NHL Playoffs 2012: This Year’s Jonathan Quick vs. 2003’s J-S Giguere

Southern California hockey fans have seen the likes of this before, have they not?

Goaltender Jonathan Quick is 10 games into his 2012 Stanley Cup playoff run with the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings, who have already dislodged the top two teams in the Western Conference.

At this time in his run with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2003, Jean-Sebastien Giguere had likewise conquered the conference’s ostensible elites. With only two missteps, both in the second round, he backstopped the Ducks to startling series victories over Detroit and Dallas.

From there, Anaheim swept a fellow Cinderella squad from Minnesota en route to a best-of-seven seesaw with the New Jersey Devils, which culminated in defeat for the Ducks, but a Conn Smythe Trophy for Giguere.

Don’t doubt the prospect of the same basic story unfolding for the Los Angeles metropolitan area’s other NHL franchise this year.

Quick and his skating mates have already pinned down the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks and the second-seeded St. Louis Blues. On Sunday night, they improved to 9-1 in these playoffs by winning the Western Conference finals opener against another unlikely third-round participant from Phoenix.

The present Quick and the past Giguere are not clones by any means. Neither are their teams or their playoff logs.

The Kings’ core had already whet its blades with a pair of back-to-back first-round exits in 2010 and 2011, despite genuinely valiant efforts against clear-cut favorites from Vancouver and San Jose. Anaheim was slightly more impressive in that the franchise had gone four years without any prior playoff action.

In his first 10 games during the 2003 tournament, Giguere worked 92 minutes and 43 seconds of overtime, winning all four decisions, including three on the road and two that required multiple bonus rounds. And his regular-season stats did n...

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