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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Huet re-ignites Hawks' goaltending debate

By JESSE ROGERS

Cristobal Huet
Cristobal Huet allowed four goals on just 18 shots, which will re-start the controversy among Hawks' fans about the goaltenders.
If you had visions of a perfect road trip, the Hawks and Cristobal Huet took the drama away from it, losing 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators.

Huet gave up at least two he might want to have back, while the Hawks' offense managed only a Marian Hossa short-handed tally, despite another sizable edge in shots on goal. The Hawks only gave up 18 while putting 30 on Brian Elliott, who was voted the No. 1 star. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville didn’t use a lot of words in describing Huet’s performance. The ones he used were enough.

“Just OK for me,” Quenneville said after the game on Comcast SportsNet.

The back-breaker came late in the second after the Hawks had gotten back into it with the Hossa goal. They trailed 2-1. With under two minutes to play, Peter Regin went in on Huet and turned the scoring opportunity into a wrap-around. Huet was left hugging the far post and had no chance at the save.

“That was a big goal,” Quenneville said. “Very timely for them.”

The Hawks defense continued a trend of mistakes and turnovers. None bigger than Brent Seabrook’s, which led to the Senators' first goal. In the first two games on the road trip, the Hawks offense helped overcome those mistakes, but not this night. The Hawks fifth-ranked power play had eight minutes of man advantage time and couldn’t muster much on Elliott.

“We didn’t have any pace,” Quenneville said.

Hossa had a glorious chance to cut the lead to one early in the third period, but a diving Brian Elliott was able to get his stick in Hossa’s shooting lane and an empty netter was denied.

“They checked well, played well, and definitely deserved to win,” Quenneville said. “We didn’t play anything like we did the last two.”

Two days after Antti Niemi's brilliant performance in Detroit, Huet came up short in Ottawa and will most certainly re-ignite the goalie controversy among fans. It would be hard to argue Huet’s side after this game.