February 3, 2010
Giguere spreading his wingsNew netminder Giguere provides textbook demonstration of butterfly effect
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency
Jean-Sebastien Giguere grew up in Montreal and idolized Patrick Roy.
On Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre, he played like him, displaying near flawless fundamentals, and good lateral movement with his butterfly style.
Giguere may never spend a more relaxed time in the Maple Leafs nets than the first 15 minutes in his Toronto debut against the New Jersey Devils. He knocked away three shots from near the boards, watched Nikolai Kulemin score and, when Dion Phaneuf beat on New Jersey's Colin White, he skated to the bench to enjoy a drink.
The butterfly style -- in which he protects the bottom of the goal and controls rebounds -- was evident when he closed the pads on a Dainius Zubrus' deflection off a point shot and the puck stopped just short of the goal line. Seconds later, he stayed square to the shooter as Mike Mottau failed to jam in a shot on the short side. Again, no rebound.
And, with Travis Zajac at the edge of the crease, Giguere went into his butterfly to block a point-blank shot.
The second period he showed flawless fundamentals, cutting angles to stop a pair of shots. Mostly, he would have worked up more of a sweat sitting on beach. But in the final minutes he got low, looked through a screen and blocked another shot along the ice from the blueline. He got to the top of the crease to cradle a slapper from the half board from Zubrus.
In the third, he cut the angle, stopping a high shot from Mottau, looked through a screen to deflect Brian Rolston's shot, grabbed a deflection as Andrew Peters crashed the net and went post-to-post to stop Niclas Bergfors.
SHOTS FACED: 29
WHAT THEY THOUGHT
THE PLAYER: "Everyone was involved. I didn't have to do anything crazy out there."
THE COACH: "Incredible focus. When you get that kind of goaltending, everyone settles down."
THE WRITER: "Clinical and effective. Not called on often but a nice beginning."