Wake Cam Ward up.
There’s nothing simpler that the Carolina Hurricanes can do to save their season. Ward is being paid to be their starter, and should be treated as such. That’s nice in theory, but if Ward doesn’t play like their starter, what’s the point?
It’s been said enough to become a cliche that the Hurricanes have a goaltending problem. While it’s not the worst problem to have, it’s something that needs solving. Ward is still struggling with his sense of self and purpose. While this is going on, the previously injured Anton Khudobin is on a conditioning stint in Charlotte (AHL) while Justin Peters tears the joint up regularly as the de facto starter. Ironically, Khudobin is in Peters’ spot in Charlotte that Peters had to leave to replace Khudobin.
Hurricanes radio analyst Mike Maniscalco was asked on Friday who he thought the Hurricanes’ goaltender would be as the team moved forward. His hesitation gave away the fact that he was giving the answer everyone wanted to hear when he said it was Ward. While Ward is the starter, he’s just not showing he has the consistency to remain in that locker. Maniscalco probably very much wanted to say Peters was the future — an act of blasphemy.
Why though, should Peters be the future? He’s played well, but at the same time, hasn’t played consistently well. Letting soft overtime goals is a trope with Peters, and never was with Ward. Yet the actual Ward remains MIA and Khudobin is on the other side of the state eating the wrong kind of barbecue. It’s all upside down and backwards for the Hurricanes, and Ward is the only one with the power to put things back how they were.
Whether it’s Khudobin or Peters backing up Ward matters as much as the jerseys having laced collars or not. Either one will be fantastic as a back up, and the other one can stay in Charlotte as a spare. It comes down to when Ward decides to wake up from his haze and start playing like he’s being paid to.
Nobody else can do this but Ward himself.