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Excited To Be Back

by Kyle Shohara / Colorado Avalanche
Jean-Sebastien Giguere held a conference call with members of the media on December 30. Below are excerpts from the call.

GIGUERE: Hi everybody.  I’m very excited to go back.  It’s been almost two years since I’ve played a game there in Anaheim and I never really got the chance to say ‘thank you’ to people.
"This game has been on my mind all year.  I've been looking at the calendar. The first game I looked up was when we would play in Anaheim."
That meant a lot to me.  I got traded when I was on the road and it was a quick exit.  It’s going to be nice to be able to go to where I feel is my second home and where my kids have been born.  It’s a very special place for me. It’s where I’ve had the most success in my career so I’m really thrilled to be able to go back and play games against the Ducks in Anaheim.

How long has this game been on your mind? What kind of reaction are you anticipating?

This game has been on my mind all year.  I’ve been looking at the calendar.  The first game I looked up was when we would play in Anaheim.  I’ve been looking forward to it since the beginning of the year and I’m hoping the reaction is going to be good.  I think people have always respected me there and I always tried to present myself professionally, so I’m hoping for a good reaction.  Hopefully it’s going to be a good night.

How much pride are you taking in with your play this season? Is this an answer to those who questioned how much you had left in the tank?

Well, you could probably put me on the list of people who questioned it [laughs].  Sometimes you just don’t know.  You get older and you start questioning yourself, too.  I’m just happy.  I had a great summer of preparation, which was a key to this season.  My body feels like it hasn’t felt in years.  I still have the desire to win and the desire to play.  Being a backup right now gives me the chance to be rested when I play and take care of my body.  I’m pretty happy with the way things are going so far this year.  I think I’ve been trying to give the team a chance to win every time I play.   I’m just hoping that it’s going to keep going until the end of the year that way.

Can you pinpoint one or two things that have really turned things around, especially with such a successful week, last week? [Giguere was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week ending Dec. 25 – went 3-0-0 with a 1.60 GAA and .951 Sv%]

I think the fact that I’m feeling good when I’m playing really helps.  I’m really confident when I go into a game because I feel like I can compete with the other guys; I can compete to my full level which is kind of a relief.  And you can’t deny the way the guys have been playing in front of me.  You can’t have success in this league unless your teammates and everybody else contributes.  I think we’ve, as a team, been turning things around here.  I think we’ve been playing really well defensively which always helps the goalie. It makes my job much easier when I play.  At the end of the day, when you have success, it always comes down to a team effort and that’s what’s been the big key here so far for my season this year.

What was it about the Colorado Avalanche that appealed to you?

The situation was perfect for me here. I knew that I wasn’t going to get a No. 1 job somewhere, so the next best-case scenario was to [come here with a young guy – Semyon Varlamov], where I can help him out and push him, too.  I think it becomes a competition, per se, to get some ice time, but at the same time that’s how you make yourself better.  A young guy pushes me because I’ve got to keep up with him, too, every day.  If I want to play in this league I’ve got to keep up with a 22, 23-year old.  That’s just the way it is now. At the same time, I can show him some tricks of the trade.  I can be a good teammate to him, something I’m very comfortable with.  I’ve done it with Jonas Hiller [in Anaheim], James Reimer in Toronto.  It’s something I don’t have a problem with.  So, for me, that was a great scenario.  They offered me a two-year deal, which was good for my family, and Denver is a great city to live and raise kids.  This was part of the decision, too.  All together, I was really excited when they called and I haven’t regretted it, that’s for sure. 
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