Blackhawks Confidential

Huet ends his Blackhawks career in a 8-3 loss to Columbus; bye, bye, Cris

Here's the question no one will ask or answer. Did coach Joel Quenneville really need to be told one more time that Cristobal Huet isn't his goalie for the playoffs or not even his goalie next season or not even his goalie for the rest of this season?

Here's the question no one will ask or answer. How soon before the Blackhawks are able to buy out Huet's contract, seconds after they win the Stanley Cup championship or after they lose in the first, second or third rounds?

Here's the question no one will ask or answer. Is the Hawks stock as a team falling quickly enough that they are no longer one of the favorites to reach the championship round?

Here's the question no one will ask or answer. Are the Hawks really sold on Antti Niemi's inexperience as the way forward to a title or are they just hoping for the best at this point to finish as well as possible and hoping they can reorganize next year for a better chance at a championship with a goalie to be named later?

Here's the question I will ask and answer. Did you enjoy any minute of Thursday night's 8-3 loss against Columbus in Ohio? No, I did not.

In between my taxman Jim Moles telling me the government could not struggle on without a $6,000 contribution to the IRS from the Kiley household, and the Hawks looking nothing but poverty stricken from start to finish, this was not one of my better nights.

Excuse me while I take a call from a right-wing militia unit and finish cleaning my gun.

I feel sick, but nothing like Cristobal Huet should feel. His NHL career may be finished. How the Hawks decided to sign him for huge money as a free agent will be one of the franchise's biggest errors ever. Bad decision and bad move by Quenneville to try to revive Huet with the season winding down.

With all the experts breaking down every inch of tape all season, no one could be positive until now that Huet absolutely, positively sucks beyond belief? The experts should be fired.

You could say the Blue Jackets scored their decisive goal in the first minute of play when goalless Mike Commodore flung a prayer at the net from the right boards. It pinballed off a confused Huet, who was down 1-0 without ever breaking a sweat. It got much worse. Much, much worse, but at least we stopped Commodore from a two-goal night. Thank God for small miracles.

Of course, it wasn't all Huet's fault. But was anyone on the ice worse than him? Nah, no one.

With nine games left, Antti Niemi has to start either seven or eight. Huet has played himself into a corner, where he is your option only when you are forced to play someone else. Huet comes into games only when Niemi needs to blow his nose or go to the bathroom.

Quenneville's decison-making is in serious question, however. He has played this goalie controversy for all its worth for too long.

You and I have seen for a while that Niemi was better than Huet. Why not the smartest guys in the room? From president John McDonough to adviser Scotty Bowman to general manager Junior Bowman to Quenneville, this decision has been a lapse in judgment for a while now.

Make a call and stick with it. Don't equivocate. Don't ponder. Don't try to be diplomatic all the time. Do you really question Niemi's ability that much that it took a thrashing by the Jackets before the Hawks were forced to admit that Huet pretty much sucks?

Of course, Q just stammered and refused to give a direct answer after the game about Huet and Niemi. That's bullshit. What are you hiding? The Hawks love to hide things. Better when the time comes that Q channels his inner Ditka and blasts at will.

Tell us what you think, Q. Don't always try to do what McDonough tells you about covering your innermost feelings. Nothing worse than a yes man who can't say yes and can't say no.

Q was a boiling pot that should have spilled over. Nothing sells better than honesty, not the best marketing move that McD and Co. can invent.

Q loves the extremes, already famous for saying this and that was the worst call in history. Why not say this was the worst goalie effort I have seen in the history of the NHL? You just might be right this time.

I don't much feel like breaking down the disaster. But this outcome was never in doubt even though the Jackets led 2-0 after one period. Kris Versteeg cut it to 2-1 in the second before Huet forced Quenneville to replace him in the second when Columbus surged to a 5-1 lead, that last goal over a sprawled Brent Seabrook as Huet reacted like a statue as the goal by Antoine Vermette flashed past him.

Niemi also allowed a goal to send the Jackets to a 6-1 lead after two periods. But Huet was sent back into the net to start the third, and if you can believe it, showed that he has zip for balls by playing much worse than he had before.

He misplayed two pucks and allowed Columbus to score twice early in the third. If his team once had any kind of confidence in Huet, that has to be absolutely gone. They don't want to see him. We don't want to see him. Good chance, Huet doesn't want to see himself in the mirror this morning.

The Hawks go into the playoffs with an extremely slender margin. They have one goalie. If they must revert to Huet at any point, as they did last year in the Western Conference finals when Nikolai Khabibulin was hurt, consider your season finished.

