Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

Uh oh. If you thought the Cristobal Huet cries were either unwarranted or too loud this early, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

The Man from France gave up four goals on Saturday evening against the Dallas Stars at home, and two were of the “very soft” variety. The “home” fans let him know after each just what they thought of the effort.

It didn’t start off so badly. Huet made a big save 30 seconds in. He didn’t give up a goal until the second period – he only faced five shots during the first – when a goalmouth scramble resulted in a Brendan Morrow tally. Minutes later, an errant point shot originally ticketed for a few feet wide of the net hit Mike Ribeiro in the pants and deflected past a dejected Huet.

Then, the fun started when Toby Peterson skated down the boards on Huet’s glove side and let fly a long distance slapper from the outside hash marks. Huet hit the deck, and the unscreened shot beat him glove side. Needless to say, the “boos” rained down on Huet after the “softy.”

Finally – for Saturday’s Huet experience, anyway – a third period Stephane Robidas dump-in hit the corner boards in a funny way, resulting in the puck bounding towards the net while Huet prepared to play the puck behind it. The bouncing puck snuck in between Huet’s body and the post on the short side, and the 20,000+ fans in attendance were officially upset.

Blackhawk goals were scored by Troy Brouwer – to make it 2-1 during the second – and Jonathan Toews – to make it 3-2 in the second – and Ham Sandwich – to make it 4-3 in the third. The goals were number one for Brouwer and Toews. The Ham Sandwich tally was his second on the season.

The difference in the game was undoubtedly Stars’ back-up goalie, Alex Auld, who saved 29 of 32 shots, many of which had a high degree of difficulty.  The Hawks put 14 shots on net during the first period, but were unable to crack Auld.

The Hawks had a late 6-on-4 and tremendous pressure during the final couple minutes, but were unable to tie the game.

Yo, Listen Up to These Words

— Kris Versteeg could have fed a small African village if his goal scoring opportunities were loaves of bread yesterday evening. Versteeg played very well again, but was unable to score.

— Dave Bolland seems to be playing through pain.

— It was only a matter of time before Troy Brouwer netted one. He’s been fantastic all season, and he’s even created his own opportunities a few times – something he did quite infrequently, if at all, last year.

— The United Center glass has been under siege this season. Yesterday evening, a Dustin Byfuglien hit knocked out a pane of glass in the rink. It was at least the third time during this young season that a pane came out. Does anyone know of a reason for this?

— During the third period, when WGN returned from a commercial but before Foley and Olcyzk realized they were on the air, it appeared that Eddie O had begun his celebration after matching his raffle ticket with the winning number displayed on the center ice scoreboard. Someone seemed to quickly quiet him, but the question remains: Did Eddie O win the UC raffle yesterday evening?

— This was the Hawks’ first loss at the UC – not the first loss “at home,” which came in Finland.

— Coming into yesterday evening’s game, one thing was for sure in regards to Cristobal Huet: his confidence was low. So, how did the home crowd, certainly concerned with its Stanley Cup hopes in October, treat him? It “booed” him, making sure anything left of his confidence left.

Now, I’ve said it before, but I’ll reiterate it here: if you buy a ticket, you can “boo” all game long if you’d like.  It won’t bother me.

But, why do it when it obviously negatively affects one of the Blackhawks’ most important players? Why see to it that the goaltender plays in front of a hostile crowd even at home? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

So, if everyone wants to go A-Rod on Huet and turn every game into a road game, so be it.

I’ll be the quiet one.

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7 Responses to Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Well, whattd’ya expect?

    The vocal members of the UC crowd have given Cristo ‘thumbs down’. And in the world of glacial gladiators, that’s just how it goes.

    Huet simply can’t do what he’s doing, which is go into panic mode when the going gets tough. He was fine in Period One. After the scramble leading to the first Stars’ score, you saw him coming apart.

    Madden came over to him after the second goal to try to tell Cris ‘It’s OK’…but it wasn’t OK.

    Mental toughness is, apparently, something Monsieur Huet is lacking.

    A fatal flaw in a five and a half million dollar goaltender.

    (Of course, we can talk about the lack of mental toughness in eight million goaltenders named Roberto, but BFD, and not relevant here.)

    Chris Osgood gets a pass because he’s won Cups, taken the crap, gotten his game back together, and plays for peanuts.

    Huet is none of the above.

    So…Q’s gotta keep him out of town for a while, play The Nieminator at home, and hope Cristo manages to straighten himself about by the time the Hawks go on the road again.

    There are no cheap or easy fixes for this one, folks.
    😦

  2. blackhawkbob says:

    Dave, it’s hard to argue with any of your points.

    But, if we, as fans, truely feel we play a role, or even make a difference, in a given game, why use this time to send this message?

    Just doesn’t make sense to me.

    One thing’s for sure: he needs to be a lot better. I assume Niemi will get the nod Wednesday.

  3. Lou says:

    The boards were the liveliest I have every seen at the UC. A Lot of unique bounces and the mojority were fortiutous for us until the foruth goal. Only Detroit’s end boards seem livelier than ours last night.

    You nailed it on Brouwer. He has played real well and he got the loose puck after Ladd made a great hit and did a nice shot.

    Ham is getting more confident each game and is a nice partner with Soup. It was his first goal of the year and that now is 16 different scorers without Hossa playing yet. Nice balance to have.

    The third goal by the legendary sniper Toby Peterson took place right in front of my seat and it was plain crap. Huet has to be better than that. Unfortunately, the boo birds are gonna be out and they expect him to be better than that. He has played in MTL so he should be numb to some of it and expect some of it too. From the 300 level it was a bad miss and that overshadows some pretty solid saves he made. The foruth goal’s bounces were unque and the post game said it took a reall weird hop. The third goal takes away some of the flukiness of the fourth goal.

    Shifting a bit, we have allowed i think three goals this year as a result of goal mouth scrums in which the goalie can’t freeze the puck and we can’t clear it out. We need to have someone step up D or F and add some muscle in those situations. That is something we can improve on.

    Finally, I think the refs called the right penalties against us but missed a couple in the third against them. We put ourselves in the position to be short for a good stretch and were lucky to kill the penalties but we also had a trip and a crosscheck not called.

    Any insight on what Ebbett brings to the team? Better D than Fraser something else. Skillle and Kopecky are awful expensive 5 to 7 minute per game guys.

  4. Lou says:

    @Bob didn’t see your post. But our fans can significantly sway the vibe of the stadium. You make a huge point on that. Unfortunately, the frustration of the moment often overrides the strategic energy one can provide.

  5. feyer says:

    Lost in all the Huet fuss is the play of a certain D man with a bigger contract then the man from France. You can certainly place blame on the last 2 goals on Huet, but Soupy looked pathetic on the first 2. On goal number one, he looked like a squirt player trying his best to skate to the spot where the puck used to be instead of where the puck was going to. On goal 2 he is in the middle of a battle for the puck behind the net, doing his best not to compete for the puck and holding his stick up in the air. If we get this sort of play from these 2 big contracts, I almost hate to see what happens when Hossa hits the ice.

  6. John says:

    Feyer, you have every right to bitch about Campbell but the guy has been ace for them all year thus far. If you want to jump all over him after one game, you can, but that is quite reactionary and short-sighted.

  7. Dave Morris says:

    @Bob> you are right about the effect of the fans’ jeering on Cristo. Unfortunately, it’s apparently an occupational hazard in Chicago.

    Mind you, mild compared to what I’ve experienced attending games in Montreal and New York.
    😉

    Maybe Cristo needs to go on Oprah.

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