Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ville Husso was good, but Blues netminder not unbeatable, says Wilde

Ville Husso wasn’t a household name when he made his debut for the St. Louis Blues on Monday, but he played like one.

Solid this season, beating Jordan Binnington for his playoff role, he was even better in the Blues’ 4-0 victory in Game 1 at the Xcel Energy Center. Although wild outshot St. Louis 37–21, Husso became the first Blues netminder to record a shutout in his playoff debut.

Still, Wilde hardly considered 27-year-old Huso unbeatable in Game 2 on Wednesday. Minnesota hit four posts and/or bars in Monday’s game, and coach Dean Evans said his analytics staff counted 10 quality scoring opportunities on the team’s six power plays that didn’t go in.

If frustrated Wild fans were reminded of the goalkeepers who had previously locked their team in the playoffs — Anaheim’s Jean-Sébastien Giguerre in 2003, Jake Allen of the Blues in 2017 — players, well, most of them too. were not around. latter.

They were unwilling to credit Huso with special powers. He was good in the regular season—25-7-6 with 2.56 goals—against average and .919 saves in a career-high 42 starts—but not in other worlds.

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After the game, wild winger Kevin Fiala said, “Huso made some good defenses.” “You can’t say we didn’t try. We had five on five and great chances in the power play as well. We hit the bar, I don’t know how many times today. It could go the other way and it looks different. “

Like former Wild netminder and fellow Finn Niklas Backstrom, Huso has a reputation for being somewhat quiet. Asked this week if he’s ever seen Huso screaming and screaming, South St. Paul’s blues defenseman Justin Faulk said, “I mean, for his level of enthusiasm, yes.”

“Maybe not the kind of level David Perron has,” he said, “but not many people reach that level.”

Whether Blues or Wilds win the series, Huso is in line for a serious rise. Earning $750,000 this season, he’s an unrestricted free agent season after season – which could prove to be somewhat of a problem for St. Bennington, 18-14-4 with a 3.22 GAA and .901 savings percentage, signed a six-year, $36 million contract in March 2021.

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Husso beat future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury on Monday, but he also had much better assist in front of him, especially on the penalty kill. Wilde had his chances but were 0 for 6 with one man’s advantage. Husso said the Blues’ kill was the best of the season, high praise for a unit that finished the regular season in fifth place with an 84.1 success rate.

“People make it very easy for me,” Husso said. “The shots are coming from outside and they are blocking the shots.”

This needs to change, Evans said. In Game 2, he said, the wild forward should be better able to rebound in front of the young Finn and build traffic.

“Take something in him that he doesn’t see,” said Evans.

Nation World News Desk
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