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Khabibulin happy to face fewer shots
12.10.2013.Sassone, Tim. Daily Herald

After playing behind a defense in Edmonton that ranked 19th in the NHL last season, goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made his debut Friday behind a Blackhawks defense that was first in the league, allowing barely 2 goals per game.

"It's not only the defense, it's the whole mentality," Khabibulin said, who spent four years with the Oilers. "We want to have the puck as much as possible so it's not as much shooting it off the boards and things like that. Guys like to have the puck and make plays. It takes a bit of getting used to, but as I've seen from the side it actually works."

Against Tampa Bay last Saturday the Hawks only allowed 16 shots, none in the first period, making for a relatively easy night for Corey Crawford.

"Those are definitely not the easiest games to play," Khabibulin said. "My last preseason game was kind of like that, too. When you have the puck a lot and you spend a lot of time in that zone, the other team only gets so many shots.

"You try to stay in mode somehow and keep your focus and whenever the puck comes try to make the save."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was happy the schedule allowed Khabibulin to finally play.
"He's getting some work and that's something he's been looking for," Quenneville said.

Страничка Николая Хабибулина на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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