|Cristobal Huet faced at least 40 shots in two of his last three outings. |
MONTREAL – While the city was busy digging itself out of a snowstorm, Cristobal Huet brightened the day with some encouraging news on the severity of his injury.
After suffering a slight groin pull against the Predators on Saturday night, Huet doesn’t expect to be away from the Canadiens’ crease for long.
“It’s nothing to worry too much about,” explained Huet. “We’ll re-evaluate things on Tuesday and we remain hopeful that I’ll be back soon.
“It happened in the first period during a Predators breakaway,” added Huet, who tweaked his groin when Vernon Fiddler unsuccessfully came barreling down on him. “I felt something but it wasn’t enough for me to leave the game. It was only after the game that I really started to feel it.”
The French netminder isn’t overly concerned that it was related to a leg injury suffered against the Devils on Valentine’s Day that robbed him of 22 games last season.
“This has nothing do with what I went though last year,” said Huet, who has a 7-6-3 record thus far. “We still want to be sure to take this slowly and treat this as more serious than it is. That’s why I’ll stay off the ice for a few days.”
Head coach Guy Carbonneau has no intent of rushing his No. 1 goalie’s recovery.
|Youngsters Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price will handle the load in the Canadiens crease during Huet's absence. |
“We don’t know for sure yet about Huey and how long he will need to recover,” explained Carbonneau. “He had a good day on Sunday. We’ll take this day by day and we’ll see how he feels.”
With Huet on the sidelines, Carey Price
now finds himself in the spotlight.
“Carey will be the man for us in the meantime and we’ll see how he handles it,” added Carbonneau. “This is another chance for him to show what he can do.”
The domino effect of Huet’s tender groin saw Jaroslav Halak recalled from the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Hamilton on Monday.
“I was surprised to get the news and glad to be headed back to Montreal,” said Halak. “I’m here now and I hope Huey will be back soon and his injury isn’t too serious.”
Being among the last cuts at camp wasn’t easy for Halak, who has since picked himself back up and gotten back on track.
“It was tough for me after being sent down, but I know that’s part of the game. It’s been an up and down year for us as a team in Hamilton, but I’m starting to play the way I know I can,” added Halak, who didn’t hang his head for long with the Bulldogs. “My motivation was always there. That hasn’t changed. I’m just working as hard as I can to get back here.”
Price and Halak’s challenge will be a stiff one, beginning with Detroit coming into town on Tuesday armed with the NHL’s best record, but Carbonneau has a possible solution.
“Hopefully they’ll be snowed in back home in Detroit,” laughed Carbonneau. “They’re a great team, loaded with talent and it’s up to us to slow them down and minimize their chances.” Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com.