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Blunder by Husso Spoils Best Game of Season

Husso miscue costly in Detroit’s 2-1 loss to Carolina



Ville Husso, Red Wings
Ville Husso's blunder led to the game-winning goal, spoiling what was looking to be the best effort of the seasoon for the Red Wings goalie.

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was starting to see some vintage Ville Husso in the third period of Tuesday’s 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues.

“He had that same look to him where he’s just finding it and he’s big,” Lalonde said of his team’s No. 1 goalie.

Far too often this season, where Husso has been finding it is in the back of his net. But even in his best performance of the season, a 37-save performance during a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, even found a way to let this one get away.

“It seems like every game there’s a bad goal or two goals,” Lalonde said. “Obviously tonight was a doozy. It was a pretty good one.”

Just past the midway mark of the second period of a 1-1 game, Husso came out of his net seeking to corral a dump in off the back boards. The caroom caught him flat footed, with the puck bounding straight to Carolina center Jared Staal, who happily deposited the disk in Husso’s gaping vacated cage.

“You take those when you can,” Staal said.

Husso Kept Battling

To his credit, Husso kept the door to his net closed after the miscue.

“He looked so within his game I knew a third one wasn’t going in,” Lalonde said. “And I haven’t had that feeling in a while.”

Here’s the difference between goalies and skaters, though. A player can be worthless all night. But if he knocks home the game winner, he’s a hero.

A goalie can be a brick wall for 99% of the game. But it’s that 1% when he’s which will almost always determine the outcome of the game.

Of all the teams that you vcan ill-afford to gift a goal to, the Hurricanes would be atop the list. They wouldn’t be a fun bunch to share a Christmas gift exchange with. They just don’t ever get into the spirit of giving.

“They’re about as aggressive a team as you’re gonna play, especially on the forecheck,” Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “They sell out pretty much on every puck. They’ve got five guys up forechecking, defense pinching. Super aggressive.

“They’ve been doing it for a while now, so I think they’ve got it pretty dialed in to what they’re trying to do. There’s not a lot of room on the ice against them. They take your time and space away. It makes a tough game for sure every time.”

A Turning Point For Husso?

It’s like the chicken/egg theory. Do you embrace the 37 saves that Husso made as a sign that his game is coming around? Or was that one blunder an indication that he’s still got some work to do in the stabiility department? This was only the third time in 16 starts this season that he’s allowed fewer than three goals.

Chiarot was taking the former approach on the issue.

“Obviously a tough break on the second one,” Chiarot said. “Mistakes happen. But he kept us in it, especially early on.”

Lalonde was also opting for optimism regarding his much-maligned netminder.

“He gave us a chance,” Lalonde said. “Really good on him. That’s good for us going forward.”

The Red Wings are choosing to view Husso’s performance as a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll soon see whether it’s illuminating from an oncoming train.