Mar 7, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT
Forget about my thoughts on whether the Red Wings may be entering a
time of diminishing returns as their stars get older; I still think the
hypothesis is relevant, just not applicable on this day.
today we witnessed the other story of the day come to fruition. A strong
performance by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first period was wasted
when Cristobal Huet turned into a sieve — once again — in net as a 2-0
lead instantly dissolved a 4-2 deficit in the space of six minutes and
fifteen seconds in the second period.
Now was it all on Huet? Not
necessarily. Chicago appeared to cruise into the second period with a
two-goal lead and the Red Wings were much more engaged coming out form
the second intermission. Add in some questionable defense and even worse
goaltending and you have a disaster of a period.
Yet of course,
the story of the game will surround the play of Cristobal Huet. The team
decided that they would stake their postseason success on the tandem of
Antti Niemi and Huet, and today was the prime example of the mistake
they made. There’s no way after a performance like today that either the
team or the fans can honestly feel certain that having a stellar
defensive corps alone can cover up for questionable goaltending.
actually started off the game playing well, stopping all nine shots he
faced in the first period. But with the Red Wings on the power
play, he either lost track of the puck or didn’t feel the need to
transition like he should have, and left the right side of the net wide
open for Brian Rafalski’s goal.
It was downhill from there.
where do the Blackhawks from here? Huet has allowed nine goals in his
past three games — not entirely bad but when you consider he has just a
.804 save percentage in those three games you realize how much he’s
struggled since the Hawks made the decision to ride with him for the
remainder of the season.
It’s obvious that Chicago will need to
turn to Antti Niemi now and perhaps for the playoffs as well. Can they
go with a tandem this late in the season? It’s generally not something
you’d expect a Stanley Cup contender to do, and they’ll need to make a
decision in one direction or the other.
It’s obvious that Huet is
not the answer, and this was not just one bad game. If the Chicago
Blackhawks plan on playing for a Stanley Cup championship in June,
they’ll have to do it in spite of their goaltending. The biggest blunder
of the trade deadline? We shall see in about six weeks or so when the
Video: all 9 of this afternoon’s goals.
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ 7
- So…what do the Oilers do now? 34
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall 147
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action 6
- Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues 15
- Bishop records first career playoff win as Lightning even series with Red Wings 4
- Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks 24
- Blackhawks’ Darling gets the nod for Game 3 29
- Watch Live: Bolts, Blues look to even up their respective series 0
- Preds’ Weber not travelling to Chicago 15
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (148)
- Stone suffered microfracture on Subban slash, Sens confirm (102)
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) (98)
- Report: Players growing tired of Darryl Sutter (94)
- Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs (75)