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Have a wonderful day. *hugs* :)
*hugs Tammy tightly*
Jigga spam, thanks to OC Register.
Who is that masked man?
By MARCIA C. SMITH
The Orange County Register
ANAHEIM – Microphones and tape recorders bobbed around Anaheim Mighty Duck goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Tuesday while the television cameras' bright lights forced his tired green eyes to squint.
Questions about his life, his childhood idols, his bushy playoff beard and his team's remarkable success besieged the newly anointed hockey hero. He smiled bashfully and handled the attention as masterfully as he would a 100-mph slapshot.
As the decade-old Ducks reach their first National Hockey League Western Conference finals, the quiet, good-natured Giguere has emerged as the club's clunky-clothed savior.
A virtual unknown before the postseason, Giguere and his hold-your-breath saves and spectacular shutouts have become the story of the playoffs.
"I'm trying to make my first playoffs fun and enjoyable, win or lose, because at the end of the day, I'll be a better player after the experience," said Giguere, who leads his team into Game 3 tonight against the Minnesota Wild at The Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series, 2-0, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals to play for hockey's Holy Grail.
Giguere, who turns 26 on Friday, has turned away the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, stonewalled the top-seeded Dallas Stars and twice shut out the Wild to earn a 10-2 postseason record. He has put body, mask, glove and stick in front of 436 of 455 shots for a playoff-best .956 save percentage.
Surprised? Not if you've been watching the French Canadian goaltender since his days in Montreal's pee-wee leagues, copying Hall of Fame-bound goaltender Patrick Roy and growing into the player who'd bring the Ducks their greatest success.
"Sebast must've be 15 or 16 when I told him, 'You're going to be in the NHL one day,'" recalled Stephane, 35, Giguere's oldest brother.
"Sebast said to me, 'Maybe. We'll see.' We've seen it now."
A LEGACY CHILD
Growing up in near Montreal, his two brothers and two sisters affectionately called Jean-Sebastien, "Ti cul," French for "little bottom."
He was the youngest child of Claude Giguere, a prison warden, and Gisele, a school shuttle driver. He was, Stephane said, "the one we all protected."
Stephane took young "Sebast" to his junior-league games. "Other 7-year-olds ran around and played during the games but Sebast was quiet. He watched the whole thing, like he was studying it," Stephane said.
Jean-Sebastien was 12 when his pee-wee team practiced with the Montreal Canadiens and he wound up going home with Roy's game-used stick.
Giguere copied Roy's trademark butterfly style, dropping to his knees and stretching legs to his sides to block shots.
"I went to hockey school where they teach us what he (Roy) does and tried to be like him," said Giguere, who played with Roy's stick and taped it up each time it broke.
Soon, the cost of hockey, particularly goalie equipment, grew expensive, forcing Claude to asked his son, "Do you still want to play?"
The son answered yes, so the father went to the bank to mortgage the family's three-bedroom, two-story home.
"It wasn't just because Sebast was good," Stephane said. "My father wanted his children to get the same opportunities to succeed."
Claude Giguere took Jean-Sebastien everywhere, watching from the stands in pee-wee rinks to the 10,000-seat icebox that was home to Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"He was the worst to shoot against," said an amused Derrick Tyke, Giguere's Halifax teammate from 1994-1996. "First, it was nearly impossible to score on him. And second, if you scored on him, he'd shoot the puck back at you so fast, you took cover."
Another teammate was center Marc Chouinard, who would later welcome Giguere to the Ducks and knew "Jiggy hated pucks in his net, so he emptied it right away."
"You practice like to play," said Chouinard, "and that showed me from the start that he was going a long way."
Giguere was an NHL first-round selection (13th overall) by Hartford in 1995, then traded to Calgary in 1997 and to the Ducks in 2000.
Giguere and Chouinard had a saying in junior hockey about the balance between their work and their off-ice lives: "You have a tie on when you're on the ice."
"He never became one of those eccentric goalies in a bubble," said Chouinard, Giguere's closest friend on the Ducks. "Jiggy is a laid-back guy who knows when it's time to relax and enjoy life."
Giguere lives in Irvine. He has a Labrador. He's engaged to be married in June and got fitted, along with groomsman Chouinard, for a tuxedo on a Vancouver road trip.
He listens to Pearl Jam. He plays golf - "terribly, which is why it's so fun to play with him," offered Chouinard. He plays spades with teammates on the plane.
"He's a competitor in everything he does," Chouinard said. "For my birthday, he gave me a bottle of wine and a card signed 'Jiggy, Card Champion.'"
Chouinard fell into laughter, then peered at Giguere's empty locker two spaces down, just below the 2x3-foot framed photograph of the Stanley Cup everyone wants.
That became clear to Ducks goaltending consultant Francois Allaire in the second overtime of Game 1 in the first round against the Red Wings.
Luc Robitaille's shot hit the crossbar and bounced out. He threw his arms up in celebration but Giguere rose to wave off the score, shout "No Goal" and urge the review that ultimately nullified the score.
"Here was a guy in his first playoffs, with 20,000 people yelling at him and Detroit thinking the game's over and there's the goalie, unwilling to surrender," Allaire said.
"For coaches and players to see that was an inspiration. It was a turning point for Giguere."
Watching on television was former Ducks goalie Guy Hebert, who toiled in the team's less successful past: "He's not making any mistakes. He is conserving energy, staying technically simple and not letting in any bad goals."
Now, two victories from the Stanley Cup Finals, Giguere stands strong behind his team, seeing the game through the steel cage of his mask and bracing for the excitement.
Gah, so much great info about Little Bottom, and just really eerie how so much of it fits in with what I was writing. Except that it looks like Chouinard wiggles his way in. Oh dude! I just realized that I randomly picked Chouinard to be the one to ... *shrieks* Ahh! Damn it, I'm talking to myself. Grr. Back to sleep.