Blackhawks Confidential

Blackhawks must hire Belfour to show Huet how to talk smack, kick butt

huetedmonton.jpgCristobal Huet plays the game off the ice worse than he does on the ice. He does everything he can to portray himself as a no-account loser.

It is about the only thing he does that is working well for him, and so he has a lot of us convinced that he's a no-account loser who fails to have the inner fire and needed edge to even tell the media and his many skeptics among Blackhawks fans to go to hell.

Now how hard can that be? Kiss my ass. Three easy words. Huet just can't muster enough mustard to make a brief colorful speech that would win him more followers than he knows at the same time it would hearten his current supporters, who just held their monthly meeting in the last existing phone booth on earth.

Way to go, Cris. You are very persuasive as the small, silent type. Many of us buy the act that you're bound and determined to drag all of Chicago's hopes to hell and give us all an imperturbable brave face doing it, if not an impervious brave heart.

How about a few genuine emotions from time to time, just so we can tell you are human and have a motive and maybe an engine that can kick into a higher gear than we have ever seen and maybe something funny to say once or twice every year or two?

A few gags and you might force some fans to stop gagging on your stoicism. Instead we are simply galled by your Gallic attempt to seem imperial.

I'd feel a whole lot better about this Stanley Cup thing if only Huet would blow a fuse or bust a gasket or threaten a reporter or be uncovered as a commando of some secret Al Qaeda cell in Chicago or give us some clear indication he gives a damn.

Shit, if Sarah Palin can be a standup comic, I believe there's hope for Huet to get off a joke in between butterfly strokes.

Don't just give a little head shake, Cris, as that next puck whizzes high past your velvet glove. You look like a weakling. You talk like a baby. Shape up and look like a winner. Be bold, not a blowhard.

Don't just mumble: "I don't want to go into that No. 1 goalie talk or anything. I just want to go into next game and have a chance to go on a roll."

Ugh. Mealy-mouthed bullshit. Go ahead, Cris, just let the problem trickle through your legs like everything else. Guess there's nothing there to stop it.

He leaves it to his teammates to defend him to the media, just as he also leaves it to them to limit the shots that come his way in games. That is a poor excuse for a guy now expected to step up and take charge and be a kick-ass champion.

Just as you couldn't ask Fat Albert to be Michael Jordan, the Blackhawks shouldn't ask Huet to rise to the height at such an emotional moment in Chicago sports history when he is more comfortable with hiding in the corner. This is a man whose layers have been peeled back and shown to us with the ease and aplomb of cracking a walnut with a plastic knife.

Do you know the man who holds your championship chance in his porous hands? I bet that you don't. Sure wish Patrick Kane would include him in all future panty raids. Flesh out his portrait.

If you painted Huet, he would be one of those lonely, allusive, silent, depressed, suicidal figures you see in an Edward Hopper painting. Adrift alone off Cape Cod in a sailboat, cold stare out of the window of an apartment building where jumping is being debated, huddled in a small crowd as a lost refugee at midnight in some coffee shop.

Those are not images a kick-ass champion goaltender should engender.

I surely know what Ed Belfour would have said when asked how he felt about being rumored at trade deadline to being replaced by another goalie, and I surely know what Ed Belfour would have said when asked about his competition with Andy Niemi to decide who's the No. 1 goalie for the playoffs, and I know what Ed Belfour would have said if anyone had questioned if he had enough balls to stop enough pucks to win a championship.

I could have printed only about 10 per cent of what Belfour would have said, but it would have been worth the 10 per cent. Jeff Hackett (re: Niemi) would have had to hire Blackwater to protect him from Crazy Eddie and reporters would have been threatened. Hot dog. Passion.

That is truly the way that it is suppose to work when the best athletes care and when they are seriously questioned with millions of dollars and dreams in the balance about why they have a lower approval rating than Congress.

Instead, we simper onward in Chicago with superficial etchings, nonsensical answers.

Whenever Huet skates on the ice to start a game, the United Center sound system should play "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me." Not only would it resurrect the memory of Warren Zevon, but those words would perfectly define the mealy-mouthed actions and words of a goalie who only feels sorry for himself by the look of it.

"I lay my head on the railroad track/And wait for the double-E/The railroad don't run no more/Poor, poor pitiful me"

Or even better:

"I met a girl at the Rainbow Bar/She asks me if I'd beat her/She took me back to the Hyatt House/I don't want to talk about it"

Talk about it, Cris. You have taken a girly beating and you're 25-12-4. You have every right to be pissed off. So show it: on the ice, off the ice. Maybe the Hawks should hire Belfour to be your goaltending coach. He could advise you on more than your net presence.

Eddie wasn't the prettiest. But he was the angriest. He scrambled challenges and questions like eggs.

