'08-'09 Season Review: Cristobal Huet
With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. Next up, Cristobal Huet
#38 / Goalie / Chicago Blackhawks
Sep 03, 1975
Contract Status: Signed thru '11-'12
|2008 - Cristobal Huet||41||2351||20||15||4||5||99||2.53||1087||988||.909||3|
The Good: Looking at the above numbers, one would think that Huet had a generally solid year, considering that they're for the most part on-par with his career averages of a 9.17 SV% and a 2.45 GAA. True, they are slightly worse, but a .909 save percentage is certainly not terrible by any stretch. Additionally, and this again is through no doing of his own, but Huet was a good soldier in what could have been a highly contentious locker room situation between he and Khabibulin, considering the way the goaltending situation started out this year thanks to upper management's bumbling. For a young team who otherwise have some of the best locker-room chemistry any of us fans have ever seen, that cannot be understated. Game 5 against Detroit hopefully was a harbinger of things to come next year, as Cris nearly single-handedly forced a Game 6 with a sterling 44-save performance that included this:
The Bad: As good as Game 5 was, Game 4 was an absolute nightmare. It was a game the Hawks had to have, and a golden opportunity to get back in the series, and Huet let them down with more than a couple soft goals. And that was really the story of Huet's season: Solid numbers, but the potential back-breaker is always one shot away. Game 5 notwithstanding, Cris rarely dominated any game he participated in, and will even less frequently steal one- something that was necessesary from time to time with a young team. While strong down low, he is susceptible high as a result of trusting his technique above all, which is a stark contrast to Khabibulin's hybrid high-wire act, and had numerous adventures handling the puck in open ice this year. Like it or not, the Hawks are not unloading Huet, and are stuck with his $5.625 million contract for another three years.
Nicknames: Huey, Cris, The Man From France, The Amazing Cristobal
Playoff Beard Strength: Weak, only a small tuft on the chin, making himself look like a euro-trash Maynard G. Krebs.
Related Photoshops: Stink Lines
The Grade: What say you, pantsless internet denizens of Second City Hockey? After re-reading my assessment above, I feel comfortable in giving Huet a C for the season, if only because the numbers do have merit. But to steal a Hawk-Harrelson-ism and use it for hockey, "Don't tell me what you save, tell me when you save it".
Cristobal Huet's Final Grade?