Watching Jean-Sebastien Giguere surrender goals in practice isn’t painful; these things happen and besides, it’s just practice. Watching Giguere react to each goal he allowed this morning was like pulling teeth.
Not counting (ironically enough) Sunday’s All-Star Game, Giguere hasn’t started a game since January 21 against the Islanders, and hasn’t finished a game since Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh. He has one win in his last nine appearances, a stretch he last faced in November/December 2005.
“I’ve been through this before. I know eventually I’m going to come out of it,” he said. “It’s a question of time, a question of work.”
“At this point, the whole thing is just mental. Not getting down when you give up a goal, not being nervous that you’re going to give up a second one. It becomes a mental game after a while. It just wears on you. The mental game makes it tiring, makes it hard to come to practice and the game because you’re exhausted, you can’t get away from it. It’s a battle. It’s like a challenge. You’ve got to find an answer. It might be tomorrow, the next day, the next week, I don’t know. The team needs me. I want to be successful. I want to get some wins and play some games.”
When Jonas Hiller started on back-to-back nights the last two games, it was the first time either he or Giguere has done that this season.
“I talked to Randy about it (before the Phoenix game). I was aware of the fact it wasn’t going to happen. it’s disappointing, but at the same time, Randy is put in the situation that we need to win right now. I’m not getting the job done when I’m playing. He’s got to coach, it’s the decision he came to. I don’t like it but I have to respect it obviously, but at the end of the day, I’m the one that holds the key to the answer. Nobody else – Randy, Frankie (Allaire), sports psychologist – whatever you want to throw at me, I’m the one that has the key. I’ve just got to find the right key.”
Giguere said that there is a sports psychologist based in Montreal who he’s visited in the past, but not recently. At least his optimism seems to be running high without any help.
“I know this will transfer into a game, eventually. I’m not too worried about it. I know it’s going to happen,” he said. “One thing I’m sure of is that when I come out of this, I’m going to be a better goalie because of going through this. Going through adversity always makes you a better person, a better goalie. There’s a lot of keys. Being positive, making it to practice – all these things are eventually going to turn this thing around. It’s not one answer; many things need to come together.”