Huet isn't toast. He's charred moosemeat. He's as good as gone right now. He's untradeable most likely, unless Bowman is willing to assume the U. S. deficit of 500 trillion or whatever it is, and make him a ward of the government by dealing him to Obama.

Where do we go from here? Niemi, Niemi, Niemi, Niemi, Niemi, Niemi. Win or lose.

Where do we go from here? Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense.

Where do we go from here? Into no man's land, stuck at 99 points and maybe not strong ehough after all to set a franchise high of 108 points.

This game was a travesty, much like the U. S. tax laws. Excuse me while I find my vodka. Better stock up for the playoffs.

"Moving forward, Niemi is the guy," Edzo told the TV audience.

Of course, Blackhawks Confidential said the same a while back. Is that a charitable tax deduction? Maybe the Blackhawks should decide to be experts much sooner than they have been so far.

Don't ask, don't tell. The military just junked that slogan. Maybe the Blackhawks will pick it up on waivers.

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65 Comments

borg said:

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I don't mind Huet playing one game out of 10. Huet just isn't any good.

The bigger problem is the Blackhawks' awful defensive effort in recent games. Even Phoenix could've score 4 or 5 goals if not for Niemi and the posts.

Tonight's game will get much more fan reaction towards Huet than the overall effort even though this game was much worse than the ones against Detroit, Washington or Philly.

Mike Kiley said:

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Everybody sucked. But when your goalie sucks 32 seconds into the game, it's the chicken and egg theory. Don't tell me this team believes in Huet. They don't. You can overcome a lot, but not when you are expecting the worse to happen.

borg said:

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I'm not defending Huet. I just don't think it matters anymore. He's not going to be the goalie in the playoffs.

This team has to start defending players in their own zone though. If they don't come out against Columbus frothing at the collective mouth, then perhaps they should skip the playoffs. Quit sitting there and letting that incredibly inferior group of slugs physically beat you into a pulp. Byfuglien, Brouwer, Eager, Kopecky, Ladd, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson? You listening?

blkhawk11 said:

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What is Q thinking???

Yes, Huet should be finished in all counts...but somehow I doubt it for the decisions this coaching staff make baffles everyone to no end!!
Hopefully, they will play Niemi to the end of the season and bring Crawford in as back-up. Otherwise, this campaign will probably go up in a BIG smoke!!!!

beaverwarrior said:

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It's time for the team to get younger. Time to bring up Corey Crawford from Rockford to be Niemi's backup and send Huet packing.

VegasHawksFan said:

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In a very twisted way, I was very entertained watching this game. I called a friend midway through and we were both actually hoping for a 9-1 score to really drive the point home. The only thing that bothers me about Huet's likely final implosion is that he will be what gets the ink. Huet sucking is one issue. The rest of the team sucking defensively is another, and entirely separate issue. When they happen on the same night though, it's only Huet most talk about.

This team was not ready to play tonight, who's fault is that? This power play continues to suck donkey balls, who's fault is that? Hossa on point for power play, really?! Losing by only a goal or two when they play this shitty is actually a bad thing. Better to absolutely get their balls kicked in when they don't come ready to play. Sadly, I don't expect much of a better effort on Sunday, especially if they are still first in conference.

Mike Kiley said:

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Here's my question for you. If Huet was better, would the team have been better around him? It's unanswerable. But I think the answer is yes. I agree the team overall should be much, much better. But Huet is like a drain sucking everyone down. He's not a fighter. Hockey is all about fighting in many different forms.

Dave Morris said:

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Mike, sad to say, you're absolutely right.

Sad for Hawks fans whose hopes are so high.

Cris Huet cashed in big time when he signed in Chicago for twice as much as money as he'd ever made and for longer than he ever had.

Over the last two seasons, he's had every opportunity to show he's worth the big dough.

Goalies are risky investments at best, but time to close the books on this one.

As for the rest of the team, three starting d-men out again tonight, plus Bolland. That makes a difference, no matter who the Hawks are playing. The transition game just isn't there, and the team is obviously out of sync.

As you say, the players have no confidence in Huet now...so the air went out of the balloon early.

Stringing together successive wins from here until the end of the season is going to be a real challenge for the Blackhawks.

Mike Kiley said:

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Dave, otherwise known as Mr. Huet's PR man, it does my heart good to see you say I'm absolutely right. I think you are absolutely right.

