Thursday, September 18, 2008


We've waited. And waited. We poured over any bit of news we could find. We've read blog after blog. We even tried getting a life. Didn't take. But now, finally, the season is here! And with the kickoff of training camp tomorrow, we thought we'd kick off our season preview, player-by-player. And because it makes some sense, we'll start from the goal line out, so today's preview centers around The Amazing Cristobal Huet.

Well, okay, that's not him. But it's still The Amazing Cristobal. So whatever. I got to have fun with photoshop. Up yours. Anyway, what to make of our new starting goaltender? At least, we think he will be. We'd all like to believe that Tallon is just blowing smoke when he says Huet and Khabby will split time. But the more he says it, the more I think he thinks it can actually work. Which may be Dale hedging his bets on Huet, who has never been a full time starter for a team over a full season. But that would lead to wonder why he signed him for Vegas High-Roller Money? And if he did think him worthy of a starter, why is he hanging on to Khabibulin and thus reaming our cap situation, forcing us to unload one of our only experienced forwards? Questions, questions...

As for Huet the player, we do know that he is younger, slightly cheaper, and probably, at least, a little better than the incumbent. A .920 SV percentage and a 2.32 GAA are nothing to be sneezed at, though they aren't glittering. His stretch run for the Caps was, however, where those numbers jumped to .936 and 1.63. But that was over 13 games, and that was leading a team to win hockey's worst division by far. Back-stopping the Hawks to a playoff spot in a LOADED Western Conference is a different matter all together. Frankly, the jury is still out on whether or not he can do it. But at least it's unknown, whereas with Khabby, it's all too sadly known.

The Hawks, and us, would settle for steady performances from Huet, and none of the back-breaking, beer-dropping softies that Khabby let in on occasion, ones that this young team had a hard time recovering from. If Huet can reproduce even a sliver of the form he showed with the Caps, then the playoffs will be a cinch. But he shouldn't have to, as the Hawks D-corps is much more solid than Washington's.

And now Cris will draw a moo-cow....

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