Giguere helps keep Ducks alive in West finals

Updated: May 22, 2007, 3:55 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

ANAHEIM -- Poor, underappreciated Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

One game away from the Stanley Cup finals and rarely has a kind word been spoken about the Ducks' netminder, who has been almost unbeatable throughout the postseason.

Well, at least that's the view from Anaheim.

Goaltender
Anaheim Ducks

Profile
2007 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L T SV% GAA
56 36 10 0 .918 2.26

Asked why Giguere has been overshadowed by other netminders such as Dominik Hasek and Roberto Luongo, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, taking a page from the Chris Pronger school of media relations, blamed the media.

"It surprises me that you put him there," Carlyle said. "It's not us that puts him there. You're the media, you're the ones reporting it. That's what surprises me."

For his part, Giguere seemed nonplussed about the great media affront to his skills.

"I don't really care, to be honest," he said. "Dominik is 42 years old. I would talk about him, too, if I had to. It's pretty impressive what he's doing at his age. You've got to give a guy like that a lot of respect. And those [other] guys are in big hockey markets. It's normal they'll be talked about more. That's fine by me."

Giguere has, of course, been splendid this spring. He has a 1.78 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. He also remains a rock in overtime, when he has a 12-1 lifetime postseason record, the best run to start an NHL playoff career.

"We've always asked our goaltenders, and I don't think we're any different than any other group, to give you a chance," Carlyle said. "And, some nights, he's required to be more of an outstanding individual than other nights.

"And I think the whole thing about this is that he hasn't made too many mistakes. He's played solid. We've given up some prime chances where he's been in position."

As far as the overtime record, Carlyle said Giguere has risen to one of the game's most difficult challenges.

"It's a mark that the individual has been able to rise to the occasion and raise the level of his game in intense situations," Carlyle said. "It's not a lot of fun where you're playing overtime and the one shot can beat you. He's the last line of defense and it takes a lot of courage and a lot of resiliency and a lot of confidence in his style and the way he plays."

Giguere did not start the first four games of the playoffs while tending to his infant son, who was born with an eye deformity on the eve of the playoffs. He spoke Monday about how the trauma has reinforced his perspective on family.

"I always felt that my family was more important than anything," Giguere said. "But even having a kid that is only a few days old has already -- it puts into perspective that losing a hockey game is not that big a deal after all. You definitely don't lose sleep over it. Or you shouldn't lose sleep over it. I lost sleep over my son, but hockey is just not that important when you see that."

Maxime Giguere was born April 4 and has no sight in his right eye, which is undersized and may need corrective surgery.

"He's doing great," Giguere said. "His eye right now is really small, so the surgery that they can do will try to make his eye bigger and to a normal size. From then, they've got to go in, see if they can give him some kind of vision.

"So, the good thing is, that his left eye is totally good. Everything is absolutely 100 percent normal. And that's a big relief.

"We've ruled out any kind of tumor or anything like that. So, he's as healthy as he can be. Except for his eye, which is, it's going to be a little bit of a challenge for him in his life. He should be able to have a normal life just like anybody else."

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.

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