No Red Lights: Hockey: Chicago's Goalie Situation - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

Chicago's Goalie Situation

Even though they sqeaked by the Red Wings with a win on Friday night, optimism is not ringing strong in the Hawks' club or even the Chicago faithful. Generally, the bottom line for all teams comes down to a question of goaltending - Can your goalie win the cup... this year. Khabibulin has done it in the past, but the age question always beats upon goalies past 35 (even Roy and Brodeur... or Favre and Rice... raised questions about their ability to win). And Chicago needs Bulin to rise above these concerns. 

Like the regular season, Chicago will be mediocre at best without solid goaltending. When they were trying to give Huet the starting position, they struggled to be a middle of the pack team, even though their young talent was playing well (but no necessarily great). Once their goaltending situation was solidified by the outstanding play of Khabibulin, the confidence of the team soared and so did their position in the conference standings. Right now, Khabibulin is playing weak; he is deep in his net and not aggressive on screens. The Khabibulin that won the Cup in 2005 was aggressive and rarely lost leads. Ask any minor league goalie; lose enough leads and you'll lose your position.

On Friday's game, it was an interesting move to put Huet in net. He had not played a game in weeks and had minimal game time in March. Even if there is rust, Huet had a great post season last year when the Caps made their first run for the cup in a while. He has been very inconsistent for the Hawks all year but the playoffs are always different. He looked solid in the few shots he stopped and to get the win for his team is huge. That builds confidence. The only kind of confidence and swagger that can defeat the dynastic Wings.... and confidence is exactly what the Hawks need right now.