From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every* player who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Cristobal Huet.
Contract Status: UFA; 2007-08 cap number of $2.875M
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 33
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 4+
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 52 games played, 32-14-6 record, 4 shutouts, 2.32 GAA, .920 SV% (13 GP, 11-2-0, 2 SO, 1.63 GAA, .936 SV% for Washington)
Key Stats: Huet ended the regular season on a 9-0-0 run during which he posted a 1.52 GAA, a .941 save percentage and allowed only seven even strength goals.
Surprising(ly random) Stat: Huet played the most games of any goalie who didn't commit a single penalty all season (I guess it took Daniel Briere to bring out the goon in Cristo)
The Good: Over the full season, only one goalie (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) had both a better GAA and SV% than Huet. Read that again and let it sink in. Here's another jaw-dropper for you - Huet won the highest percentage of games played of any goalie in the League with more than 43 appearances (and only the two Detroit goalies had a better percentage if you lowered the games played requirement to two). Over the course of the season, Huet never lost more than three straight games (he only did that twice), only gave up more than three goals in back-to-back starts once and was 10-1-1 in games in which he faced fewer than 25 shots on goal (5-0-0 with the Caps). He became the first Caps goalie with nine straight wins since Pete Peeters won nine in a row from January 28 to March 3, 1987, and set personal career highs in games played, minutes and wins (and points, with two).
The Bad: If you want to claim that Huet should have made a couple more saves in Game Two and/or Three of the Flyers series, have at it. And I guess to fill up some space here, I'll mention that he missed time this season with a groin injury (five games in December of 2007) and back spasms (one game this past March), which go along with two more serious injuries in the two previous seasons (18 games with a knee injury in 2005 and a twenty game season-ending hamstring injury in 2007).
The Ridiculous (special bonus feature!): 57% of you wanted to see him benched for Game Four of the Flyers series. For shame.
The Vote: Rate Huet on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season after he was traded to the Caps - if he had the best 13+ games you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst 18 games you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Question(s): Potentially an unrestricted free agent come July 1, how much (dollars and years) should the Caps be willing to commit to Huet (the numbers speak for themselves, but so to do the injuries, his age, and the fact that he has never played more than 52 games in a season)? If he is back, what will it take for him to earn a 10 next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.