Archive for the ‘Giguere’ Category

Re-Draft Steals and Regrets: J.S. Giguere

August 23, 2009

Since the ninth round of the draft devolved into a dispiriting mess, it seems like a good time to roll out some Re-Draft self-analysis. Other GMs are encouraged to share their perspective on their draft choices, too, on their blogs or in this space.

Note: most of these posts won’t be as ruthlessly verbose as this one.

Why J.S. Giguere was a steal

His contract is huge at $6 million. With Jonas Hiller stealing his #1 job (at least during the playoffs and to an extent toward the end of last season), it’s not a certainty that Giguere will receive the lion share of Anaheim’s starts.

No doubt about it, there are some drawbacks to picking up Giguere. That being said, let’s look at some of the reasons why we think that he was a big steal.

1. Giguere is awesome in video games

No denying it, Giguere’s digi-prowess was a strong consideration. He was rated 89 last year, which puts him in the class of the Ryan Millers of the world. Even though he’ll probably see his polygonal stock drop a bit, he should still be a nicely rated goalie.

Hiller stole Giguere’s job, but it’s unclear if he’ll be superior over the long haul.

2. The pickup game question

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself: if I want to win a game and could choose ONE goalie to make it happen, who would it be? Giguere might not come out on top of that list, but he’s up there.

You’d probably get responses of Luongo and Brodeur first, but it’s reasonable to say that Giguere makes the second tier. He’s won a Stanley Cup and carried a drastically understaffed Ducks team to game 7 of the SCF, earning him a rare Conn Smythe in defeat.

How many goalies can say that?

3. Elite Numbers

Watching a bunch of young and/or cheap goalies drop like flies, the original strategy was to simply snatch up quality players and hope for the best when it came to a goalie. Yet, in the third round, people picked apple of my eye types such as Bobby Ryan and Ales Hemsky. As these guys kept going, it occurred to me that Giguere was just sitting there like a Hollywood starlet who only made one bad movie.

Mia Sara: the Giguere of actresses?

It didn’t hurt that some of the great hockey analytical minds were placing him high on objective, elite goalie lists.

Giguere ranked #6 in Copper and Blue’s best goalies since the Lockout post.

#5 (and #3 among active goalies) in Brodeur is a Fraud’s best goalies of the 00’s

#6 (and #3 among NHL/active goalies) in Brodeur is a Fraud’s Even-Strength Save Percentage Leaders since 1998-99.

To balance that out, though, he didn’t even appear in BiaF’s Penalty Kill Save Percentage study. Could that be a matter of poor lateral movement or what?

Either way, though, to see Giguere topping many of those lists made me think that he’s possibly a top-10 goalie even though 24 goalies went before him.

4. Value

Take a look at when and where the goalies have been taken so far:

1-3 (3) – Tampa Bay Lightning – Henrik Lundquist
1-11 (11) – St. Louis Blues – Roberto Luongo
1-19 (19) – Carolina Hurricanes – Martin Brodeur
1-20 (20) – New York Rangers – Miika Kiprusoff
1-21 (21) – New Jersey Devils – Niklas Backstrom (G)
2-3 (33) – Anaheim Ducks – Tim Thomas
2-4 (34) – Florida Panthers – Steve Mason
2-6 (36) – Boston Bruins – Evgeni Nabokov
2-7 (37) – Ottawa Senators – Cam Ward
2-13 (43) – Minnesota North Stars – Ryan Miller
2-14 (44) – Los Angeles Kings – Marc Andre Fleury
2-19 (49) – Phoenix Coyotes – Chris Mason
2-23 (53) – Detroit Red Wings – Pekka Rinne
2-25 (55) – New York Islanders – Tomas Vokoun
2-26 (56) – Chicago Blackhawks – Jonas Hiller
2-29 (59) – Vancouver Canucks – Jonathan Quick
3-1 (61) – Calgary Flames – Martin Biron
3-4 (64) – Dallas Stars – Scott Clemmensen
3-9 (69) – Nashville Predators – Simeon Varlamov
3-10 (70) – Atlanta Thrashers – Marty Turco
3-13 (73) – Pittsburgh Penguins – Craig Anderson
3-14 (74) – Washington Capitals – Cristobal Huet
3-15 (75) – Columbus Blue Jackets – Nikolai Khabibulin
3-29 (89) – Colorado Avalanche – Carey Price
4-9 (99) – Toronto Maple Leafs – Jean-Sebastian Giguere
6-5 (155) – Buffalo Sabres – Chris Osgood
6-8 (158) – San Jose Sharks – Kari Lehtonen
7-7 (187) – Philadelphia Flyers – Ilya Bryzgalov