VegasHawksFan said:

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I honestly don't know if they would have played better. I feel like I am seeing the same mistakes they have made all year. Even with Niemi in net the other night, they still blew a moderate amount of defensive coverage. I'll admit, it was much much better then in previous efforts, but it still didn't look like playoff hockey to me. The team is nearly as fickle as Huet when it comes to consistency. At this point, perhaps the team has given up on him and is letting him twist in the wind. Sure seemed that way last night as there was no fight in them either. Burish doesn't count.

All I care about is this team winning. Even if the negativity toward Huet is not coming from his teammates, the collective angst from the fans is bad enough and we don't need idiots on home ice cheering sarcastically when he makes a save. I'll concede the point Mike that Huet is not showing a lot of fight here. But from the team, I'm not seeing it either. The Jackets last night were the exact kind of team the Hawks have dismissed and gotten thumped by all year. I firmly believe we can shitcan Huet entirely and still not see the best effort out of the rest of the team. That's my biggest concern.

Jerry Kayne said:

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It was clear to me that the team has no confidence in Huet when Hjalmarsson took the desperation hooking penalty on Voracek. He probably was thinking he would trade the 2 minutes in the box for a team penalty kill. He knows Huet can't stop a one-on-one. He probably was surprised they awarded a penalty shot. It was a risk he took. That was a team statement.

I don't know how many coaches win games, but you can tell how many are lost by them. This was a "coach loss." A well coached team doesn't go down in flames like this one did last night. I'm calling out Quenneville today and giving him notice. If this is his team and he's making the on-ice decisions. Him and his mustache should be fired.

Savvy lost his job for what they termed not doing the "veteran coach" bench decisions.

Quenneville was hired to make the tough team decisions and he is not. Who is running this team is, to me, the real issue here. Has the brass put this season on autopilot and left the players on their own?

VegasHawksFan said:

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I've had this debate with a few people, and for now, people only see Huet as a problem. Q is not a bad coach. He came in to a tough situation last year, had a hell of a run and has his team set to clinch their division. On several occasions however, I believe he has clearly been outcoached. Brouwer on the fourth line? Hossa on point? Kopecky from press box to second line center? I cringe as I make this comment, but I would venture to say that he has mismanaged his goalies as well.

In Q I see a winning coach who will put up a good season. But for now, I still have my doubts as to whether he can make that next leap. Sooner or later, Q has to make that leap, or he has to be replaced with someone who embodies Bowman Sr. capabilities to truly create a system that endures. I believe that if you are a player in the NHL who gets traded to Detroit, you know what will be expected before you even get there. Young talent is not always easy to coral, but that's part of being a coach. Just having a winning season is not going to be good enough after this year. WCF or the finals will keep him employed, but nothing short of Stanley next year will be good enough.

nick61 said:

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Thanx MK! Being around better quality people will raise the bar. The CBHs have a very talented team, and have yet to reach their potential. They have come a long way in a few short years. Hopefully the BEST is yet to come, in a few weeks! When I played Midget Hockey we had 2 goalies. The better one was a big guy, and other one was a small dude, one of the coaches son. When the son played, we sucked b/c he sucked. When the big guy played we played better.

Mike said:

Can they put him on waivers?

Mike said:

I'm prety disappointed in the effort tonight, maybe it reflects the effort being put forth between the pipes. Hurt shows no focus and maybe his teammates are sick of working hard only to see 2.5 soft goals scored on them a game a "what's the point" mentality? Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for the remaining nine games

Dean Youngblood said:

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Huet is not done. Quenneville will continue with retarded, fickle, moronic goal tending decisions.

Mike Kiley said:

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Dean, I might be willing to pay the IRS $8,000 to insure that's not true. I'd have to borrow $2,000 from Huet, but let's consider it an alienation of affections fee.

nick61 said:

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@Mike Kiley, Hi Mike. INCOME TAX is an illegal tax, and always has been! People pay it b/c they have been co-erced, and or threatened by the IRS, which is NOT a Govt. agency. It is a private corp.connected to the FEDERAL RESERVE which sucks the wealth out of the USA, and it's citizens. THE FEDERAL RESERVE is NOT govt. either. They exist to make sure the USA citizens are CONtrolled, and in financial slavery.

Mike Kiley said:

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Damn lucky at least they got wireless down here in the coal mines. You're right, though. I have been sold into white slavery. Save me, save me, save me.

nick61 said:

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LOL We have to save ourselves by peaceful non-compliance. JUST SAY NO!

