Cristobal Huet, Antti Niemi vs. History, Meatheads

Jeremy Roenick became the latest to tell the hockey world what every critic has been saying about the Blackhawks for months: The ‘Hawks goaltending could keep them from winning the Stanley Cup.

The meatheads have been shouting for Cristobal Huet to be traded and supplanted by Antti Niemi. When those cries stop, they began whining about how both goaltenders are unproven. It never ends. Neither Huet nor Niemi will ever win in the minds of the fans or so-called experts.

Good performance? “Eh, well, the defense played great in front of him.”

Bad performance? “See? I told you he sucks!”

In numerous failed attempts to merely have an educated conversation with some meathead fans, I’ve realized people are mainly just trying to find something to bitch about. It’s human nature — nothing is EVER perfect.

It’s quite obvious the meatheads will stand by their opinion and defend it as fact — that’s why they’re meatheads, and why I’ll never be able to have a logical conversation with one. So, let’s just go to the facts and look back at the regular-season goaltending of the Stanley Cup champions since the 2000-01 season.

Cup winner (NHL rank in team save percentage)

’09: Pittsburgh Penguins (14)
’08: Detroit Red Wings (13)
’07: Anaheim Ducks (T-6)
’06: Carolina Hurricanes (T-15)
’05: Lockout
’04: Tampa Bay Lightening (T-14)
’03: New Jersey Devils (T-6)
’02: Detroit Red Wings (T-5)
’01: Colorado Avalanche (T-10)

Putting this in perspective, the Blackhawks duo of Huet and Niemi currently rank 13th in the NHL in save percentage. If they remain at this pace or improve, that rank will be better than four of the last five Stanley Cup winners. Only three of the eight Cup winners ranked in the top 10 and a single team ranked in the top five.

Any meathead out there want to start re-thinking their stand that the Blackhawks won’t win the Cup unless Huet and Niemi improve? No? Let’s go over some more stuff then.

Of those eight Stanley Cup winners, six teams finished in the top 10 in penalty kill percentage. The Blackhawks rank sixth.

Goals for per game? All with the exception of New Jersey ranked in the top 10 in the league. The Blackhawks rank fourth.

Goals against per game? Six of eight in the top 10, including four in the top five and two that ranked first. The Blackhawks rank first.

The thing is, meatheads, the Blackhawks statistically compare to recent Stanley Cup champions — even in goaltending. The reason idiot fans and stupid “experts” talk about the goaltending “situation” is because there isn’t much else to complain about with this Blackhawks team. There have been minor bumps in the road, and the goaltending hasn’t always been what the fans have wanted.

Despite nine f-ing shutouts, the meatheads whine on the few occasions Huet and Niemi have an off night. Furthermore, on the nights of those shutouts the meatheads remind us how great the defense was in front of them.

Well, isn’t that the point? Damn those goalies for having good defense in front of them. Damn them to hell. Damn them for getting victories because they don’t have to face a lot of shots.

I’m sure those meatheads won’t be complaining if the ‘Hawks can put together 16 playoffs wins with that formula, will they.

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  • CT

    Damn you with your logic and your stats and your sense. CAN’T YOU SEE THAT HUET SUCKS BECAUSE HE’S FRENCH?!?

  • Jeffrey Bartl

    Wait, he’s French?! Oh man, forget everything I said. Just forget everything. He’s terrible! Terrible, I tell you!

  • Patrick

    Bartl – frequent poster at FF – this is good thinking. It makes too much sense for some people, and as you say, they always need something to bitch about…

  • Eugene Markman

    Stop letting facts get in the way of the truth. We here in Philly have had mid-range goaltending for years, where is our Cup? I’m starting a petition.

  • Jeff

    No matter what facts I throw out, meatheads will keep bitching about the goaltending. And I’ll put my life on it if the ‘Hawks don’t win the Cup this year, they’ll blame the goaltending. And if they DO win the Cup, they’ll say it was IN SPITE of their goaltending. It’ll never end.

  • Johnny C

    Agree with everything but the comment that Huet has only been off a “few occasions”. Unfortunately, I have it already at 5-6 times where he was subpar and that’s what worries me. I’m no meathead and am aware that Huet (or Niemi) can be between the pipes and the Hawks can still win the Cup. But the issue will be if the Hawks get sucked into a 6 or 7 game series with a team that has a red-hot goalie, the Hawks could be screwed if they can’t rely on their goalie to bring it every night.
    That’s the concern in my book, but it certainly isn’t keeping me up nights.

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  • Dale

    How many times have the Blackhawks lost after out-shooting their opposition nearly, or even, two to one? Now, how many times has the reverse happened, where Huet saved them when they were being outplayed?

    Almost every game the Hawks dominate their competition, and I have, on occasion, had to stomach a 4-1 loss after Huet let four of 15 or so past him! Fuck, I guess the idea would keep the shots on net to zero, and then there’d be no worry.

    Sure every goalie has a bad night, but this guy has very few good nights, almost no great nights, and a bunch of shitty ones. I think he’s average, at best, and would like to see his “flashes of mediocrity” performances replaced with someone as inspiring as a number of the guys who play out of the net.

