No matter how many times you inspect an airplane, it won’t get any more airworthy if you’ve already done the required maintenance.
For some reason, the Carolina Hurricanes have been kicking the tires on backup goalie Anton Khudobin far past the point of effectiveness. Having taken a nasty lower-body injury in October, Khudobin has been on injured reserve long enough for fans to forget how to spell his name. While he’s been skating in practice on a regular basis and has spent the week on the regular practice lineup, questions still remain.
With the long break over and the Washington Capitals coming to town on Friday, head coach Kirk Muller still has yet to make up his mind on Khudobin. He was quoted by the News & Observer on Wednesday, saying that he had “no decision on how best to use Khudobin moving forward.”
This decision is easy, play him.
With Khudobin clearly well enough to be practicing with the team, and apparently well enough to participate in the Skate With The Canes fundraiser on Wednesday, why is there any question? Yes, Justin Peters is playing well, but Cam Ward not so much. However, this is Khudobin they’re talking about. He wasn’t out that long that nobody remembers he’s a really great goaltender.
This extended rehab of his is beginning to seem suspect. Whatever is going on with the training staff is simply getting weirder by the day and will cross over to ‘insane’ if Khudobin isn’t activated before Friday’s intra-divisional showdown with Washington.
Muller has nothing to lose puting Khudobin on the ice. Peters did his job, served his purpose, and needs to be thanked for his service and sent elsewhere, whether that is as trade bait or back to Charlotte. Khudobin is rightfully the backup and deserves his spot back. Whatever Muller is waiting on needs to be brushed off, because Peters’ time at the big kid’s table is over.
Put Khudobin on the ice already, he’s fine.