As the Carolina Hurricanes continue their dismal end to the season, it has become obvious the their main problem is goaltending.
The Hurricanes have lost seven games in a row and have allowed at least four goals in all but one of those games. The team’s goaltending looked strong going into the season but has weakened after running into a devastating injury to starter Cam Ward.
Ward was injured in a game against the Florida Panthers after colliding with teammate Justin Faulk, and was later diagnosed with a third-degree MCL sprain and hasn’t played since. Although Ward had a rough start to the season, there was no debate he was the No. 1 goalie.
Right when he started to heat up, he was sidelined, and the Hurricanes have crumbled without him.
One can make an argument that the Hurricanes would not have won their first Stanley Cup in 2006 without Ward. His stellar play in the playoffs won him the Conn Smythe Trophy. In 2011, Ward played in his first NHL All Star Game and had a tremendous season, posing a .915 save percentage on a Hurricanes team that struggled in the defensive zone.
Backup netminders Dan Ellis and Justin Peters have not been up to the task to lead the team, and it has showed. Both players have a 3.0-plus goals against average and have made mistakes that cost the Canes games.
Luckily for the Hurricanes, Ward has started skating without pads and may be able to make a return before the season. Unfortunately, it will probably be too late. The Hurricanes have dropped close to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.