You Don’t Win A Playoff Series in October

Unless you play baseball.

It appears this idea of not having what it takes to win the Stanley Cup in October will not be going away anytime soon.  So, I’ve taken it upon myself to show you how ridiculous this rhetoric is.

To look at a current situation and think a player (with a proven track record) performing poorly will continue to be bad for the rest of the season is, I don’t know, a bit short-sighted.  Even the always respectable Tim Sassone is wrong occasionally.  Just take a look back at this blog posting of his from last November

Wow, this might be one of the most hilarious strands of Blackhawk thoughts from last season.  Especially since we now know how it all actually played out.  Among my favorites:

Havlat is frustrating the Hawks and don’t be surprised if GM Dale Tallon starts shopping the winger, who is making $6 million to not be a difference maker. Havlat is going to be an unrestricted free agent after the season and there’s no way he will be asked back. No chance. None.

Who knew in five months the Chicago media would be reporting breathlessly about Havlat’s tweets and whether or not he was returning to the Hawks. 

Or this one:

What were the Hawks thinking when they gave Byfuglien a three-year, $9 million contract anyway.
The outcomes in San Jose and Anaheim could have been different with Havlat, Ladd, Bolland or Brouwer stepping up.

So when Sassone blogged on Sunday afternoon about what to do with the ‘Huet situation’, I just had to smile.  He seems to believe sending Huet to Rockford is a real possibility and it certainly might be.   

However, if Huet clears waivers and is sent to Rockford, then he’s probably not coming back here until the playoffs start.  

Why? Well, let’s run through this hypothetical situation.

Say Huet gets his act together and the Hawks are running a tandem of Corey Crawford and Antti Niemi.  One of them isn’t holding up their end of the bargain and goaltending is still an issue.  If Huet is called up, he has to clear waivers once again. 

So what would stop a team like the Blues or Red Wings (who are still looking for someone to eventually take over in the post-Osgood era after the failed Jimmy Howard experiment and were after Huet two years ago when he was a free agent) from taking a gamble on him?  They’d be getting a respectable goaltender for the next two years while they only have to fit half the bill and their key divison rival takes care of the rest.

And you’re sick of watching him now?  How about watching him get his act together for a division rival and the Hawks paying for him to do it?  Meanwhile, there’s a black hole of sucktitude standing in the UC net on a nightly basis. 

Now maybe you’re saying, “John, don’t be silly.  How unlikely does that scenario you just mentioned seem?” 

And I would respond to you, my interweb friends, “About as unlikely as thinking last November, Havlat would be the Hawks’ best player come April.”  

*On the Farm*

–Rockford won their second game in a row on Saturday night beating the Peoria Rivermen in a shoot-out 4-3.  The Ice Hogs trailed 3-0 halfway through the second, then responded with three unanswered goals.  Bryan Bickell put them on the board with an assist from Jake DowellMatt Keith scored the next two also assisted by Dowell both times.  Corey Crawford faced 28 shots and stopped 25 of them.  Danny Bois, Rob Klinkhammer, Evan Brophey, and Derek Nesbitt were goal scorers in the shoot-out. 

In case you were wondering, in the AHL, they use five shooters in their shoot-out format instead of three.

According to this guy, Shawn Lalonde missed the last two games for Belleville due to a shoulder injury that’s likely to sideline him for the next month.

–After costing his team on Friday night with a tripping penalty, Kyle Beach scored the game-winning goal for Spokane on Saturday night in their 3-1 win over Kootenay.  Of course, later in the third, he was sent off for another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along with teammate Corbin Baldwin.

Byron Froese assisted on Everett’s game-winning power play goal against the Kelowna Rockets.  He was a +1 and had 4 penalty minutes.

–Minnesota-Duluth swept their weekend series against Minnesota State with a 3-2 win.  Dan DeLisle picked up his first point of the season when he assisted on UMD’s second goal.  Dylan Olsen was held in check and was a -1.

–RPI went 0-1-1 in the Alaska Gold Rush.  They lost on Friday night to Alaska-Anchorage 3-0.  On Saturday night, Brandon Pirri was their lone goal scorer in a 1-1 tie with Alaska-Fairbanks.  

Billy Sweatt went scoreless in Colorado College’s weekend against the University of Wisconsin.  He did have 10 shots on goal, though.  For the season, Sweatt has a goal and assist in 4 games.

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20 Responses to You Don’t Win A Playoff Series in October

  1. burgstrom says:

    This is a solid article that lays out the Huet situation perfectly.

    You can’t be irrational with that contract after 8 games. Sit and wait, the Hawks are off to an amazing start despite the goaltending and if it looks like it’s still not resolved later in the season, try to bring in a proven backup at the deadline.

