Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog,
The Blackhawks lost their captain and then lost their poise. The Hawks then lost the lead, lost one of their top two defensemen, and finally lost the game on a stupid play in the defensive zone by two of their best offensive players.
Man, the Hawks will go to any length to take your mind off the goaltending mess, eh?
Thing is, goaltending wasn’t the problem against Vancouver Wednesday night. In fact, Antti Niemi, the backup who starts because big-money starter Cristobal Huet is bad, was the answer most of the night for the confused, abused and diffused Hawks. He made enough point-blank saves that if alleged No. 1 Cristobal Huet was in there, his goal-against average might’ve hit double-figures.
And besides, it wasn’t Niemi’s fault the Hawks choked another 5-on-3 advantage that could’ve turned a one-goal lead into a three-goal win.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was crunched with an open-ice hit from Willie Mitchell in the third period and didn’t return. Defenseman Brent Seabrook also left the game with an injury as the Canucks won 3-2 at the United Center.
Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game both players would be evaluated Thursday.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Byfuglien has picked up where he left off in the playoffs with 4 goals in the Hawks’ first eight games. Standing in front of the net is not Byfuglien’s favorite role, but it is helping make him a star.
“It’s my job now, and I guess I don’t really have a choice to do it or I don’t know where I’d be,” Byfuglien said. “It’s all right. It’s growing on me. It’s fun and you get to play with the good players and get better opportunities to be out there more.”
Having a strong presence in front of the net is a key in Quenneville’s system, and Byfuglien has quickly become one of the better players in the NHL at bothering goaltenders.
“He found a niche there and it has helped his game,” Quenneville said. “Over the course of (last) year he was just going through it where he was just an ordinary player, but getting to that level where all of a sudden he was a factor in games and dominating games and being annoying for other teams and being a major distraction in front of the net, he filled that role extremely well.
Many thanks to Paul for the invitation to do this blog…hoping Hawk fans, friends and foes will join us here at Kukla’s Korner. Okay, as little about me as possible, as this is all about talking Hawkey. Born in Ottawa, Canada in the mid-fifties, and traveling the world since then. I remember watching my heroes on a flickering black and white RCA Victor—Bobby, Stan, Ken, Glenn, Moose, Pierre, Nesterenko, Reggie Fleming and the gang, coached by Rudy Pilous—beating the Wings to win the Cup. Boy, has that been forever.
The Blackhawks goalie-go-round is back in heavy rotation. When Cristobal Huet gave up two game losing soft goals Saturday night, October 17th, in front of an already trigger-happy United Center sellout crowd, he might have sealed his fate as forecast by the soothsayers.
Or maybe not.
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,
Great Swiss sieves from past include Marty Gerber, Tobias Stephan - and now the Struggling Swiss-Franc, Mr. Huet. All of them graduates of the Equipment-Cheat, Fall-On-Your-Knees School of Swiss Netminder Capitulation.
I’ll admit I let in some bad goals in my time, and I’ve witnessed some goose-down soft tallies covering the National League of Hockey with my eyeballs and throat, but I have never been privy to a more “WTF Were You Doing?” goal than Stephane Robidas eventual game winner that bewildered Huet and devistated the Hawk Nation in Chicago last night.
I’m on the flight back home trying to figure out how a $5M goalie can let a puck shot from center, that was aimed 40 feet wide of the net, and hit a glass support, bounced twice, was then headed in front of the goal to the other corner, get past him.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
On a night when the Hawks dominated much of the game offensively, Huet allowed 2 deflating goals, including one that needed to be seen to be believed.
With the Hawks trailing 3-2 midway through the third period, Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas fired one from inside the red line around the glass that deflected toward the goal, bounced and hopped into the net between Huet and the post.
Huet also let Toby Petersen beat him with a slap shot from past the right circle near the boards in the second period that rang down the boos from the sellout crowd.
“I can blame only myself,” Huet said. “The third goal (by Petersen) is bad. It can’t happen. Right now I feel bad because I feel I let the team down. I know I can play way better than that.
“Obviously, I really looked bad tonight and I didn’t help the team.”
added 10:19am, Not the best video quality, but check out the last goal Huet gave up last night below…
from Chris Kruc of the Chicago Tribune,
Each day the Hawks aren’t playing a game, (Jack) Skille is being reassigned to Rockford of the AHL. On game days the winger is recalled and joins his teammates on the big club. Because Skille, the Hawks’ top pick (seventh overall) in the 2005 draft, still is playing under his entry-level contract, he is not exposed to waivers and there is no limit to how many times the Hawks can reassign and recall him.
Each day Skille, 22, is not on the active roster, the Hawks do not have to pay him his NHL salary (he does get his minor-league salary) and they save money under the cap. It’s believed the Hawks save about $6,000 each day Skille isn’t on the roster.
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
Huet is expected to start tonight in Nashville, the hockey equivalent of playing the Rams. They have seven goals all season, three by one guy. They’re coming off a 6-0 whipping by Dallas. Jeez, Nashville is the kind of team where forwards volunteer to play goal.
So, this is a must-win for Huet. This is a better-win. You shouldn’t give up a goal to these mopes. But more importantly, win the game so the coach, your teammates and the fans can at least fake some confidence in you. Because if you lose in Nashville, mon ami, stay there. ...
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
It’s way too early to give up on Cristobal Huet less than two weeks into the season.
But the clock is ticking.
Huet has made four starts and been shaky in all of them. His exit seven minutes into Monday’s game against Calgary after he allowed 3 goals on 5 shots was the right move by Hawks coach Joel Quenneville even if the defensive play in front of the goalie was shoddy.
It’s a goalie’s job to come up with big saves after defensive breakdowns, especially the goalie on a team that’s supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup.
I normally do not do game recaps, but sometimes…
A comeback of historic proportions took place at the United Center on Monday night.
After allowing five goals in a span of 5:29 during the first period, the Chicago Blackhawks roared back with six unanswered tallies—capped by Brent Seabrook’s winner 26 seconds into overtime—for a wild 6-5 victory against the Calgary Flames.
It was the biggest comeback in the history of the “Original Six” franchise and came against the team the Blackhawks eliminated in the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it tied the NHL record for the biggest deficit overcome.
continued and watch video highlights below…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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