If there was any doubt that Cam Ward is the most important player for the Carolina Hurricanes, there shouldn’t be now. The team has gone winless since the goaltender was injured on October 24, going 0-5 in that span of time. Anton Khudobin was supposed to be the safety net to catch the ‘Canes in case Ward was injured again, but he too is hurt.
That leaves Carolina with no choice but to continue to start Justin Peters, who just isn’t fit for the role of No. 1 goalie in the NHL. It’s questionable that he’s even fit to be a No. 1 goalie in the AHL, and Carolina doesn’t have a good chance of winning games without a suitable netminder.
According to the Raleigh News-Observer, Ward hasn’t skated at all since the injury. That’s discouraging news, but it only serves to enforce the one-month time table that was set from the get go.
Meanwhile, Khudobin has begun skating on his own but isn’t particularly close to returning either. Carolina took the desperate step of signing Rick DiPietro to a tryout deal in the minors, but he’s been getting shelled int he AHL so it’s unlikely that the ‘Canes want to give him a shot in the NHL at this point.
Carolina might have a better chance of winning their games if they just pull their goalie from the initial faceoff and play 6-on-5 the entire game. Or maybe they can convince the league to let them strap a block of goalie-shaped wood to their net. Either of these options is likely to be more effective than if Peters and DiPietro were allowed to tend the goal simultaneously.