Closing Thoughts

Even if Hiller is considered the 1A, the Ducks have every reason to give Giguere starts. He has plenty of trade value and could conceivably start for most of the league’s teams.

He might not be the best goalie in the league, but he’s certainly comparable (or even better) than early goalie picks like Backstrom, Kipper and Miller and far more seasoned than Price, Anderson, Clemmensen, Quick or Varlamov.

But what are your thoughts? Was Giguere a nice steal or a crazy, expensive gamble?

Zdeno Chara: a seven foot goat on skates? (and other playoff thoughts)

May 9, 2009

Zdeno Chara isn’t a hockey player, he’s a big angry tree who can slap a puck through my soul. Please don’t take this as a concentrated attack on the big Z.

But let me take you back to a fuzzy age for many of you young ones. You see, there was a time when this team named the Ottawa Senators roamed the earth as near-dominant hockey dinosaurs. While it never really worked out for that team, they were just loaded with talent.

During this period, the Senators chose Wade Redden over Chara and allowed the Big Z to sign a huge contract with the Boston Bruins. It’s hard to believe this really happened, especially since Redden’s play dropped horrifyingly enough to make him become an absolute whipping boy … for the New York Rangers.

Most would say Chara was the obvious choice for the Senators, but it’s more than a bit off putting that he might once again be a scapegoat for a team’s playoff disappointments.

I say “might” because it hasn’t been possible for me to watch much of Chara’s performances. We all know that plus/minus and offensive scoring do not necessarily define a defenseman, but without knowing his Corsi rating and his totals for goals for/against during the playoffs , those stats still tell you a somewhat disturbing story:

If you don’t feel like clicking on that image, Chara’s been held scoreless against Carolina with a -5 rating in the last three games (+1 in Boston’s dominating game 1 victory). Overall in the playoffs he has 1 goal and 1 assist. He’s also been on the ice for some dramatic goals, most noticeably Jussi Jokinen‘s OT GWG in Game 3.

Surely, the blame cannot fall only on Chara’s gigantic shoulders. That being said, don’t be surprised if the Norris Trophy-level D gets a big bowl of blame barring a near-miraculous turnaround.

  • Maybe the Carolina Hurricanes have found the perfect formula: only make the playoffs when you can make a dramatic run.
  • Whether you like the Alex Ovechkin knee-to-knee hit or not, there is NO WAY the NHL is going to have the cajones to suspend him. Even if the Penguins make it to the Conference Finals, truly threatening for the Cup is unthinkable without Sergei Gonchar.

From a “headaches for the league” standpoint, they are probably hoping that the Penguins advance without Gonchar. If not, the league’s in a lose-lose situation: if AO does get suspended, the Caps were screwed; if the Penguins get bounced then Yinzers will claim that we live in a godless society where the (talent) rich are above the law.

Let’s hope this controversy doesn’t mar what has been a true dream series for the NHL.

  • Even though Jonas Hiller had a superhuman performance against the Sharks, I keep finding myself expecting J.S. Giguere to play the role of Ghost of Playoff Goalies Past against the Red Wings. Weird, huh?
  • Finally, make sure to keep your eye on the sidebars.

The Ducks-Red Wings and Penguins-Capitals blogs have been especially busy lately and we also have plenty of goodness going on in the Hurricanes-Bruins and Canucks-Blackhawks blogs. I’ll try to keep a better eye on them as the series go deeper, but don’t let their great (no, make that superior) work slip under the radar.