Jeremy Roenick believes the Chicago Blackhawks don’t have the goaltending to win the Stanley Cup, and Cristobal Huet obviously disagrees.
On an ESPN radio show in Chicago, Roenick said the Hawks were a great team without great goaltending and it would hurt the club down the road.
Huet, who was on the bench Thursday night against the Calgary Flames, isn’t happy to hear the comments, but concedes that the former Chicago star has a right to his opinion.
“It’s not very nice,” said Huet, who has a 22-9-3 record, 2.24 GAA and .904 save percentage this season.
“He’s allowed to say whatever he wants. I respect him. But we think we can do it.
“It’s tough to play for this team because there isn’t a lot of shots, and they get some scoring chances. He can say whatever he wants but we’re winning right now, except for the other night.”
Antti Niemi got the nod against the Flames after Huet gave up four goals in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.
The Hawks players are rallying around their netminders.
“J.R. has been around a long time and knows a lot about the game, but I think if you look around our room, we’re pretty satisfied about our goaltenders and can win with them,” said forward Patrick Sharp.
“We’re not going to let an outside source influence our team.
“I guess it’s a good thing. A couple of years ago, people were trying to find the good things about our team. Now they’re trying to find our flaw. I disagree with the comment. I think we’re very strong in goal and quite capable of winning with those guys back there.”
As centreman on a line with two pugilists, Dustin Boyd often gets a front-row seat to some heavyweight tilts.
Both Brandon Prust and Brian McGrattan often drop the gloves as Boyd is taking a faceoff, throwing the centre off-guard.
“I wish they’d give me a heads up before the faceoffs if they’re going to do that right off the draw,” Boyd said. “I’m battling for the puck and they’re going.
“Grats and Brandon are two tough competitors. It’s fun to watch.”
As the Hawks move over to the West Coast, defenceman Brent Seabrook will get a bit of a family reunion. Seabrook’s younger brother, Keith, is playing with the Abbotsford Heat, who host the Houston Aeros Friday night.
With any luck, big brother will get to see Keith play for the Calgary Flames farm club, and maybe someday they will face each other in the NHL.
“I don’t think he has a dream to play against me,” Brent Seabrook said. “His dream is to play in the NHL. He’s on his way and he has to continue to keep his head on straight. Hopefully he one day gets a chance with the Flames.”