If you were left with a nostalgic, familiar feeling after last night’s Bruins game; you’re not alone. No, it’s not late spring of 2003, but don’t tell that to Colorado Avalanche netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, whose performance on Thursday night made many NHL fans reminisce to the 2003 NHL Playoffs which ended with Giguere receiving the Conn Smythe Trophy.
With Patrick Roy making his first appearance in Boston since February 3, 2003, the Hall-of-Fame spark-plug goaltender turned to his 36-year-old backup and the decision paid off in spades en route to a 2-0 road victory.
Making his first start of the 2013-14 season, Giguere was sensational in the shutout victory, particularly with his rebound control. After a slow start in the first period, the Bruins dominated play in the Avs end, to the tune of a 29-16 shots-on-goal advantage over the following 40 minutes of play and 39-30 advantage overall, but Giguere rarely surrendered follow-up opportunities for the net-crashing Bruins forwards.
“They are a big team and there was a lot of traffic in front,” Giguere said. “There were a lot of point shots and for me that was a challenge trying to see the puck from the point and trying to make the first save. By being able to do that my defense did a great job taking the rebounds away.”
Just this past April, Giguere ripped his teammates in the locker room to the media contingent and based off the changes the Colorado Avalanche made this offseason, it’s hard to argue that his opinion went unnoticed. Like he’s done throughout his career, Giguere quietly went about his business, silencing a razor-sharp Bruins power-play unit that went 0-3 on the night, constantly knocking on the doorstep of the former Ducks goaltender. Giguere’s sensational performance was the first time he’s held an opponent scoreless since February 6, 2010, when he made 30-saves versus the Ottawa Senators while donning a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.
Meanwhile, the 2-0 defeat marks the first on the season for a Bruins team that was last held scoreless on February 28, 2012 in a 1-0 loss to the Senators. Meanwhile, Boston will head to Columbus this afternoon in preparation of a Saturday afternoon matinee against an upstart Blue Jackets squad coming off a 4-1 victory in Buffalo on Thursday night.
“I think you run into a hot goaltender, you run into a team that’s been playing well – and they did,” head coach Claude Julien said. “They’ve got good speed and we talked about that for the last couple of days. It’s one of those things where you really have to grind it out; some nights goals don’t come easy and what we had to do was get a little bit more traffic in front of a hot goaltender and take his eyes away. And we didn’t do a good enough job of that and then when we were in front, even looking from the bench, he could still see the puck. I don’t think we took his eyes away.
“So you have to give them credit for how well they played, yet I don’t think I’m really disappointed in the effort more than we have to find ways to win those games and we didn’t do it tonight.”