Eddie could tell you how to show some backbone when asked questions by people who doubt you. Eddie could tell you how to harbor some inner dislike for Niemi--nothing personal--but just good business, healthy professional jealousy, where you know for damn sure you are better than the other guy and don't mind saying so when asked.

Asking for a Stanley Cup championship from a guy whose record is 25-12-4 sounds reasonable. Asking for it from a guy who has no heart and soul sounds quixotic.

Right now, there are a lot of people that don't much like their chances with "Don Quixote" Huet in goal spinning out his meaningless windmill of bullshit, on and off the ice.

Wise up for once, Cris. Get real. Get mad. Get a plan. Get a purpose. Get a drink. Get a girl. Get Belfour's phone number.

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26 Comments

jack Frapp said:

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Wow, must be nice having truck loads of cash lying around.

Jess
www.fbi-logging.at.tc

Steve said:

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Honestly, you should just stop writing about the Blackhawks. No, wait, scratch that, stop writing about hockey altogether.

On third thought, just stop writing period.

Mike Kiley said:

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Gee, make up your mind, willya? I hate a guy beats around the bush.

Steve said:

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You've got a lot of hate in general. It's why your writing stinks of vitriol and sensationalist bias.

Mike Kiley said:

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Whatever issues you have with me is fine with me. You are about one million and five in line to kick my ass. Truthfully, I'm too old to care if you think I suck. Many times I think I suck, too. The first million beat you to that opinion. I would hope this blog is not about me, but about the Blackhawks. I'm sharing ideas, which you can reject or accept. I welcome whatever opinions we can have about the team. But if it's all about me, hey, I love that, too. Because who's better than me?

madara said:

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Eddie would be the Mike Ditka of hockey coaches. Maybe goalies are too soft today. I'd like to see Huet play with some fire in his belly.

Al In WI said:

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The blackhawks shouldn't hire Belfour as the goalie coach. The blackhawks should hire Belfour as the goalie. He still wants to play, and @ 44 he is still better then Huet will ever be. I think he could handle 20 shots a night. Why not?

madara said:

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They could have Ed Belfour heritage night and ask him to stick around and play the game.

beaverwarrior said:

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Or about the Domanator !

VegasHawksFan said:

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Umm, Belfour did not win a cup with the Hawks. Just sayin. Cock's like Belfour are great when they are winning and insufferable when they aren't (Milton Bradley, T.O. anyone?). For a variety of reasons, we are stuck with the goaltending we have and no amount of mouthbreather yelling or booing will change that. It's not like Huet hasn't earned the shit he's taking, but when morons sarcastically applaud when he makes a save, what purpose does that serve? For a team in first place, there is a scary amount of shit beyond goaltending that isn't clicking. Does anyone here have the sack to boo Seabrook at a game when he makes one of his nightly stupid turnovers? How bout publicly booing Versteeg when he tries to toe drag through four defenders? I dunno, if this was really the only problem this team had, maybe Huet would make my blood boil more.

Mike Kiley said:

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That's only because he lost the edge to his skate when Jaromir Jagr was bearing down on him. C'mon, give the guy a break. He got there. He just lost his grip on the rope.

VegasHawksFan said:

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Meh, that was a team choke rather than just one guy, and if the Hawks fall early this year, it will be the same thing. What you said about Huet, I think, could be said about most of the team. I think the Olympics lit a fire under Kane, but against the Isles, THE ISLES for Christsake, did the rest of the team show real fire? At this point, peoples minds are made up on Huet, he's got no reason to try and please them with anything but a better result in goal.

fattybeef said:

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Wow, first deconstructive comment Ive seen on this thread. Thanks Steve.

The Hawks had a total meltdown against one hell of a strong team last time they were in the finals. Shitting the bed in game one kinda set the tone for the series. Super Mario, kinda good.

At least with Ed back there if anyone touched the paint they would get clobbered and he would have saved one of the goals Huet let in last night, or gone ape shit on his D. Either would have been fun to see. Cant say the guy didnt have heart. Even if he was a huge prick and unsober a lot of the time allegedly.

And if Huet were in a painting he'd be in a Manet sitting around a garden, sipping absinthe, smoking a pipe, with that wonderful laissez-faire attitude that works real well in sports to the back drop of a blissful haze of impressionism.

Those goals yesterday were shit, especially the first one. Kind of expected at this point though. At least hes consistant back there. 2 goals/20 shots and 1 for every 5 after that. Wonder what sopel would do with keeper pads?

Jerry Kayne said:

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Welcome Steve, this must be your first visit here. This is where we have fun talking about the Hawks and Mike's our host. Maybe you can take it down a notch next visit please or at least bring a bottle of cheap wine.

It was Belfour's anger that may have been his undoing that woeful series vs the Pens. I wonder how he kept it together to win the Cup with the Stars. That may be the lesson he can teach our guys. A little more fire in the belly will work wonders for this team in it's entirety.