TonyO said:

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don't think I have ever needed the 4 arrow fast forward on my DVR...until tonight. Xavier showed more heart and soul tonight. awful boys, just awful.

SDSTAN said:

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Huet must have had money on the over tonight with his horrific play. I can't even remember him making an average save. I totally agree that the team just got all of the air sucked out of them with all of the soft goals, but they still didn't look ready to play and compete. Is it just me or is Boynton worthless out there, he is a slug.

Devastator said:

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The one moment I really liked Huet in recent times was when he smashed his stick on the crossbar after the Philadelphia game. It was nice to see him get pissed off and show some passion instead of just grinning like a buffoon. Is that relevant? maybe not, but I have believed the entire season that Niemi is just simply better. I also believe that the team plays better when the goalie is part of the picture rather than the anchor. They have won some big games by bailing out the goalie (usually Huet) but more often than not it results in a failed and frustrating effort.

Hopefully this was Huet's last major chance. I also hope that when Sunday roles around the Jackets will be in for a massacre.

SouthSideHawkMan said:

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Mike you sir are the best, and you are again spot on with Huet. I only caught some of the game on radio and it didn't sound like a game I needed to be watching. As for Christo, I just hope I don't need to see him play EVER AGAIN. I'd much rather see Crawford backing up Niemi. Should have made that move for a goalie at the trade deadline. I wonder how smug the Bowmans feel tonight?

nick61 said:

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@south side mike, why should the Hawks LOSE a top forward, just b/c PUET is a POS SIEVE???? We have 2 other goalies Nieme, and Crawford last time I looked! PLAY THEM!!! THIS ISN'T rocket science LADS!

iplagitr said:

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I hate to admit I sort of agree with what Nuckle said above. In a twisted way, I didn't mind seeing Huet make a fool of himself and let in all those idiotic goals. I mean, what does it take to settle the goalie debate already?! I just laughed when I saw him kick that first stupid shot into his own net. It was an exclamation point on how ridiculous a decision it was for Q to start him. As has been noted, when is the coaching staff gonna figure out what everyone else knew about a half season ago?! Or is it possible that Q started Huet knowing that he would probably suck, and therefore he couldn't possibly be blamed for going with Niemi down the stretch? You get the idea he might have had that in mind when he put Huet back in for the third.

Maybe beaverwarrior (and others) make a good point to just pack him up and bring Crawford in for Niemi's backup? I mean, what's the point of even keeping Huet on the bench? He has no confidence, and neither does the team when he's playing. The last thing they want if they're in need of a momentum change is to bring HUET into the game for the goalie switch! The whole thing turns into a joke when he plays anymore. I can't even imagine Huet having the desire to play another game this season. If I were him I'd put a bag over my head.

borg said:

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Niemi has pretty obviously been the #1 for some time, hence Niemi starting 6 of the previous 7 games. No need to rake Q over the coals for one start.

HawksRule said:

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Borg, according to your last 10 posts or more, Huet is a terrible goalie, and doesn't even deserve to be in the NHL. Now if you think your own opinion is correct, then you should have issue with Q starting him, even in one game. The Hawks need to start rolling, not wasting more time with Huet who has proven to be a failure. Dumb move by Quenn.

borg said:

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HawksRule,

Did you expect Niemi to play every game the rest of the way? Quenneville had let Niemi start 5 straight and 6 of 7. If there was any time to let Huet get a game in, theoretically, it was against Columbus.

And if you haven't noticed, the Hawks have been losing most of these games with Niemi in net. They're inability to get on a roll has been a team issue.

HawksRule said:

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Borg,
"Did you expect Niemi to play every game the rest of the way?"
Yes. Ask Brodeur, Bryzgalov, Nabokov, Miller, etc how many games they've started this year. Niemi can easily start 10 games in a row, and he'd better get used to it if he's gonna be the guy for the playoffs.

"Quenneville had let Niemi start 5 straight and 6 of 7"
Huet had the flu.

"And if you haven't noticed, the Hawks have been losing most of these games with Niemi in net."
WRONG - the Hawks are 3-0-2 in his last 5 starts including 2 shutouts. The two OTLs were to the Caps and Yotes - the hottest teams in the league. Come on!

"They're inability to get on a roll has been a team issue."
Only magnified when Huet got the start last night and let in the first of many bad goals, 30 seconds into the game.

You're definitely entitled to your opinion, Borg, but I think it's obvious most on this blog don't agree with your take.

borg said:

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Had Niemi kept playing, it would've been closer to 16 straight, not 10. And I'm betting teams with elite goalies will get a start or two for their backup in the final weeks unless they're fighting to get in the playoffs.