  2. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, how dare you speak with the voice of reason? Don’t you know that ‘angst’ and ‘Blackhawk’ go together like Britney Spears and K-Fed? Um, wait a second…

    Don’t we all want to cradle our head in our hands like Tony O at the end of the playoffs in ’71? For those of us actually born then, there’s nothing like a good crying jag to get over a terminal case of agita. Badabing!

    And what would happen to Rocky’s booze revenues if suddenly Hawks fans were to stop drowning their sorrows, real and/or imagined?

    The biggest shock to the system is that here we are, two weeks into the season and the Blackhawks are atop the Central while the Wings are fluttering near the bottom.

    Quick, somebody pinch me. Or maybe don’t.

  3. JM says:

    Reading this has given me the same soothing sensation I enjoy when rubbing preparation H all over my hemrrhoids.

  4. John says:

    JM, that may become the new tagline for our website.

  5. Dave Morris says:

    @John> According to reports, Mr Huet has been approached to do endorsements for that product.

    If these reports are true, perhaps you can feature a banner ad with Cristo. Nothing like a little revenue to help out.

    Meanwhile, Huet has been seen attending GA meetings (Goalies Anonymous, natch) with Tim Thomas, Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo to discuss their wretched save percentages and possible longterm effects on their self-esteem.

  6. Lou says:

    So what’s the skinny on Ebbett???

  7. John says:

    You’ll get it later tonight. Needless to say, I’m excited and may have dropped the ball on this one.

  8. Lou says:

    Hopefully this will let Skille get some regular ice time. the 5 or 6 minutes he gets aren’t enough for him to really improve or be showcased

  9. Patrick says:

    Could be wrong, but my thinking is that Ebbett should replace Fraser, not Skille…

  10. blackhawkbob says:

    If salary was no matter, you’d probably be right.

  11. Dave Morris says:

    Forward lines from practice, per Chris Kuc at the Tribune:

    Ladd–Toews–Sharp

    Byfuglien–Bolland–Kane

    Brouwer–Madden–Versteeg

    Ebbett–Fraser–Kopecky

  12. blackhawkbob says:

    I suppose that’s what everyone expected. Thanks, Dave.

  13. Dave Morris says:

    @blackhawkbob> No worries 😀

    PS getting back to the Huet situation…the Hawks were shopping him last March.

    Cristo is still on the market. He knows it, and I suspect that the insecurity of that knowledge, along with his evident inability to deal with the pressure in Chicago, have contributed to his problems.

    Take a look at Huet’s highlight reels when he was with Montreal and Washington. He’s confident, even flashy.

    Totally different story in CHI.

    I disagree with people who say Huet has no trade value…there are some teams looking for a veteran backup/1A (a role which Huet fills quite well), but the issue has been the contract size and term.

    For example…LA is looking for a veteran to play alongside Jon Quick.

    Huet is an ex-King.

    The Kings want to move Frolov, who is a UFA in June.

    A Huet-Skille package to LA for Frolov-Ersberg works in terms of mutual need and numbers.

    BTW Ersberg is a very, very talented young netminder. I have watched him play and he is solid.

    There was some chatter out of LA about a month ago on the subject.

    Just sayin’.

  14. Lou says:

    The big question on Frolov is he gonna be motivated if he gets traded. The press on him is not very good right now

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou>the press has nothing to do with the reality of a player’s skill. GMs know what players are worth. The press just fulminates for profit.

  16. Lou says:

    Sure Dave, I get that but. He is sitting as a healthy scratch with a lot of talent by Coach’s choice due to inconsistent play. Not a good thing

    All I am saying is if we would want him he better be motivated. We don’t need any princesses on the Hawks the team chemistry is too solid.

  17. Dave Morris says:

    Lou> I am not saying Fearless Frolov is the solution…just that a deal with LA may be one way to approach the problem.

    But I am just a mere Hawkey enthusiast…brainstorming.

    After all, it’s The Bow Man who gets the big dollars and has the corner office.

    Over to him.

  18. burgstrom says:

    @dave

    You can’t say Huet has trade value but his contract size and term is a problem. That’s what makes him have no trade value.

    No one is in the market for a $5.625MM backup netminder.

  19. Dave Morris says:

    @Burgstrom> Huet has trade value, but his contract is an obstacle. How’s that for a conundrum?

    As for anyone being in the market for a veteran backup, there is. As for being persuaded to take Cristo’s contract, that’s for The Bow Man to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

    Stranger things have happened…i.e. Scott Gomez.

  20. Patrick says:

    I’ve got a Huet idea (although I think he’ll work everything out so I’m not hot to move him right now, but I’ll play along) – Huet + a 1st rounder and this Greentree kid (or whatever) for Marty Turco. You’d probably have to overpay and get the Stars GM drunk to pull this off, but you never know.

    Solves the Hawks Goalie situation and give cap flexibility for next year.

    Long live Jack Skille!

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