|Cristobal Huet second shutout of the season also saw him earn the game's first star.
MONTREAL – The day will come when his critics will have to become believers, and after another brilliant performance by Cristobal Huet, that time may have finally arrived.
Staring down one of the hottest teams in the league armed with the NHL’s top sniper, Huet didn’t surrender an inch to the Washington Capitals or Alexander Ovechkin.
On his way to his 18th win of the season, Huet kicked aside all 35 shots he faced to register his second shutout of 2007-08.
While the Capitals were buzzing all night long, the only manner Ovechkin and Co. managed to slip a puck past Huet was when a shot fired well after the siren went to end the first period found the back of the net. Apart from that, Huet inhaled all other rubber that came his way.
“Goalies will often lie about it, but even though we say don’t think about the possibility of getting a shutout, sure we do. You can be sure of that,” revealed Huet with a sinister grin. “Most of their shots were from the outside and I can’t say enough about the job my defense did in front of me tonight. I guess I owe them a dinner on the road.”
Huet’s ninth straight start marks the most consecutive games he’s played since joining the Canadiens in 2005-06. Not since Huet suited up for 12 straight starts with the Kings in 2003-04 has the French netminder been so busy.
“I started playing in the NHL as a 27-year-old, so people don’t have much to base their impressions of me and what I can do,” shrugged the 32-year-old now only in his fifth NHL season. “I did play 44 consecutive games in the Swiss Elite League, so having such a heavy workload doesn’t scare me one bit.
“I’ve enjoyed playing this many games in a row,” added Huet. “It allows a goalie to correct certain things along the way.”
One would think there can’t be many adjustments to make these days, judging from his 7-2-0 mark, 1.94 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage over his string of nine straight starts.
As the local media peppered head coach Guy Carbonneau on his squad’s Tuesday night victory over the Capitals, not a single question was asked regarding Huet’s big night.
Another win, another shutout, all with minimal recognition. In other words, just another day at the office for Cristobal Huet.Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com