Hmm, he's not playing today, but I like the JS spam. :)
Unmasking The Marvel
5/15/2003 Doug Ward | mightyducks.com
The days of anonymously getting lost behind a mask are over for Ducks’ goaltender J.S. Giguere.
The moment Giguere emerged from a goal mouth scrum, holding the puck in his blocking glove, mask dislodged, a look of invincibility in his eyes to match the look of frustration on the Red Wings, Giguere was no longer faceless.
Reputations are forged in the post-season and, from that moment on, Giguere became the most sought after player in the NHL. Clusters of reporters hung on his every word in post-game interviews. ESPN came calling, with studio host John Saunders asking if the Ducks could win the Stanley Cup. For the first time ever, people even began recognizing Giguere at the local dog park, where he likes to take his six-month old labrador, Henry.
Though his life has changed suddenly, Giguere is still the same. Originally drafted by Hartford, Giguere came to Anaheim through Calgary but harbors no bitterness toward the teams that cast him loose.
“It wasn’t always the best situation for me,” Giguere said, “but I’m glad it happened. It was a great learning experience for me and everything I went through helped me become a better goaltender.”
Looking back, Giguere said his NHL success came down to maturity and preparation.
“In Calgary, I wasn’t ready,” he admitted.
When he pulled on a Ducks sweater, Giguere began to get the feeling his time had come.
“When they finally called me up here in Anaheim, I felt much better, much more comfortable,” he said. “When they finally told me I was here to stay and they told me to get a place, that was a big thing for a young guy in the NHL.”
Late in the 2000-2001 season, the Ducks released Guy Hebert, the only starting goaltender the organization had ever known. The message was clear: the future belonged to Giguere.
“When they released Guy Hebert,” Giguere said, “that was a pretty big thing for me. I was excited. That meant they wanted to go with me and give me a chance to play that season.”
Since then, Giguere has been a mainstay in goal. Earlier this season, he had an incredible shutout streak of 237 minutes and seven seconds and finished the year with eight shutouts. The Ducks missed the playoffs in each of his first two seasons in Anaheim, but Giguere figured if he could elevate his game, the rest of the team would follow his lead. He was right.
“The last two years before this season,”Giguere said, “things were not very good for the team, but I tried to make it as good for me as possible. That way, once the team got to where it should be at, then I’d be ready. My approach was always to get ready for when the team is going to be ready.”
Everyone is progressing at the same pace now. Giguere gets most of the credit for the Ducks’ first round sweep of Detroit, but he is careful to share the kudos.
“Our whole team played very well defensively,” Giguere said. “I’m sure that was tough on Detroit because they were playing a very good defensive team. There was not a lot of room for them in the neutral zone and they couldn’t get their skating game going.”
Giguere knows the experience he and his teammates gained against Detroit can only help the team as it moves forward in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“We have four games of experience in the playoffs now and that can only help us,” Giguere said.
They also have a hot goaltender, one that’s gaining experience and confidence with every game. J.S. Giguere has the talent to take the Ducks on a long ride. Like Giguere himself, that’s a fact that can no longer be masked.
Bah, why is his dog called Henry? Allie's name was so much better. Lilas. *grumble* And why are they talking about his dog when I just wrote about it? This is getting kind of creepy, but in a good way.
Sens/Devils in an hour! *hops excitedly* I'm really relieved that Brodeur fucked his wife's brother's wife, rather than his wife's sister. That disturbed me a bit.