Jean-Sébastien Giguère (also known as JS or Jiggy) is the Quebec-born goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks. Although he met his match in Olympic gold medal-winner Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, Giguère caused quite a stir in the 2003 playoffs by leading his team to victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the Dallas Stars, and the Minnesota Wild.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, on May 16, 1977, the young JS Giguère grew up as an avid fan of the Quebec Nordiques. Still, there was one player on the rival Montreal Canadiens who Giguère couldn't help but idolise. This was, of course, Patrick Roy, who made his NHL debut when Giguère was only 8 years old. Like many young Quebec boys, Giguère was inspired to play goaltender himself, using the butterfly style popularised by Roy.
Giguère made his first step toward the NHL as goalie for the Quebec Major Junior League on the Verdun team at 16 years of age. When the franchise folded in 1994, Giguère was sent to Halifax as a member of the Mooseheads, establishing himself as a star player on an otherwise mediocre expansion team. After a single season in Halifax, Gigueère earned high praise from scouts who raved about his poise and intense focus under pressure, his stamina, and his adept use of the butterfly technique.
Giguère was selected 13th overall, and was the first goaltender to be selected at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft in Edmonton, Alberta. Drafted by the Hartford Whalers, he spent two years in the minors before moving with the franchise to Carolina. Giguère was called up only briefly when Sean Burke was injured, and posted his first NHL win (and only win for the Whalers), making 30 saves for a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on December 28th, 1996.
On August 25, 1997, the newly relocated Carolina Hurricanes traded Giguère and Andrew Cassels to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Trevor Kidd and Gary Roberts. Giguère spent the 1997-8 season playing for the Flames' AHL team in St. John. He started out the following season the same way until an injury to goalie Ken Wregget brought Giguère back for good. In his Flames debut, JS faced off against his childhood idol and won. On November 8, 1998, his Flames defeated Roy and the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 3-1, with Giguère even getting an assist on Jarome Iginla's final empty net goal.
JS was traded to Anaheim in 2000 in exchange for the second round draft pick that turned out to be Matt Pettinger. In his first year he played in 34 games, winning 11 of them and posting a save percentage of .910%. In 2001-2002, Giguère played in 53 games and had a goals against average of 2.13 and a save percentage of .920%. 2002-2003 has thus far been his most successful season, seeing him win 34 of 65 games, with a save percentage of .920% and a GAA of 2.30. He has led his Ducks to their first-ever Stanley Cup final against the Devils, notching four playoff shoutouts along the way against the likes of Detroit, Dallas, and Minnesota, the latter of whom he shut out in three of four games. He also posted a record-breaking shutout streak of over 270 minutes, which was broken in the fourth game of the Conference final against Minnesota (the goal scored turned out to be the only Minnesota goal of the entire series).
Giguère truly made a name for himself in the 2003 playoffs when he began by stopping 63 shots in his first game aginst the Detroit Red Wings. Giguère nearly single-handedly led the Ducks through three playoff rounds, and posted some impressive statistics along the way. Shutting out the Minnesota Wild in the first three games of the conference finals, he has passed the playoff record set by Patrick Roy for consecutive shutout minutes with 270, setting a new record; his replacement during the 2005-06 playoffs, Ilya Bryzgalov, posted the second-most, with 249 minutes (which is also the current record for rookies). He is a couple of minutes away from Roy's record of overtime shutout minutes. He also holds the regular season consecutive shutout minutes record with 239. His seventh-seeded Ducks were the first team ever to win the first five overtime games in a playoff year, and Giguère had the third best save percentage ever for a playoff goalie-- meanwhile Ducks went 12-2 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, without outshooting an opponent in any game. Last but not least, he is only the second hockey player to be a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (the first was Brendan Shanahan in 1997).
His fame faded somewhat during the season following his outstanding playoff performance. He seemed jittery and nervous, and his numbers were sub-par. While his GAA was a relatively solid 2.62, his win/loss/tie record when the season ended was a suspect 17-31-6. The cancellation of the 2004-05 season allowed him some much-needed rest and time to get over the Ducks' loss to the Devils in the 2003 finals. As a result, he put up much better numbers in 2005-06, going 30-15 (no ties, as they no longer exist) with a 2.66 GAA over 60 games. In the playoffs that year, however, the Ducks went with the aforementioned rookie Ilya Bryzgalov, who took the team to the Wesetern Conference Finals against Edmonton Oilers, which they lost. Giguère began round one as the starter, but gave way to Bryzgalov toward its end and was a non-factor the rest of the postseason.
Giguère's stellar play resulted in opponents using some unorthodox tactics to try and break him. After being shut out in Game 1, some Wild players questioned whether Giguère's pads were of legal size. Ducks head coach Mike Babcock silenced the irate players by sarcastically commenting at a press conference that "it's amazing--the better he plays, the bigger they get. It's an amazing thing."
Giguère is 6'1" and weighs 199 lbs. He wears jersey number 30 and is left-handed. He is married to a Nova Scotian innkeeper's daughter, Kristin Fawthrop, as of June 21, 2002.