Is this story getting repetitive? The Hawks dominated much of Saturday
night's 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars. Cristobal Huet let in two more
bad goals, and it spelled doom for the Blackhawks.
The first soft goal was an unscreened, long range slap shot from Toby
Peterson that beat Huet short glove side, giving the Stars a 3-1 lead in the 2nd.
Eddie Olczyk commented that Huet's glove seemed to be "velcroed to his
The second softy, and eventual game winner, occurred in the 3rd period, when Dallas defenseman
Stephane Robidas dumped a puck that hit a partition in
the glass, and bounced over Huet's glove and in. 4-2 Stars.
Some will argue the goal off the partition was fluky, but even the most casual hockey fans have seen that bounce before. Huet was asleep at the wheel, and far too casual on the play.
You'd think a goalie who has been struggling so mightily would be more focused.
Huet's game tonight did nothing to build anyone's confidence. Not the coaching staff's, not the fans', and not Huet's teammates.
Soft goals demoralize teams. They kill momentum, and completely change the face of a game. Instead of a tie game, or a one goal game, the team has to come back from two down just to tie.
It's too much to overcome night after night. The Hawks have as much firepower as anyone in hockey, but a team of NHL All Stars couldn't consistently overcome some of the crap goals Huet has let in.
Something has to give. My last blog talked about Huet's efforts in practice to change his style and stay more upright when shots come his way. He better get it fixed fast. Every soft or questionable goal will effect the morale of his teammates and coaches.
Unfortunately, there aren't many good goalies available, and with a salary cap, the Hawks just can't just add a contract.
Huet hasn't been good enough this season. Fortunately, the Hawks have been outstanding. They simply ran out of time tonight.
When does Antti Niemi get an extended look? Stay tuned...it shouldn't be long now.
Jay Zawaski is the Executive Producer of the Danny Mac Show, (M-F 9am-1pm) on WSCR, 670 The Score.