Hawks blow late lead and solid Huet performance

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Well that sucked. After Hossa's goal late in the 3rd period, it looked like the Hawks had wrapped up the Philadelphia Flyers. But after tying the game off of a turnover, the Flyers then proceeded to score with just over two seconds left, wrapping up a rapid comeback.

The worst part of this loss, besides losing two points so late in the game, is that Huet looked as good as we have seen him all year for a majority of the game. Before the two late goals, he had faced over 30 shots and stopped all but one.

I was eager to write about how excellent it was to see Huet step up and have a masterful game, although I planned on still pointing out that I prefer Niemi no matter how well Huet ends the regular season, but considering the game was lost, its rather hard to do that.

Huet still had a decent game, but two of the three goals were arguably soft, and on those goals he again presented his occasionally lethargic reaction time. The Fylers did a good job keeping pressure on the Hawks for three periods, so the blame certainly cannot go singularly to Huet. However, it certainly is a drastic opposite to the 2-1 Hawks victory and amazing statement game for Huet that it appeared we had in hand.

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Ovechkin vs. the Hawks tomorrow

Here's to the Hawks rebounding with authority tomorrow morning against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. A great Niemi game and win over the only team to have already clinched the playoffs is all it will take to forget today's disappointment.

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  • For Huet, that was a Hall-of-Fame performance. For a good goalie, it was a solid performance for 58 minutes. The Flyers didn't get many good chances until that point.

    That said, the Hawks are amazing at controlling play and territory and not getting anything to show for it.

  • In reply to borg:

    Agreed. Ill bet that even in a majority of their losses, the Blackhawks have dominated their opponents in shots-on-goal, just like today.

    More times than not, however, they get plenty to show for it. I offer their 214 goals (tied for 3rd best in NHL) and record (44-18-5) as proof of this. Keep in mind that they are still tied for 4th best in goals against (161) as well.

    This is why I say the Hawks can win in the playoffs despite the weakness at goalie.

  • In reply to adamtranchida:

    They should have totals than that. Their shot differential, for instance, is the largest by any team since the Wings about 10 years ago.

    I'm starting to really doubt what the Hawks can do in the playoffs. They'll need a favorable 1st-round matchup and perhaps an upset of the Sharks by another team to pull it off, imo.

  • In reply to borg:

    I see what you're saying, and I'm certainly somewhat playing Devil's advocate here because I have plenty of concern for this too, but I can't see the Hawks just totally sputtering out on defense once the playoffs hit.

    I think they will have to push a lot harder and strike better consistancy once the playoffs begin, but to assume that suddenly every opponent we face is going start shooting drastically better against us just because its the playoffs is kind of a stretch.

    I suppose I wouldn't be completely surprised if the Hawks got bounced early this year, but I would be incredibly disappointed. I say if our defense can step up and play at its highest level throughout the playoffs, that kind of play will equate to a "hot" goal tender, and the Hawks will be able to compete with anyone.

    Plus, every goal tender has to get first experiences in the playoffs: there's no other way to get playoff experience. I'm not saying Niemi is the next goaltending phenom, but he's shown flashes. What if he rises to the occassion and plays his best hockey of the year?

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