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Giguere sure doesn't sound like a loser

He quickly shrugs off one of his worst efforts of the playoffs, and his teammates aren't concerned about his ability to bounce back.

June 03, 2007|David Wharton | Times Staff Writer

OTTAWA — Nearly an hour passed before Jean-Sebastien Giguere finally emerged from the Ducks' locker room, long after most of his teammates had come and gone.

Maybe he was upset about losing to the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. Maybe he was simmering over his worst performance, in terms of total goals, in these playoffs.

Or maybe he was just taking a shower.

The veteran goaltender, calm and clean, dressed in a suit, shrugged off the mention of all those pucks that skittered past him in a 5-3 defeat on Saturday night.

In the playoffs, he insisted, it didn't matter if the final score was 1-0 or 11-10.

"It's all about winning and losing," he said. "I guess we were just due to lose."

No alarm bells. Not even a frown. Nothing in his manner or words conveyed undue concern about allowing Ottawa's dormant offense to break free.

"I just don't think we played good enough," he said.

Perhaps any goaltender who rises to the top of the NHL must dismiss a few shaky performances along the way, which is exactly what Giguere seemed determined to do.

This wasn't anything like his 1-0 shutout in Game 2.

It wasn't like the vast majority of the playoffs in which he had amassed a 1.75 goals-against average.

The other Ducks were quick to point out that several of the goals had not been entirely his fault.

One shot deflected off teammate Ric Jackman's stick. Another was directed into the net by Chris Pronger's skate.

"It's not the first time it's happened," Pronger said. "And it certainly won't be the last."

On the evening's most-controversial goal, the puck skipped off Scott Niedermayer's stick, then off the skate of Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson, before crossing the line.

"He knows," Niedermayer said of Giguere. "That's the way it goes sometimes."

Like his coach and most of his teammates, Giguere mentioned that the Senators had worked hard all night, a desperate team. The Ducks had allowed them to play their wide-open style, getting more chances on goal.

Giguere said that he could have done a better job on some of the plays. As for the goals that deflected off his teammates, he said: "Guys are working hard. They're trying to block shots."

What about the video replay in which officials overruled their initial call and gave Alfredsson the goal?

"It's hard to argue with video," he said. "I'm one of those guys, if it goes to the replay, it must be right."

This wasn't his first off night of the playoffs. There was the 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, Giguere replaced after surrendering three goals in 13 shots.

The Ducks' goaltending consultant, Francois Allaire, didn't see any reason for his charge to suffer a personal crisis.

"This is what he's been doing for 20 years now," Allaire said. "He's a professional guy."

Teammates were similarly assured, talking about his mental toughness, his ability to bounce back.

Part of the process will involve addressing overall defensive kinks in practice today. There will be a video session, reviewing Saturday's game, which won't be a pretty sight.

Again, Giguere did not seem terribly concerned. Another day at the office.

"These things happen," he said.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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