Here is the understatement of the week, courtesy of Chicago coach Joel
“It’s important that somebody
establishes themselves and takes charge in the net.”
Blackhawks will be starting Antti Niemi in net tomorrow night against
Los Angeles, and the team is desperate for one of the goaltenders to
actually prove they deserve to be in net for the long run.
“Antti gets a chance to grab the net and get back-to-back games on the
(upcoming) weekend. We have a lot of tough opponents and a condensed
schedule and they’ll both see some time.”
Obviously with the
packed schedule for the remainder of the season both goaltenders were
going to have to see time. But right now the panic button is close to
being pressed in Chicago, as a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations is
facing a major issue in net.
Antti Niemi will get his chance to
prove his ability to carry the torch
in net in for the Blackhawks, and at this point you have to think that
he’s the only legitimate option for Chicago. Huet has stumbled too many
times in big games during his time with the team; how many opportunities
can you give one guy?
We’ve talked about how a team with the
firepower and defensive capability of Chicago can cover up most of the
goaltending issues, but once the playoffs start every weakness a team
has will be grossly exposed. Was the goaltending completely to blame for
the loss against Detroit on Sunday? Not a chance — but it sure didn’t
make things any easier.