Tim said:

hmmm...I don't know. I would love to see a little more personality from Huet, but then again...the city doesn't react too well to "kiss my ass!"-ers. I already think it's ridiculous ANYONE boos our top tier Hawks in their own damn building...but if Cris comes out with this kind of attitude, especially fresh off the heels of one Milton Bradley, the general result will be pretty ugly.

Jerry Kayne said:

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In addition, it's really getting very irritating to hear the traditional 3 whistles from newbies. They must be doing it to hear themselves because it's done so frequently now and at inappropriate times.

Cute picture of what I assume is you and your baby, Tim. Good thing your baby doesn't understand the strong language used here. I hope you're keeping him/her pure and not training a goalie whiner. We've reached our quota here.

Tim said:

Thanks for the kind words Jerry...it's my 4-month old daughter in the pic. And don't worry, I was raised in a household with a great Hawks Tribune beat writer for a father who taught me how to be a great Hawks fan...which included no booing of a great on-ice product, like there is now. So, my daughter will be brought up the same way. She's already watching games with Daddy, and honestly focuses and coos while watching - probably at all the moving colors on the screen, or maybe she's amazed at the Hawks ability to control the puck, I don't know.

Steve said:

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There it is, right there.

The problem is, it's articles like this that fuel the fire of the idiocy at the United Center and the booing of our home team - then the sarcastic clapping when Huet caught the floater near the end of the Edmonton game.

It's articles like this that make my experience as a season ticket holder less enjoyable because the Chicago "press" (and I'm not just referring to blogs like this) perpetuates the same "blame one player" idiocy with the Blackhawks that they do with the Bears...

Wake up. Hockey is a team sport, and while Huet is not and never will be Martin Brodeur (who, by the way, has had some awful games this year himself), he is not nearly as bad as these dolts in the press seem to think.

With a plethora of uneducated new fans (which I'm fine with, generally speaking - new fans are GOOD! I'm not one of those "Bandwagon haters") - the only way they can learn about the game is through reading newspapers and blogs.

Unfortunately, hockey journalism in Chicago is a complete and utter joke. People read stuff like this and start repeating it at the United Center... they start booing home team players - not just after a bad play, but during PREGAME INTRODUCTIONS.

Get it now? The reason I hate so-called "writers" like Kiley is that they do nothing but create dumb fans.

In case you Kiley hasn't watched the Blackhawks since 1992 he might want to know: The post-lockout NHL won't allow for a goaltender to slash the crap out of people like Belfour did. We'd be on the penalty kill all game if Huet did that.

Besides, Huet has actually taken some hacks and wacks at people in front of his net this year. I sit every single game on the side the Hawks defend twice, so I see Huet a lot, even when the cameras aren't on him. He gets plenty fiesty when people get in his crease. If you don't go to a lot of games and can only watch on TV, I can understand how you might not see it as much because the cameras aren't on him at all times.

SharpKane said:

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I don't agree with your Kiley bashing, and the lumping of him in with other media entities, I however do agree with your last paragraph - he can get rather fiesty.

FearlessFreep said:

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Steve, I will agree with you about the behavior and attitude about the media and fans always looking for a scapegoat when things don't go well. Booing anybody on this team now, as it is, is simply asinine. Considering what this team had been putting out before Old Man Wirtz died, there should be zero complaining about the current Hawks - I guarantee there are about 25 other teams that wish they were in our shoes. This is one of the reasons I actually have reduced my contributions to this blog - seems like every reply to the blog is something along the lines of "the goaltending will hold the Hawks back from a Cup" or simply "Huet sucks". If the Hawks lose, it's because Huet didn't perform; if the Hawks win, they did it because the defense played well. I'm just getting tired of the same bullshit that gets posted here by the same people. I understand your frustration.

That said, Mike does a fantastic job of keeping this blog entertaining, and does it without taking himself too seriously, unlike a number of other idiotic sportswriters in this town who pretend to know something about hockey (see Rosenbloom, Steve). If you have a problem with him or his product, you can always take your time and energy somewhere else.

SharpKane said:

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We all need to remember he is French. They are not the most outspoken or hotheaded. I would even venture to say it is extremely taboo in the French culture to let your emotions get the best of you in your profession; your job. That said, I still wish he would break some more sticks like that one time a month or so ago.

icehogst said:

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You are a punk Kiley. Last time I read your crap.

SpawnOfDitka said:

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Mike brings a bit of zest to his commentary that takes some insight to enjoy. Apparently you and Steve are the 'don't get the bit' guys. The door's over there. Don't let it hit you in the ass.

Jerry Kayne said:

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Such strong reactions to this posting. You'd think Mike said Sarah Palin was funny on Leno or Frank Pelico was being replaced a DJ. Mike's our Big toe, lighten up Francis.

TonyO said:

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Send lawyers, guns and money......

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