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Giguere Tops West Goalies

Friday, 09.05.2008 / 12:30 PM / Features
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Giguere Tops West Goalies
Few NHL teams reach their full potential without a top-notch goalie. That\'s especially true in the Western Conference, where goalies rule the roost.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere is one of the most consistent goalies in the NHL. 
They are the last line of defense, and in some cases, the biggest stars on the team. Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon thinks having great goaltending is so important that he plans to employ two No. 1s this season.

Each conference has their share of supremely talented goalies, but some consistently separate themselves from the rest. What follows is's list of the top five goalies from the Western Conference entering this season.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim Ducks -- When you talk about consistent goalies, Giguere belongs near the top of the list. He has won at least 30 games in each of the past three seasons while never playing in more than 60. His GAA and save percentage have also gone down every season since the lockout.

Giguere, like the rest of the Ducks, had a disappointing 2008 playoffs, but history suggests this will be his bounce back year. In his four playoff appearances, Giguere has twice made the Stanley Cup Final and twice been ousted in the first round.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks -- Despite appearing in the playoffs only once in his career, Luongo is widely respected throughout the league as one of the premier netminders. He has the talent and the numbers to prove it.

Luongo has played in 70 or more games in each of the past four seasons. He posted a career-best 47 wins in 2006-07 when the Canucks made the playoffs. Last season he won 35 games and had a 2.38 GAA, but Vancouver fell short.

Much like Brodeur in New Jersey and Miller in Buffalo, Luongo is the star in Vancouver and he'll have to play like it for the Canucks to get back to the postseason.

Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks -- Prior to last season, Nabokov hadn't played 60 games in a season since 2001-02, when he played in 67. Last season, he played in a career-high 77 and put up remarkable numbers, including a 46-21-8 record with a 2.14 GAA, a .910 save percentage and six shutouts.

While 77 games played may seem a bit high, Nabokov proved he could handle the load. He likely will play closer to 65-70 this season with Brian Boucher, a veteran backup, signed to start the season with the Sharks.

Nevertheless, Nabokov could be in line for another All-Star season.

Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings -- Osgood has had a roller coaster career, but the ride got really sweet last season when he supplanted Dominik Hasek as the No. 1 in Detroit and led the Wings to their fourth Stanley Cup championship in the last 11 years.

He may not have the cachet of some of these other guys, but Osgood is a consistent winner and that puts him on a very short list. If he stays healthy, he could possibly win his 400th career game this season. He has 363 right now.

Osgood has won 30 games only once in the last five seasons, but this is the first time since 2003-04 that he is entering the season as the No. 1. He is also on the league's best team -- at least that's what the Wings are on paper as we enter the season.

Marty Turco, Dallas Stars -- Turco silenced some critics last season with a strong postseason. He led the Stars to the Western Conference Final, where they gave Detroit a run, and finished the playoffs with a 2.08 GAA and .922 save percentage.

He should be buoyed by the confidence gained from the playoffs, and that should again make Dallas a very dangerous team in the Pacific Division. Turco will also likely carry a heftier load this year without a proven backup.

He hasn't played in 70 games since 2003-04, but if he's healthy that's about the number the Stars are looking for from him considering Stephane Tobias, who has played in one NHL game, is currently the No. 2 in Dallas.

Author: Dan Rosen | Staff Writer




1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 33 22 9 2 102 67 46
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
7 WPG 33 17 10 6 80 76 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 31 13 13 5 89 104 31
12 COL 32 11 13 8 83 100 30
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 33 7 20 6 69 110 20


R. Getzlaf 34 12 25 7 37
R. Kesler 35 11 15 -2 26
S. Vatanen 35 9 15 -1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 35 15 3 11 18
C. Fowler 34 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 35 4 12 3 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 27 2 12 -5 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41 is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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