernier in net against the Calgary Flames on Sunday because he was too busy relieving himself.
His bowels were not cringing at the fear of entering a game that his team clearly wanted no part of, though. He apparently had the flu. And with that came a Harry Dunn-like battle with the toilet, as Gibson was unable to play due to a case of diarrhea.
Because of the weird, yet oh-so-natural circumstances surrounding Gibson, Bernier was forced to stay in net for the entire blowout loss that would, on any other night, have prompted a swift removal from the game by his coach. With an exceptional choice of words after the game (although not yet confirmed whether said pun was intended or not), Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle insisted that there was no malicious intent on his part while leaving Bernier in for all eight goals—including five in the second period.
"What we tried to do is try to flush what happened, we tried to play a period that we can get ourselves in a preparation mode for our next one," said Carlyle.
"We had to leave Bernier in the net because (John) Gibson had diarrhea and had the flu all day. It kind of left him hanging high and dry. We wouldn't normally have never done that to him, but in these situations you can't put people who are sick into the net."
Usually, when a goaltender is having an off night, the starter will get pulled to salvage his confidence and try to shake up the team. However, when your backup is physically unable to go because he is shitting himself (lower-body injury?), a coach is quite limited in his options.
Carlyle told reporters that Matt Stajan's fourth goal in the second period would have spelled the end for Bernier on a regular night, but this was far from one of those.
Gibson is 8-7-4 in 19 games this season, posting a 2.45 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Bernier, who was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason, is 4-2-1 with a .906 save percentage as the Ducks currently sit third in the Pacific Division.
After a rough night for their goaltenders in an 8-3 shellacking to Calgary—where one allowed a career-high eight goals on 25 shots, and the other was unable to get off the toilet—Bernier, Gibson and the Ducks will indeed be trying to flush away what happened on Sunday.