*

"Huet had the flu."

It's been 9 days since Huet supposedly had the flu. That's one long bout with the flu.

*

"WRONG - the Hawks are 3-0-2 in his last 5 starts including 2 shutouts. The two OTLs were to the Caps and Yotes - the hottest teams in the league."

That's 2 losses out of 5 games, HawksRule. They also lost the Islanders game in which he started and was pulled. I'm not blaming Niemi for the losses, only pointing out that Huet wasn't in net for many of them. They lost the game in Anaheim with Crawford in net, again not Huet.

*

"Only magnified when Huet got the start last night and let in the first of many bad goals, 30 seconds into the game."

Fine, blame Huet for last night's loss even though everyone sucked as Quenneville rightly pointed out afterward. That doesn't change the facts that the team has been lousy defensively since the Olympic break regardless of the goalie or that Niemi had started 6 of 7 prior to Jackets game.

*

"but I think it's obvious most on this blog don't agree with your take."

I don't care if anyone agrees with me, first of all. Second, my "take" is that Huet stinks but is no longer the #1 goalie, and that getting bent out of shape because Huet played one game down the stretch is silly. If Huet plays from here on out, of which there is no chance, then complain all you want.

HawksRule said:

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What an amazing case your building for a goalie you don't believe in. You get so caught up in proving a point that you forget the point doesn't make any sense and start twisting things around. Your grasping for air on this one, Borg.

HawksRule said:

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And isn't it amazing how Huet is so bad that he turns fellow Hawk fans into an arguing brood?

Lets not take it any further.

borg said:

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Actually, I am going to respond to this one because at no point did I make any case for Huet. Niemi wasn't going to play the last 16 games and Huet's the backup so Huet was going to get another start. That's the the short and long of it.

nick61 said:

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YES, but but but Puet is supposed to be such a nice guy.......A LOSER........but a nice guy!!!! LOL This is what the rocket scientists on the Blackhawk Boards use for an argument!!! LOL

Mike Kiley said:

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Further proof you can never have enough pricks. I'm always available.

Dark Blue Jacket said:

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Sounds like you need to boost your withholding.

Wild game last night. As tough as it was for you folks, imagine our angst at watching our team light up the number one team in the West while being saddled with an October-January slump of epic proportions that had us out of the playoff race by Christmas. Talk about wasted potential!

Ah well, should make Sunday's game interesting. Good luck to the Hawks through the playoffs!

Mike Kiley said:

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I'm much better at withdrawing than withholding. I'm a microcosm of the Hawks season. Everything was going along pretty good until you turn around one rainy day and find you're bankrupt. Maybe we'll fool 'em yet, but I'd bet on the Hawks doing that before betting on me. I might have to hide out in Columbus, since nobody really knows where that city is. Look forward to meeting you.

Tab said:

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Hey - you're quoted & linked to from ESPN.com's Rumor Mill today (Friday)! Nice job!

I called for a Huet buyout in January and was widely blasted for even considering the option, but at this point is selling out a kid what will have to replace Versteeg/Sharp next year like Kyle Beach (or Sharps/Versteeg themselves) worth just dumping Huet? And who in their right mind is going to take him? The math is simple: Buying out Huet means he'll be a $1.8M cap hit for the next 4 years. If we can keep Niemi and sign a backup like Nittymaki or Ellis for a total of $3.8M (VERY possible), we'll be paying to better netminders AND Huet what we're paying Huet right now. I'm on board with a buyout. Get rid of him. Even having him in Rockford leaves a shadow of doubt. I want him out of the organization.

Mike Kiley said:

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I always knew I'd make the big time some day.

nick61 said:

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Yah Mike, yer a legend in yer own mind!!!!! lol Being a Kiley, you must be OK, cuz yer ALMOST a Kennedy....like moi !!!! (;

nick61 said:

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Yes Tab, I called for Le Sieve's head January of 2009!!! Then I had to watch him stink it up ever since. Now go get yer LOBOTOMY, like the rest of the PUET Putzes, so you can support the team, with no criticizing or questions!!!! He is a nice guy, so WHO CARES IF THE HAWKS DON'T WIN A CUP IN ANOTHER 50 YEARS????? LOL The Cubs seem to do OK at LOSING!!!! LMAO (;

falkin3 said:

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Mike, this is why I thought Huet should be sent down. He still should be. There is still time for this guy to get some games and regain his confidence. We can't go to the playoffs like this. HUET IS GOING TO PLAY a playoff game whether we like it or not. Can his psyche get any worse? Could the guy be more shattered? He is not going to rebuild himself in the NHL. The Columbus game was so minimal on the pressure scale compared to the playoffs and Huet looked worse than my 6 year old. We can talk about buyouts and we can talk about trades. But that's next year. All the huffing and puffing about Huet doesn't change the fact that he is going to back up Niemi. And Niemi is going to have a blip on the radar during the push to the cup....or maybe two. Huet will play. So send him down away from the UC crowds and let him regain his positioning confidence and let Crawford back up Niemi. There is no other choice now. It can't get any worse.

