The Carolina Hurricanes will be without Cam Ward for at least a month according to various sources, and Justin Peters will assume starting goalie duties for the ‘Canes for the time being. Anton Khudobin could begin skating on Sunday, and might be available to Carolina within the week according to coach Kirk Mueller. He spoke to the Carolina News Observer about his availability moving forward:
While [Khudobin] could be back skating with the team by Sunday, Canes coach Kirk Muller said he may not be ready to return to the lineup for another week.
Whether it’s one week or two weeks, the Hurricanes will badly need Khudobin’s help after he returns to the lineup. He was outstanding for the Boston Bruins last season, but bolted once the B’s locked Tuukka Rask down for the foreseeable future. Khudobin could have been considered mildly dolomite for Boston, actually.
Through 14 games he allowed an average of 2.32 goals against and posted a .920 save percentage along the way. Those numbers give the team to win on a nightly basis—something that Peters isn’t likely to provide.
So with Ward down for the count and Peters likely to buckle, Carolina’s young season is suddenly in the hands of the 27 year-old Khudobin. Looking around the league to teams such as the New York Rangers or the Dallas Stars, it’s easy to see how much worse losing a No. 1 goalie can be.
Carolina was wise to lock up a strong backup though, and will receive a massive boost form him once he’s healthy enough to play.