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Huet just one casualty of a disappointing day

Sunday, 05.24.2009 / 7:41 PM / Conference Finals: Detroit vs. Chicago

By Brett Ballantini - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – In the dressing room after Sunday’s loss, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook offered to stand in for goalie Cristobal Huet, absent from the postgame media session.

Clearly, it would have helped had Seabrook stood in better for the embattled netminder during the course of a crushing 6-1 loss to the Red Wings.

Huet, starting for the first time in six weeks, surrendered five goals on 26 shots. But to a man, the Blackhawks players were quick to rally behind a goalie who they feel was abandoned all too often in the game.

"You simply can’t give Detroit’s skilled players such an easy game," winger Patrick Sharp said. "We’ve got to stay out of the box and help our goalie out a little bit more."

"(The Red Wings) have a great power play," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "When you’re on the penalty kill all day, you’re going to find some pucks in your net."

An undermanned Detroit squad stormed to a 3-0 lead and answered Chicago’s sole goal early in the second with a fourth tally a mere 11 seconds later. The most devastating loss of the Blackhawks’ postseason was exacerbated by 16 penalties, coming against a Detroit team not only smarting from an overtime loss some 40 hours earlier, but skating short three superstars in Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Draper, and surprise scratch Nicklas Lidstrom.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, consumed with frustration over the refereeing, including "the worst call in the history of sports" at the end of the first period (Matt Walker’s roughing ticket after the horn blew ending the period), was fairly forgiving with regard to the collapse of his netminder in the blowout.

"We gave up a lot of tough goals," Quenneville said. "But Huet hasn’t played much and we put him in a terribly tough spot with the way we defended today. We inserted Crawford to try to change the momentum of the game. Nothing worked."

It was emergency-turned-backup-turned-replacement goalie, 25-year-old Corey Crawford, who may have offered the most wizened assessment of Chicago’s lost Game 4: "The last couple of days have been pretty weird."

If the Blackhawks don’t find motivation and determination from their most embarrassing loss of the playoffs by rebounding strong in Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena, the next few days will be their last of the season.


Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets