Habs goalie earns honours

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

Andrew Raycroft is expected to start in goal for the Maple Leafs tonight, but he'll be challenged to match the heroics of the guy at the other end of the ice.

Montreal Canadiens starter Cristobel Huet has been one of the hottest goalies and yesterday was honoured by the NHL for his fine play.

Huet was named the league's third star for November, finishing behind first star Teemu Selanne and second star Marian Hossa.

Huet was 7-2-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average and .954 save percentage for the month. He began the November with his first shutout of the season, stopping 31 shots in a 4-0 victory at Carolina on November 2. Huet recorded his second shutout last Tuesday, stopping 36 shots in a 1-0 shootout victory over Florida.

"It's a great honour," said Huet, who gets the call for the Habs against the Leafs. "It's something you want to share with your teammates. It's something you can't do without the help of your teammates."

Forward Saku Koivu and defenceman Sheldon Souray feel Koivu should be considered to represent the East at the all-star game in Dallas Jan. 24.

"He deserves every piece of credit he gets," Souray said. "Some people might (criticize him) but no one in this room cares. He's been huge for us."

Meanwhile, there was some thought among the Montreal media that J-S Aubin, a local kid, might start for the Leafs tonight. Aubin outduelled David Aebischer in the Leafs 5-4 shootout win over the Habs in the only other meeting in Montreal this season, that coming on Oct. 28.

But Leafs coach Paul Maurice wants to get Raycroft back in goal, feeling the 5-0 loss to Atlanta on Thursday was not his fault.

"He needs to play with a better team in front of him, one that doesn't give up so many breakaways, "Maurice said.

BETWEEN THE LINES

Asked if Maurice had the same penchant for line juggling in Carolina that he's had this season with the Leafs, forward Jeff O'Neill chuckled. "I didn't notice," he said. "I always played with Ron Francis. We didn't actually have an offensive juggernaut there, you know."


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