JS Giguere Makes a Case for Himself as Anaheim Ducks Goalie in Victory
No lead is ever safe in Anaheim. Proof of this was evident with only 18 seconds left in the third period when Jarome Iginla tied up the game to send it into overtime.
However, it wasn't enough as the Ducks found a way to hold on to win the game in the shootout.
For a change, the big story here isn't the Ducks victory, it's not Iginla's game tying goal, or even Corey Perry extending his amazing point streak to 15 games.
Monday night, the big story was JS Giguere between the pipes winning his first game since March 24, 2009 in Nashville.
The Ducks are desperately seeking wins at this point in the season, and they are in need of a goaltender who can come out and provide them with an opportunity to walk away with two points every night.
As to who that goaltender will be on a regular basis is yet to be seen, but Giguere went above and beyond to make a great case for himself. While many may begin to speculate if this was simply a way to showcase Giguere for a potential trade, I'm just going to allow him to continue to prove his worth and ignore such rumors accordingly. Especially if his much improved play means the Ducks walk away with a win.
Giguere carried much of the weight in Monday's 3-2 shootout victory, and his celebration after stopping the final shooter showed just that. Pumping his fist into the air, the team jumped off of the bench to celebrate the win with the man who played a stellar game for them when they needed it most.
Stopping 41 of 43 shots fired at him, this was by far one of the best games Giguere has had in a long time.
I can't fault Giguere for letting two goals get past him. The first, a one-on-one opportunity for Calgary just inside the blue line, and the second coming after Giguere faced an alarming 18 shots during the third period while his teammates were only able to fire off seven of their own.
Giguere looked confident in the shootout and easily blocked all three shooters on his way to picking up the win and the victory for the Ducks. The fourth in their last five games at home.
There is a great potential for this win to boost team morale, and more importantly, to boost Giguere's personal self esteem which has been clearly lacking for quite some time now.
Confidence in hockey is often built from the net out. With a focused and determined net minder, the Ducks can focus on playing stronger defense, moving the puck with greater ease and consistency, and hopefully finding themselves rewarded with big time goals on the other end of the ice.
Finding that faith in the man between the pipes is important to this team riding a roller-coaster of wins and losses.
Could this emotional victory be what this team needs to move forward? Only they can decide that.
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