Blackhawks News

Cristobal Huet, Antti Niemi vs. History, Meatheads

By Jeffrey Bartl

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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