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Xs and O's KELLY HRUDEY / STANLEY CUP FINALS NEW JERSEY
VS. MIGHTY DUCKS

Don't Worry About Giguere

June 06, 2003|KELLY HRUDEY

I wouldn't worry about the Ducks' frame of mind as they come back to Anaheim for Game 6, especially for goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. I don't think he will let down one bit mentally.

I think he'll look at the whole night, at pucks going in off his own players' sticks, at a puck going in off a skate, and he'll be able to say it was part of one of those weird nights. One goal went in off the sticks of two of his players. How weird was that?

It's a lot better losing like this, on those weird bounces, than to play the game of your life and lose, 2-1. Then you say, "I did everything I could, played the best I could and I still lost." I would rather lose, 6-3, look at all the bad breaks and be able to throw that one out the window.

As a goalie, you hate to admit luck can be part of the game, but the reality is, luck is sometimes involved.

Did I ever have games like Giguere had Thursday? How many can we count?

No matter how much you talk about weird bounces, however, sometimes it's not so easy to put a game like this behind you, regardless of the circumstances. You're a professional and your attitude is supposed to be to stay the course and continue to play hard, but it can be tough.

Superstitious guys may change their routine, thinking that may change their luck. I used to be like that, but early in my career, when I was still in New York, I threw out all those superstitions. I realized it was silly and I didn't want it to dictate my play. The superstitions were becoming a distraction.

After I taped my sticks before a game, they couldn't be moved. After I gave up the superstitions, if somebody moved my sticks, while it would have really bothered me in the past I didn't mind because I had proved to myself that whatever happened on the ice didn't happen because my sticks had been moved.

We were all surprised by this game. We all said in our heads that every game was going to be 1-0 or 2-1. So to see nine goals in a game of this importance is really surprising. Maybe it makes up for those games where players hit the puck solidly and they couldn't believe it didn't go in.

There were a lot on the bad bounces, but the Devils had a lot to do with Giguere's problems because of their ability to keep a lot of traffic in front of him. There is no question that bothered him. Goaltending is all about positioning and technique, but it doesn't matter how good a goaltender's foundation is if he is blocked out. If he can't see the puck, he can't stop it.

Devil goalie Martin Brodeur had his problems in Game 5, too, especially on the glove side That's been one of the weird things about these finals. To me going in, one of Brodeur's many strengths was the glove side. He would give the opposition a little more room on the glove side because he's such a good athlete that he was confident he could get back there and he prefers making glove saves.

I still don't think it's a weakness for him. It may just be a trend. But if I'm the Ducks, I'm shooting at his glove side the whole time in Game 6.

Looking ahead to Game 6, I think Duck Coach Mike Babcock did the right thing in leaving Giguere in there Thursday after he gave up that sixth goal with around seven minutes to play. Why affect his confidence to even the smallest degree? With so little time left, you were certainly not going to wear Giguere out by leaving him in there.

Now if it had been in the second period and he'd given up six goals, I'd have taken him out.

New Jersey Coach Pat Burns might want to show his players the tape of Game 5 to maintain their intensity, but if I'm Babcock, I would not show the tape. The Ducks need to feel good about themselves. It certainly wouldn't help to rehash something like this. They are in the Stanley Cup finals, they know how to do good things, so, I would tell them, let's focus on that.

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