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Pro Hockey | DUCK REPORT

Goalie Coach Keeps Giguere Sharp

November 19, 2001|Chris Foster

TAMPA, Fla. — Lost among the Mighty Duck losses has been the play of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Two previous teams, Hartford (now Carolina) and Calgary, coveted him. Both gave up on him. But the Ducks had the one thing necessary to turn Giguere's potential into reality, goalie consultant Francois Allaire.

Giguere's .925 save percentage ranks him ninth among NHL goalies who have played at least 10 games. His 2.10 goals-against average is 11th, despite the Ducks' most recent tailspin, a six-game winless streak, three short of the franchise record. Giguere is 0-3-1-0 in his last four starts, but the Ducks have scored five goals in those games.

"I think we have to work hard for 60 minutes and I don't think we've done that the last two games," Giguere said of the Duck loses to Columbus and Washington that opened a six-game trip.

Giguere, 24, certainly has put in his hard time. He stopped two breakaways against Columbus and gave up one even-strength goal against Washington. He said his improvement the last two seasons is due greatly to Allaire, whose goalie camps Giguere attended while growing up in a suburb of Montreal.

"I went to his camps from the time I was 10 until I was 16," Giguere said. "If you were a goalie, you wanted to be with Francois.

"The way he wants you to work is to keep everything very simple, very basic. Do the same thing and be repetitive. When you don't think so much and just react, it makes your game more efficient."

The reunion has been a boon for the Ducks. Giguere was 7-5-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in the last 15 games of the Ducks' lost season in 2000-01.

Giguere's last year in Allaire's camp was in 1993-94, which was his first and only season with Verdun in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was drafted in the first round (13th overall) by Hartford in 1994-95.

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