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Accusations Amuse Babcock

May 13, 2003|From Staff Reports

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Mighty Duck Coach Mike Babcock's eyes darted back and forth at his morning news conference, he smirked, and asked his own question.

"Doesn't anyone want to ask me about [Jean-Sebastien] Giguere's pads?" Babcock said.

A reporter did, asking jokingly, "aren't they getting bigger?"

"They are huge," Babcock said. "The better he plays, the bigger they get. It's an amazing thing."

Babcock and the Ducks have not lost their sense of humor about the recurring accusations about whether Giguere's pads are legal. Minnesota's Antti Laaksonen raised the point after Giguere shut out the Wild, 1-0, in Game 1 Saturday. The Wild's Cliff Ronning suggested that Giguere's pads should be checked by NHL officials.

Babcock was ready with his own list of things that needed to be checked.

"This is what I heard, their net is smaller than ours," Babcock said, with just a hint of sarcasm. "When the period ends, they switch the nets to the other end. They got a remote and when we get it going, they hit the button and the rink tilts their way. They also have a remote and when the momentum shifts, they hit it and one of the clips pops off the glass."

Duck equipment manager Mark O'Neill said that Giguere's pads were submitted to a random check after Game 1 against Detroit.

"I don't care," said Giguere, who has four scoreless streaks of more than 100 minutes. "They're legal. What can I say?"


Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire, as he has done in the postseason, swapped his goalies for Game 2 Monday.

Manny Fernandez, who stopped 25 of 26 shots in a double-overtime loss Saturday, was out and Dwayne Roloson, who was 3-0 with a 1.66 goals-against average in his last three games, was in.

Roloson stopped 20 of 22 shots.


Right wing Dan Bylsma assisted on the Ducks' first goal, his first point since Jan. 15. He was inserted into the Duck lineup for Game 1 after Patric Kjellberg left the team for personal reasons.


The woes of the Wild's power play against the Mighty Ducks is not just a playoff happening. Minnesota went 0 for 12 against the Ducks in the regular season, and are 0 for 8 on the power play in two playoff games.

Of course, even a goal at even-strength would be a start.

"We've got to play as patient as they are and not force the issue," left wing Andrew Brunette said.


Though Minnesota's Marian Gaborik has not broken through against the Ducks, they are mindful of his nine goals and 17 points in 16 playoff games.

"You have to be aware when he's on the ice," Duck center Steve Rucchin said. "He's a gifted player, extremely fast. You have to know where he is. You can't let him be alone because there's a good chance he's going to find the back of the net."


Staff writers Chris Foster, Lisa Dillman and Elliott Teaford contributed to this report

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