The Chicago Blackhawks are facing a goaltending crisis.
We covered it this morning, but if this team thinks their defense and forwards can cover up for sub-par goaltending then they are seriously delusional. In a big game against a division rival at home and with a 2-0 lead, Cristobal Huet fell apart. He wasn’t tracking the puck at all as it moved laterally across the ice and allowed a cross-crease pass to get through him as he over committed to his right. There was no choice but to pull Huet after the fourth goal, and should have been pulled as soon as they gave up the lead.
The Hawks themselves seemed to lose their fire as the goaltending failed them, and allowed two breakaway goals. Pavel Datsyuk’s highlight goal at the end of the period was just salt on the wound.
A strong first period turned into 20 minutes of absolute disaster for the Blackhawks. Was the goaltending entirely to blame? Not really, but it’s tough to point in another direction in this game. Five goals allowed on 19 shots in unacceptable.
A third period comeback from three goals down is going to be tough, but the Blackhawks have the firepower to do so.