Daily Herald
Khabibulin back in after another solid outing by Huet
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 12/15/2008 4:26 PM | Updated: 12/16/200 12:11 AM

The Blackhawks goaltending roulette continues.

The morning after Cristobal Huet stopped 31 shots to pick up his third consecutive win, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville announced he's going back to Nikolai Khabibulin to kick off a three-game road Tuesday night in Edmonton.

"I think he's coming off a real good stretch," Quenneville said of Huet. "Our goaltending for the most part has been excellent all year long."

But with two No. 1s, or at least a 1 and a 1A, it's tough to argue with either choice.

And the Hawks' current situation in net is way better than the other option, according to defenseman Brian Campbell.

"Two years ago when I was in Buffalo we had Marty Biron and Ryan Miller, and every night we had a No. 1 goalie going, and it's the same thing here," Campbell said. "As much as people don't want to say it sometimes, there is a letdown when you have your backup goaltender in there. You're like, 'Oh, we have to be streaky good or squeaky clean.'

"But these guys every night give us a chance, an opportunity to win. I like the situation that we have right now."

Hold on a sec: Despite registering a hat trick during a rehab game with the Rockford IceHogs a few days ago, it may not be a foregone conclusion that defenseman James Wisniewski will be in the lineup for the first time this season - and the first time since he tore an ACL last spring - when the Hawks take on Edmonton.

"We'll visit that ... that's a decision we've got to make ... he could play," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said coyly. "I know he's coming off a real good game down at Rockford.

"We've got seven (defensemen) right now and a winning lineup, so it's a tough decision, but we welcome tough decisions. We want to get him in the mix."

Three for the road: Their three-game swing through western Canada could provide just the boost the Hawks need as they look to bolster their road mark before hitting a stretch of five straight days without a game.

"It's an important road trip for us," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We've got our record back up to .500 on the road (5-5-3), so we want to get a few games above that and put some more distance between us and other teams."

"They're all tough; they've all got different challenges," coach Joel Quenneville said. "The crowds are all into it, they know the game of hockey extremely well, and there's pressure on those teams to play well at home.

"We want to take advantage, try to take leads, try to frustrate them as best you can."

He said it: Defenseman Brian Campbell upon hearing the Hawks have won only once while sporting their white sweaters: "Really? I like those black sweaters."