Jean-Sebastien Giguere erupted at his teammates’ lack of focus Monday night after the Colorado Avalanche’s latest loss, 3-1 to the Calgary Flames, at home.
The 30th-place Avalanche had failed once again to defeat the 29th-place Flames — a team stripped of its biggest stars and resigned to a rebuild — and, in the process, extended their losing skid to five games.
The 35-year-old Giguere, a onetime Stanley Cup champion, had reached his boiling point — and, through his postgame comments to reporters, let his teammates know it.
“We talk about it every day. At some point, we have to understand. There’s no more excuses. It’s not about being young, it’s not about… we have to put our head into the game,” said Giguere, whose rant was transcribed in full by the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater. “Some guys are more worried about their Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games, than playing every minute of the games. Quite frankly, I don’t care about your Vegas trip right now.”
Dater, a longtime Avs beat writer, called Giguere’s “Vegas” comment the strongest quote he’s ever been given from a Colorado player in his 18 years covering the team.
The youthful Avalanche have won just twice in their last 15 outings, and both of those victories were by the margin of a single goal.
“We have to find a way to get out of this losing mentality, you know? It starts with me and the guy beside me and everyone has to do their part,” Giguere said. “It’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed to be here right now. It’s not even funny.”
Giguere, a backup to Semyon Varlamov this season, made 31 saves in Monday’s loss. The veteran now has a 2-4-2 record, with a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.
The Avalanche’s last victory decided by more than one goal occurred on March 8, when they defeated the No. 1-ranked Chicago Blackhawks by a decisive score of 6-2.
“Yeah, everybody’s going to get motivated when you play the Hawks. I mean, the building is full and that’s easy to do,” Giguere told Dater. “But can you get yourself going when you play the Calgary Flames? Can you do that right now? And obviously, we’re too immature to do that.”