Mike Kiley said:

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Falkin, are you available to drive Huet to Rockford? Make sure you sweep up all that broken confidence before you leave and fit it in the suitcase next to his French teaser.

Jerry Kayne said:

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I think we all agree Huet hasn't earned his seat on the Hawks bench. Send Huet to Rockford and make him play everyday. I wish he could be a "healthy" scratch but the obvious salary cap thing won't allow it.

Niemi needs to know he's the only goalie. Nothing builds confidence in a professional than knowing he's the guy they're counting on and there is no one else (which should have been done anytime during the season).

Dunc said 2 games ago was "embarrassing." Well, this game was humiliating. I'd hate to be them. We could stop watching.

The team needs to psychologically rebuild this weekend. They don't look like a team that can win under any circumstances. They can get the swagger back with the right coaching.

I'd like to see Coach Q and his mustache lose it and go ballistic just once. I couldn't believe he was so calm in his post-game press conference. I hated that too.

Mike Kiley said:

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Jerry, you are showing a lot more passion than I saw from the Hawks last night. Give me a minute to catch my breath. You're on fire. I like it. I surely do like it. I guess you weren't kidding around when you said we all needed to raise up our game faces.

greatwhitenorth said:

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Ok, agreed: Huet is playing terrible, no arguement there. And yes, the players have no confidence in him and as a result are playing like buffoons. But Huet is a shadow of his former self. He was NEVER this bad in Montreal or Washington. What gives? They have a goalie coach correct? Who is he Casper the ghost? Where is he? I'd suggest that he is a moron. Niemi has played ok, but I'd say that he is not lighting the league on fire. He is the better of two evils no doubt. If the team was playing like a bunch of plumbers we'd be calling for Q's head on a platter rather than the players.So why not the goalie coach? Huet and Niemi have talent, they are in the NHL, you get there with talent. But Huet's performance has been pedestrian. Can't the goalie coach help him? He has the skills to play in the show, but the coach can't help him out? His confidence is shot, that is easy to see. It's an ugly steep slope you go down quickly, that is difficult to climb back up. Q's job is to coach players. Waite's job is to coach/manage/develop/correct/understand goalies. I'd have to rate his job as a failure. Khabbi was marginal for 3 years. He played better only when Huet arrived and forced his hand. Huet is not playing poorly because he is over the hill. He is playing badly because he is not getting help correcting his mistakes. It snowballs after so many sub-par performances. He has the tools to play the game: but Waite has left the building with the tool box and the tools are laying in a pile on the floor in front of Huets' stall in the dressing room. Confidence is the be all and end all for every athlete. If you don't have it you cannot perform. Oh yes, call up Crawford. He has progressed SO well under the watchful eye of Waite over the years. Give me a break. Fire Waite once and for all and hire somebody reputable. See if the new guy can develop and improve what the Hawks give him to work with. Then pass judgement on the goalies. Any other team would have done this by now. See the Senators, Blues, Maple Leafs, Flames as prime examples.

nick61 said:

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@GWNorth, I have never followed POOet before he got to Chicago, but I have seen EVERY game he has played here since. He stinks, and always has stunk! He is 34, not 20. If he doesn't know how to play the game by now, when will he? Now you want to fire goaltending coaches b/c POOet stinks????? BRILLIANT!!!! Khabbi played "better" b/c it was a contract year coming up. It had nothing to do with the FRENCH STENCH! Khabby was better than him, Niemi is better than him, Crawford is better than him. Tallon has already paid for signing him to a long-term over-inflated contract. Now we are stuck with POOet's cap hit, which prevents the team from re-signing "TALENTED" players.

jj said:

