After not getting a start since last Sunday’s game against San Jose, ‘Hawks goalie Cristobal Huet is starting to admit he’s frustrated.
“The whole situation is a little bit frustrating, but I can only blame myself for playing not as good as I could,” Huet said. “I just want to play well the next game, whenever that is.”
This should really come as no surprise to anyone. Khabibulin has been playing out of his mind and Quenneville is going with the hot hand on this important road trip. Huet is a starting goaltender and is certainly getting paid like one. While some think this is an evil situation that will tear apart the team, only one instance comes to mind in the past twenty years where a goalie poisoned his team so bad, they were left no choice but to cut all ties. That was in ’95-96 when Patrick Roy held Montreal hostage and forced them to trade him for 25 cents on the dollar and set the Canadiens back about ten years. Roy was an institution and the face of the franchise, so I think it’s safe to say Huet isn’t held in the same regard.
I was trying to think of another position in a team sport where a specific player is so isolated from the rest of the team that it’s nearly impossible for them to affect the ‘chemistry’ of a team and couldn’t think of anything. A wide receiver can ruin the flow of an offense by not running routes or give up on blocking assignments. A shooting guard (see Hughes, Larry) can keep talking about how he’s not playing enough, then launch ill-advised shots once he gets in the game. Even the Sean Avery situation in Dallas is becoming a deep ceded issue in their locker room that’s affecting the way they play. Goalies are too independent to affect anything for the position players. Most of their communication is with the other goalie and the goalie coach.
Huet can talk about how frustrated he is about not playing until he is blue in the face and I’m about 99 percent sure that not one player on the ‘Hawks gives a hoot. I’m not saying they hate Huet because if the roles were reversed and Khabibulin wasn’t playing, they would still feel the same way. All the position players care about is who will stop more shots and give them the best chance to win.
This isn’t meant as an indictment to Huet because the ‘Hawks are going to lean on him at some point during the season. It’s more of a pointed comment to those who think these recent quotes by Huet are going to affect the team at all. If the ‘Hawks get smoked out West this week, it won’t be because Adam Burish was so distraught by Huet’s comments that he couldn’t get the puck out of his zone. It would be because Adam Burish isn’t that good at hockey. Hopefully, when Huet gets in, he’ll play solid and this will all be noise.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t express our gratitude to couple of people who have helped getting our blog off the ground. So we would like to give a big Fifth Feather thank you to Jim over at Sox Machine and chicagokill at Second City Hockey. God bless you both.