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.