  • JB

    Are you even serious? How many times has a team won a Stanley Cup using a goaltending “duo”??? Ridiculous comparison.
    And as is stands, Huet is the starter and his current save % is .903. Check your stats again and let me know how many “starting” goalies from each of those cup teams went into the playoffs with that low of a save %.
    Also, check your stats and let me know what the save % was each of those starting goalies during the playoffs. Any one of them win a cup with a .903 save %?
    You cant really be serious with this post can you, “meathead”. Gimme a break…

  • nick61

    It’s AMAZING how some MEATHEADS lump Nieme in with the FRENCH STENCH, as being inconsistent!!! PUET is the problem, not Nieme, who, BTW is #1 in GAA., and right up there in WINNING PCT. .755. When, like I preDICKted, Nieme takes the starting job this month, the Hawks will SOAR!!! The CREAM is rising to the top, and the FRENCH CHEESE still STEEEEEENX!!! LOL

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  • nick61

    YES, I AGREE!!! Anyone who knows the game, and has some critical thinking ability is a MEATHEAD!! SO JUST CALL ME meathead! lol POOet is currently 38th in save pct,(under .900) not 13th. So far EVERYONE who has played goalie for CBHs this year has looked BETTER, including Crawford against the Phucks! lol Too bad AnaHEIM won’t make the P/Os. I would like to see Seabs, Eager or Buff take his head off! We’ll have to wait til next year for that!

  • Liz

    This article is right on. Even with proof the meatheads are still bitching….The WHOLE TEAM needs to play better in order to get far in the playoffs. Defense AND offense needs to step it up. There are way too many turnovers which often result in the other team scoring. The team also needs to be able to play a FULL GAME. It doesn’t help that we are missing a lot of people due to injuries but that only means that the team needs to step up and play their hearts out. Yes, both goalies have had bad games, but nobody’s perfect. The NHL has made rules so that more goals are scored in order to widen the fan base, which means that we ARE going to be scored on more ( it doesnt just mean that we are going to score more on opposing teams). If you were TRUE Blackhawks fans, you would support the WHOLE team no matter what.

    • nick61

      @ liz, ONLY a LOSER supports a LOSER..”no matter what”. If you don’t care about the Hawks having the LONGEST Cup drought in NHL history, then what kind of fan are you? I am a fan who has watched the Hawks for 46-47 years. I subscribed to Center Ice for the past 2 seasons b/c, and ONLY b/c the Hawks have a young exciting team. I watch every game and expect them to WIN. WHEN THEY START TO suck, I WILL cancel CENTER ICE.

      POOet has proven he doesn’t have it. He has been given ample opportunities to play, and he continues to let in soft goals. He doesn’t have the skill set to be a starting NHL goalie. He will kill the Hawks in the P/Os.

      • Liz

        @Nick61 So ‘only a loser supports a loser.’ Well, then welcome to the club Nick61. You’ve been watching and cheering on a losing team for 46-47 years. Not to mention all those who cheer on The Cubs and The Bears. This is the beauty of Chicago fans. We are the most loyal out there. I DO care about the fact that the Hawks haven’t won the cup for a long time, just as I care that the Cubs haven’t won for 100 years. That is why I cheer these teams on, why I cheer on each and every player. I have hope just as you have for the past 46-47 years. I will continue to cheer them on no matter if they win or lose and I will continue to cheer on Niemi AND Huet because I still believe in them. I know I won’t be able to convince you to cheer for the goaltenders but I hope that you still continue to cheer on the Blackhawks no matter if they win the cup or not.

        • nick61

          POOet is the LOSER I SPEAK OF. GO UNCLE NIEMI!!!! SHUT-OUT TONIGHT..#7. I have played and watched hockey for most of those 46 years, and with that experience I can judge talent a little better than most. I preDICKted Niemi wud be the starter by Feb. That HAS happened as you can see. You better pray Nieme doesn’t get injured, is all I can say! (=

          • Liz

            Niemi played well today. He’s been doing really well lately and I’m proud of him. I’m also proud of Huet. Look how far we’ve gotten with him being in net. It’s only recently that he’s been in a slump and Niemi has been playing more. ALL atheletes have times where they are off and aren’t playing as well. You can say all you want about him, but I will still support him and cheer him on with all my heart.

            Of course I pray that Niemi or Huet or any Blackhawk player, for that matter, doesn’t get injured. Even if Niemi got injured, I have faith in Huet. =)

  • nick61

    I have watched EVERY GAME POOet has played in a Hawk uni, and he is an inconsistent SIEVE. But……… HE IS GREAT ON THE BENCH OPENING AND CLOSING THE GATE!!! lol Niemi got ROBBED of another shut-out earlier in the season when a ref called a phoney penalty on the Hawks to put them 2 men down in the last minute of the game.

  • Terrie

    Your’re right. We miss Cristobal here in MONTREAL.
    He was such a gentleman and very good model for our children.

    • Liz


      You’re right, he is a gentleman. =) He’s so down to earth and he’s very calm. He doesn’t blame others for the goaltending situtation like he could or like others in his position would. In another article he says:
      ‘I can only blame myself for not being on top of my game the last two or three games. Right now I’m just trying to stay sharp and mentally positive, to be ready in case the team needs me. The important thing is we are in the right place and where we want to be as a team. I try not to make waves.’
      And it’s not all his fault that the Hawks have lost a few games, but he doesn’t blame the team or the lack of defense. It’s much like what Esposito would say when they would lose. He took responsibilty for the loss, he was the last one to stop the puck. I have a great respect for people like Esposito and Huet. There certainly are not enough people like them.

      • nick61

        Liz, I’m getting all misty here!!! LOL If POOet DID blame anyone else for his INEPTITUDE he would be CERTIFIED, and locked in a RUBBER ROOM with his fans! LOL If he plays another game this year, that means the Hawks are in BIG TROUBLE! Play the best and screw the rest!

        • Liz


          Seriously? I wasn’t even talking to you….