Time to drink, damnit: Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

By Jeffrey Bartl

"“It’s really frustrating. I feel bad about myself. I feel like I let the team down. I know I can play way better than that. It’s just a bump in the road (but) I really looked bad. I didn’t have it.” — Cristobal Huet"

You know those moments when any word you say isn’t enough to express your disgust? Your arms start flailing, your jaw drops, you stop your foot, your head shakes from side to side and all you can muster is a “pfffft” sound through curled lips.

I did that a lot tonight. Cristobal Huet left me speechless. As most of you know, I’ve been one of the biggest Huet supporters on the Blackhawks blogosphere. Tonight, he made me look like a goddamn jackass. I should be writing about Jonathan Toews , Troy Bouwer and Niklas Hjalmarsson scoring their first goal of the season. Instead, the topic must shift to the man that just can’t seem to do anything right.

When Toby Peterson exposed Huet’s horrible glove hand with a cheeseball goal from the far right wing, I didn’t think it could get any worse. The fourth goal…. I can barely contain myself writing this, it was that bad.

I really, truly feel bad for the guy. The fans were on him from the second Nikolai Khabibulin signed with Edmonton. Now, the guy can’t even corral a soft dump without getting a sarcastic cheer from the fans.

Can you blame them, though? My support for him dwindles with every softy he lets through. I’m starting to think we have two No. 2 goaltenders on this team.

However, I’m not denouncing my support for Huet — he still wears a Blackhawks sweater and is still a more-than-capable NHL goaltender. Yes, I’m pissed off. He played like a pile of dog shit and you’re not going to get any excuses from this guy for that horrible play.

Yes, we need to start seeing more of Antti Niemi, especially at the United Center. That’s more for Huet’s sake. The guy is getting booed in pregame lineups, booed when his picture pops up on the scoreboard and sarcastically cheered every time he touches the puck. He cannot do anything right by this city, and that’s the main reason I’ve supported him — I thought he deserved more of a chance. Now, it’s time to officially make this a platoon.

It’s a long season, and we’re only eight games into it. We’re one of the best teams in the Western Conference, and we’ve done it with the goaltending we’re all bitching about. There’s no reason for the panic I heard walking out of the United Center tonight, but something’s gotta change…

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