Giving J.S. the gears

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Bryan Murray wasted little time firing the first shot of the Stanley Cup final -- aimed at Anaheim's "Michelin Man."

The Senators coach stopped short of accusing goalie J.S. Giguere of wearing illegal equipment, but confirmed he's already asked the NHL's pad police if the Anaheim Ducks' goalie is complying with the league's tight restrictions. The Senators will open the Stanley Cup final Monday in Anaheim.

"It's got to be illegal," said Murray with a laugh. "It's legal, I know that. I was there, it's questioned all the time. It's measured all the time and it was approved all the time. But, he does wear it well doesn't he?"

Giguere has long been accused of wearing oversized equipment because he looks like the Michelin Man when he's geared up. You can bet the NHL's pad police, which includes former players Kay Whitmore and Kris King, will be in Anaheim next week

"It's legal, I already checked with Kay Whitmore to see," said Murray as he left the podium.

Daniel Alfredsson doesn't think Giguere is dressed illegally, but says the goalie looks huge.

"He's bigger than (Dominik Hasek) in the net, that's for sure," said Alfredsson.

The Senators have got to find a way to get the puck past The Michelin Man if they're going to win this series. That hasn't been easy for anybody in the first three rounds of the playoffs.. Giguere has a 9-3 post-season record, with a sparkling 1.87 goals-against average. If Giguere struggles, coach Randy Carlyle isn't afraid to use backup Ilya Bryzgalov. Giguere also has Stanley Cup final experience on his side and Murray has seen it first-hand. He was Anaheim's GM when Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's playoff MVP when the Ducks lost to New Jersey in the 2003 Cup final.

"Technically, he's a real sound goaltender," said Murray. "He's got Francois Allaire as his coach and they work 18 or 19 days a month. He does a heck of a job with his goaltending, we know that.

"(Giguere) has got perfect equipment. It has to fit properly together, so you don't have five-hole very often. He's real good. He's a butterfly guy and he's real good down low. He gets his body in great position all the time. You have to move the puck and you have to beat him with good shots. You don't get many soft goals on the guy."

Giguere, 30, won't take all the credit for the playoff success the Ducks have enjoyed, including a six-game defeat of the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's always the better group that's going to get out of it, not the better goalie and I truly believe that," said Giguere.


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