MONTREAL - Canadiens goaltender Cristobal Huet, who led Montreal to three victories with a 1.67 goals-against average and .943 save percentage, was named the NHL's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, for the period ending Sunday, March 5.
Huet began a six-game road trip by making 32 saves in a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders Feb. 28. He turned aside 24 shots in a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers March 2, his third shutout of the season, and made 27 saves in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning March 4.
The Canadiens netminder becomes the first Canadiens goaltender to earn the league's weekly defensive honors since Jose Theodore earned the nod for the period ending Sunday, February 29, 2004. From Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, Theodore was 4-0-0, with a 1.21 goals-against average and .953 save percentage.
Huet is 9-5-3 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 20 games this season, including a 6-0-2 mark in his past eight starts.
Chris Higgins' offensive efforts over the last week were also recognized by the NHL, as he was a runner-up for Offensive Player of the Week honors. The 22-year-old rookie scored four goals and an assist in three games, including a pair of two goal games. He joins Theodore (Oct. 5-9), Huet (Jan. 30-Feb. 5) and Saku Koivu (Oct. 31-Nov.6) as Canadiens who have been runner-up for the weekly honors this season.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com