Huet aiming to Capitalize on fresh start

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- By adding a small Washington Capitals logo to the bottom of his longtime red-white-and-blue mask, Cristobal Huet is attempting to put reminders of his Montreal Canadiens behind him.

It is not that easy.

He says he is looking ahead. He insists his Cinderella Capitals debut, a 4-0 whitewash of the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, marked the beginning of a new chapter in his career.

Yet every now and then there is a hint of sarcasm in his words when he talks about the shocking trade that saw him shipped by the Habs to the Caps for a second-round draft pick Tuesday.

"Those 21 wins must have been bad ones," Huet quipped, referring to the victory total he racked up as a member of the Canadiens this season.

Huet was at home in Montreal on Tuesday when he got the call from Habs general manager Bob Gainey informing him that he was bound for the U.S. capital. He was, to say the least, caught off guard.

"Honestly I might have thought earlier about the possibility (of being dealt)," he said. "(But) when it did (go down) I thought, 'This can't be happening now.'

"I don't want to look back. This is a fresh start. (The shutout) was definitely the right way to start. My teammates made my job much easier.

"It has been a roller-coaster, that's for sure. But I don't want to look back. I don't want to say anything more about it. I've said enough."

Huet let his play do the talking for him Friday, stopping all 18 shots for the victory. He spent last night's game against the Leafs watching from the bench backing up Olaf Kolzig, a rotation coach Bruce Boudreau temporarily will lean on.

Asked about his long-term plans concerning the goaltending situation, Boudreau gestured as if he was at a craps table and said: "I'm just going to roll the dice.

WILL SHARE STARTS

"It'll be Olie (against the Leafs). After that, no decisions have been made. It'll be a day- to-day thing. We have three goalies. Right now Olie and Chris will get the (lion's share) of play."

In other words, Brent Johnson will be the odd man out.

Huet understands the young Caps are doing their best to pursue a much-desired post-season berth. And in the event they do achieve that goal, well, a meeting down the road against the Habs might not be out of the question.

"Hopefully," he said wryly. "That would mean we would be in the playoffs."


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