After a shaky start, Huet has been red hot lately and may face his former teammate for the first time this season when the Blackhawks travel to play the injury-plagued Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
After three largely lackluster seasons, Khabibulin’s popularity in Chicago climbed to an all-time high in 2008-09 when he took over the starting role from Huet and led the Blackhawks to the Western Conference finals—their first playoff appearance since 2002.
With nearly $17 million committed to Huet over the next three years, though, the Blackhawks didn’t have enough to re-sign Khabibulin, who inked a four-year deal with Edmonton in July worth $15 million.
Huet did little to quiet any grumbling when he started 2-2-1 with a 3.25 goals-against average, but he’s since won eight of 10 starts while posting a 1.60 GAA.
He stopped 27 shots Thursday night as Chicago kicked off a six-game road trip with its fifth straight win, a 7-1 rout of Calgary.
Kris Versteeg(notes) scored twice on the power play after missing the previous game with an upper-body injury. Patrick Kane(notes) also scored in a career high-tying fourth straight contest and extended his point streak to eight games.
“Great game across the board, I’m very happy with all aspects and areas of our game,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
Quenneville’s former starting goaltender hasn’t fared as well with Edmonton (9-10-3). Khabibulin has a 3.03 GAA and only two wins in his last 10 starts.
He sat out Thursday night’s 6-4 victory over Colorado, with the Oilers rallying for four goals in the final 20:16 after Jeff Deslauriers gave up four goals in the first 31 minutes to snap a four-game slide.
Edmonton, however, had to cancel Thursday’s practice as Shawn Horcoff(notes) (shoulder), Mike Comrie(notes) (mononucleosis) and Ethan Moreau(notes) (possible concussion) added their names to its lengthy injury list. Eleven players are currently sidelined, and only five Oilers have played in all 22 games.
Huet stopped 20 shots in the Blackhawks’ previous game at Edmonton, a 3-1 victory Feb. 3, and improved to 2-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA in three lifetime matchups.
Chicago is 4-0-1 against the Oilers since the beginning of last season and won both games at Rexall Place last season.