Wonders Never Cease
-I've spent my fair share of time ripping on Steve Rosenbloom, but only because I know that he's capable of writing articles like this. Read it and tell me if there's one incorrect syllable in it. Rosey once was, and can still be, the most hockey-wise columnist in this city outside of the beat reporters.
I was going to write a post today that basically would have echoed this. I said I wouldn't panic until April hits, and I'm going to try and stick by that. That doesn't mean I'm not worried, because I am. While I don't think any of the goals Scum scored could be pinned on Huet alone, he was a long way from brilliant as well.
From where I sit, the goalie situation and the breakdown of the defense lately seem to be a vicious cycle. The d-men are playing scared at times, fearing any mistake or turnover has a decent to good chance of ending up in a goal. On the flip side, Huet especially and Niemi at times look like they're standing on nails, fearing that their d-men are going to leave them exposed at any second. These guys spend minutes at a time doing nothing, and then out of nowhere they are facing prime chances. As one loses faith in the other, it gets worse and worse. I want to believe that if we see improvement from one side, the other will follow suit in a hurry. But the only thing that will make a difference is see it.
-Though we like to make fun, I am a firm believer that you can say whatever you want in our comments, within reason of course. Similarly, I think that once you pay for your ticket (and if you're getting them secondhand you're probably paying a lot) you are free to boo or cheer as you please, within reason again. So I understand the booing of Huet that the drop of a hat, and that's the 19k's right. But what does it have left to accomplish? I am not one of those blind, "love your players no matter what and stupidly cheer them no matter what they do" people, otherwise known as Packers and St. Louis Cardinals fans. But as I and The Fifth Feather said in October, what good will come of turning every game into a road game for Huet? Is that going to build his confidence? I know it'll continue until his play improves, but I'm not sure I see the logic in it any more.
-I'd also like to remind those who are baying at the organization for Huet's contract and how it tied Stan's hands. Cast your mind back to the summer of 2008. Dale Tallon, his assistant Stan Bowman, and John McDonough knew they had a team that was capable of some pretty great things. They also knew they had a goalie who'd put up three consecutive years of puke-worthy play in Khabibulin. They weren't going anywhere with a goalie as bad as Khabby had been. So they decided to upgrade, and whether you like it or not, Huet was the best on the market. He was coming off a stellar display in the spring in Washington (and if he gets anywhere near that form this spring everything's gonna be just fine). Maybe they gave him too many years, I don't know if they overpaid because I don't know what other teams offered. But to keep harping about "the mistake of signing Huet", I just don't see it as a mistake.
-One thing I'm relieved about with the goalie debate is it provides cover from people noticing that Brian Campbell's play has dropped off. While he hasn't been terrible (though he certainly was yesterday) he's certainly no where near the level he was in December and January. When the Hawks were really rolling, Campbell was one of the bigger reasons why. He constantly had the Hawks in transition and was a one man trap-buster. Now he's a little more hesitant and his passing isn't is crisp. Here's another thing the Hawks need to see back to its highest level in the next five weeks.