Writer's Note: This is an exact copy of an article found on the Los Angeles Times website. Aince it is an entire article written by Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere about his thoughts on Game 1, I chose to keep it in its entirety and not interject with my own opinions. I offer this to Bleacher Report as a pro hockey players thoughts after being in these finals one year ago.
I thought both teams looked a little nervous in the beginning. You could tell in the first 10 minutes that both teams didn't look very sharp, which is normal. I've played in two of those first games and you're always nervous because there are so many distractions leading up to that game. And you've got these teams, which has been kind of a big story in the States. You've got to get that out of the way and that's why I like a team like Detroit that has been there before. (The Penguins) have got to be able to deal with that quickly or they won't be able to get that out of their heads.
The next 10 minutes, Pittsburgh took over and had a really strong first period. (Chris) Osgood kept the Red Wings in the game. I thought the Red Wings were a little undisciplined in the first period. As the game went on, in the second and third periods, you really saw Detroit's experience take over. They really controlled the game. Osgood didn't have to make a bunch of good saves.
That disallowed goal could have been a turning point for Pittsburgh. You saw the Detroit bench seemed to be a little rattled by the call. This could have been a big factor in the game. Saying that, you have to respect what a guy like (Tomas) Holmstrom does. He's the best in the league at getting in front of the net and creating chaos. Sometimes those calls are tough but you've got to let the goalie be able to do his job. It's arguable if that's a goal or not. That's why Detroit's experience is so important. It could have been a turning point, but it wasn't. They kept their cool, came back and took control.
A lot of pressure is on those two kids, Sidney Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin. It seems like the whole league's weight is on their shoulders. I almost feel like they're too young for this, but I'm happy for them. I don't know how those guys can be so comfortable with all the attention, especially Sidney Crosby. You've really got to tip your hat to a guy who can handle all of that as well as he does and be as good as he is. Saying that, Pittsburgh's best players have to play better. They have to get the puck to the net and create more traffic in front of Osgood. They didn't do that during the game. Detroit always back checks as hard as they can and they don't really give teams a lot of room. It's very frustrating to play against them and you could see Crosby and a few of their guys show that frustration.
I thought Osgood looked as solid as he has looked through the whole playoffs. Once he took over from (Dominik) Hasek, he never looked back. I'm happy for him. He's had a very strong season so far and I thought he made some really good saves that kept Pittsburgh off the board. (Marc-Andre) Fleury played a strong game. I thought communication between him and his defensemen were missing at times and that's something the team has to get better at in Game 2. Detroit is a tough building to play in and sometimes you don't know the bounces. It might have cost him a little bit on that third goal. There's no rink like Detroit that has bounces like that.
Detroit just has to kind of do the same things they did in Game 1. Pittsburgh has to win more faceoffs. Detroit's very good at them and when they win, you're always chasing after them. You get tired after a while trying to get the puck back. But it comes down to your best players and not being intimidated by the Red Wings. They have that aura about them and that's a tough building to play in. Pittsburgh deserves to be there but the Penguins have to really believe they do.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been a goaltender for the Ducks since 2000-01. He won the Conn Smythe Award as playoff most valuable player in 2003 and helped lead the Ducks to the Stanley Cup in 2007.
Original Article: " Experience helps Red Wings put early nervousness aside" By Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Special to The Times
May 25, 2008
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