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Nick61, do u really think you need to bash someone just because they have a different opinion than you? you missed the guy's point. you said you never followed huet before chicago and that is the problem. GWN's point is, why can the guy - huet - lead the league in save percentage one year, be selected an NHL all star the next year BY COACHES - not a popularity vote - and then lead washington to the playoffs with 12 straight wins, and all of a sudden he can't play the game? GWN raises some good points. all of our goalies, including khabby, have underperformed. who have we developed on our own? no one. and we trade for two goalies with high rates of success and they can't play either? better look a little deeper instead of your simplistic way of determining the problem. coaches are there to correct and straighten out problems and that has not happened in chicago. if he is not getting the help he needs to get back to one of the better goalies in the league, then start there.

nick61 said:

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Bashing who???? Do you really think you have to accuse someone of "bashing" just b/c they know the game, and know CRAP when they see it??? I have no idea if Waite pulls his "weight" b/c I am not an insider, so I cannot say if he should be fired. R U an insider and know this???

I have debated the POOet MORONS for 2 years, and they still don't get it. The 6 Million Dollar FrenchMAN cannot be rebuilt! That only happens, in the comic books, and on TV!!! LOL

jj said:

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you just proved my point, calling people morons because they don't agree with you. and by the way, all goalies in the nhl have goalie coaches regardless of age, not just the 20-yr-olds, Mr knowledgeable. ask JS Giguere, former playoff MVP and stanley cup winner, how valuable francois allaire is to him. He says his goalie coach is everything to him. he keeps him on track.

the point is, no goalies have been developed by the hawks and the ones traded for get worse. that's a fact, Mr Knowledgeable. not an opinion. bash away.

nick61 said:

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NO, I call morons morons!!! Funny how dat works eh???? LOL That is about 90% of the MORONS who spend their lives on Sports Forums while their country is falling apart around them! If a goalie can't produce by age 34, he is a WASTE of time, and $$$$. POOet is the ALBATROSS around the CBH's neck. HE WILL DESTROY ANY CHANCE OF A CUP THIS YEAR IF HE IS ALLOWED TO! Get it??? BTW, is there any truth to the rumor that Coach Qs' nose will be donated to the Hawks after he retires, to be used as a goal light???? LOL

IncineRAYtor said:

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Nick61, Your caps, name calling, excessive use of punctuation, and constant desire to get off topic are getting old. Take your LOL's, OMG's, WTF's, and leave them on facebook or your teen chat sites where they belong, because they're not welcomed here.

nick61 said:

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@ InclineRAYtor, I am sorry if I made you cry! Just tell me what I can do to make it up to you! Please explain to me. I want 5,000 words or more b/c I want to be very clear on how I should behave, and I want to make sure, I express myself EXACTLY as you deem acceptable! I don't want to step out of line, and God forbid, BE DIFFERENT!!!! THE HORROR!!! OH sorry! Too many exclamation marks again!!! THE HORROR!!!! ALSO, the last thing I would want to do is bruise your fragile ego, b/c if that happened, I couldn't sleep at night! I am very sensitive like PUET,(did you know a goalie is a D-Man with his brains kicked out???) and this criticism will DEVASTATE me, and probably cause irrepairable psychological, and emotional damage! Sue ya later!!!! (=

gee said:

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First time posting. So excuse me I'm stepping over my bounds already.
But, I could've done w/o all the socio-political rantings.

It just seems extremely "shortsighted" that the team allowed themselves to come into this season with such a gapping hole in their Goalie position?
You cannot make a silk purse of of a Sow's ear. Huet stinks, has stunk, and will probably stink the rest of this season.
Time to point this ship in the right direction, get/start a Goalie, and stick with him. I shake my head at who decided if was an opportune time to start Huet?
let me ask you Mike. I heard Q's record in the playoffs is not that good.
Please tell I'm wrong. Talk me off this ledge...

Mike Kiley said:

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Sorry for the delay. I've spent the last day talking calls from Gov. Quinn, Sarah Palin, Newt and Rambo. This political consulting work is hell. Make sure you return for my religious rants. Don't want to miss those. I'll send ya a palm from my Palm Sunday stash to soothe your fervor once you get a load of that crap. Here's the short answer. I try to be a wee bit unconventional. If you don't like it I can understand. You're at the end of a long line who haven't liked my unconventional manners. And here's the short answer to your more important question. Look up Q's record in the playoffs when you're sitting down, not leaning over the ledge. Take a close look in fact at Q vs. Detroit. The Red Wings fans will if we get that far. We should all feel better by night's end. Have a good day and thanks for reading and commenting. My next unconventional rant will be just for you.

nick61 said:

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Niemi is right in the thick of it with the best goalies in the league. His WINNING PCT. is near the top. Now look at this link and see how a competent, winning, organization operates, when it comes to using goalies. Howard is improving b/c he is getting the playing time, while Niemi is not ALLOWED to show his stuff as much. PLAY THE BEST AND !@##%^^$## THE REST!

