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STANLEY CUP FINALS

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Duck goaltender relies on solid technique and good positioning

May 27, 2003|Kelly Hrudey | Special to The Times

Jean-Sebastien Giguere is not the overnight sensation some people might think. Living in Calgary, where he used to play, I have been watching him for many years. I have seen where he was and I have seen where he has gone. His success is based purely on hard work. When he was in Calgary, he realized he had a long way to go to be a good NHL goaltender. He was willing to listen and put in the work to get to the next level. And then, he was willing to continue to work hard to get to where he is now. With Giguere, it's technique and positioning. He's not nearly as athletic as [Martin] Brodeur. Giguere doesn't have a natural catching motion.

Because this kind of performance was not expected of Giguere this season, there is not a lot of pressure on him. He can have a lot of fun with this. The pressure will be in years to come when people expect him to repeat this performance. I hope people will give him a break. I think he's in the top five right now in terms of any hot streak I've ever seen. I don't think we will see a performance like this from anybody else for a long time. I hope he's enjoying it, but it's very difficult, while you are playing, to look back because you are still looking ahead. I hope one day he realizes how brilliant he has been.

Strengths and weaknesses: There is no real recognizable weakness. When Giguere is in the net, there are no holes to put the puck through. You have to make an incredible shot over his shoulder or halfway up on his stick. He is nearly impossible to score on.

Suggested plan of attack: Maybe a deflection. A shot from the point to a player in the high slot might be difficult to defend. It would be hard for a goaltender to have position on a deflection from 15 to 20 feet away.

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