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2010/03/jimmy_howard_is_making_a_stron.html

borg said:

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Niemi's played more games this months than he did the first two and a half months combined. And while I like him, his numbers have suffered the more he's played. Still a better option than Huet, but then, who isn't.

nick61 said:

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Yes, and Niemi has still played LESS games than POOet! That is the travesty! I said back in November that Niemi would be the starting goalie by Feb. even with his limited opportunities. I also took a lot of flack for predicting that. Where are these chumps now??? Are they busy thinking up new EXCUSES for the LOSER? These are the same drones who get mad when some fans boo players who aren't performing. The best thing to happen to Chicago hockey was for fans to stay away b/c the team sucked for years. There was no accountability for losing,and the Mgmt. did not make any improvements/upgrades. It took the death of Dollar Bill to revive a DEAD franchise. If they continue to provide a decent product on the ice, I will continue to watch, if not, color me gone.

TOM COTNER said:

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HELLO STAN BOWMAN....................ARE YOU BEGINNING TO REALIZE THE ERRORS OF YOUR DECISION TO STAND IDLE AT THE TRADE DEADLINE ??? ESPECIALLY, when you had a trading partner in the FLORIDA PANTHERS, ready and willing to take HUET off your hands ???

ALL IT WOULDA COST was to include PATTY SHARP in on the deal !!! What a STUPID decision you made, PAL !!! Now you won't find a trading partner in the off season for HUET, unless you travel to the outskirts of the SOLAR SYSTEM !!!

DALE TALLON WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED for bringing HUET to the HAWKS, but that BLACK CLOUD can't be held over him forever, especially and in the eyes of the law, the current G.M. has the obligation to MITIGATE YOUR DAMAGES, but YOU FAILED MISERABLY !!!

AND JUST SO WE'RE CLEAR, I'm not looking to rid ourselves of SHARP'S talent and contributions, but when I was in the BALLCARD BUSINESS, long before this EBAY AND CRAIG'S LIST NONSENSE CRAP (FL-_ _ _ & OK-_ _ _ ) I learned that if you wanted to get rid of the damn JUNKWAX, you generally needed to include a decent product at less than market value !!!

IT WORKED FAVORABLY on a repeated basis, cause all products can't always turn into '93 TOPPS FINEST BB or '92 TOPPS STADIUM SERIES 3 FB !!! ANYONE REMEMBER THOSE PUPPIES ???

THE HAWKS are not a small market team, and NO TEAM likes to lose money, but given the circumstances, even BOWMAN JR. should realize that it is time to CUT BAIT and PUT HUET ON WAIVERS, to see if there are any biters in his $2.8 mill. salary. PHILLY this morning was playing a minor league goalie in their game versus the PENGUINS, so perhaps they might just take a nibble ???

GET COREY CRAWFORD BACK INTO THE FOLD and have him and NIEMI split games the rest of the season including the playoffs. IT MIGHT NOT BE THE BEST SOLUTION, BUT IT "IS" THE BEST SOLUTION AT THIS POINT UNTIL THE OFF SEASON, when we can re-evaluate how we would like to move forward for the future.

nick61 said:

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@Tom Cotner, The Hawks did the right thing by NOT giving away a top forward just to unload the SIEVE! And they are doing the WRONG thing by not using Niemi more, and by not bringing up Crawford, and demoting the SIEVE to Rockford.

borg said:

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The Blackhawks aren't going to go with two rookie goalies unless Huet gets hurt. It should also be noted that Crawford has not had a particularly good season in the AHL; he's 31st in save percentage.

nick61 said:

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Crawford's GRANDMOTHER could play better than the Le SIEVE!!!

borg said:

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3 goals on 15 shots against Niemi tonight and the only Hawks goal was kicked in by Columbus.

This team's problems go well beyond Huet.

nick61 said:

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@borg, The Hawks out-shot, and out-played the BLOW-Jackets, by a wide margin, as usual, and could not catch a bounce, or a break! Niemi was NOT the problem. He did not let in any softies. Mason stood on his head, and received 1st Star of the game. How many times this year have we seen the same plot play itself out? The effort was there, but not the results. This will happen from time to time, but the odds are in the Hawks favor when they play like they did tonight. Hossa, and the other core players played well.

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