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Hurricanes shouldn’t wait much longer for goaltending to improve

January 10, 2020, 4:53 PM ET [19 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
About three weeks ago I wrote an article on the possibility of James Reimer taking over the crease in Carolina. Since then, Reimer and Mrazek have split time and in eight games, the Hurricanes have allowed 33 goals, which averages to more than four goals against per game.

I’m beginning to think that pretty soon, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for help in net.

The Hurricanes have lost 18 games this year. In those games, how many times have they been outshot?

Three times. Yes, you read that right, Carolina has outshot their opponents in 15 of their 18 losses.

After dropping a game last week where they outshot Washington by a wide margin, losing to despite leading in shots 41-28, I wanted to look into this. It seems to be a recurring trend that the Hurricanes are defeated despite drastically outshooting their opponent- especially considering the Hurricanes, allow the least shots against per game in the NHL.

In their 18 losses, the Hurricanes have outshot their opponents by a total of 638 to 486, averaging to about 35 to 27 per game. In fact, in eight of their losses, they’ve had at least 13 more shots than their opponent. Yet despite this, they’ve been outscored 71 to 36 in those 18 games.

Carolina’s goaltender(s) have also had a worse save percentage than that of their opponent in 23 of 43 games as well. So at least statistically, more often than not, they’re losing the goaltending battle. To add in another stat, the Hurricanes have also gotten less than a .900 save percentage from their goalies in 20 of 43 games and less than an .875 SV% in 15 games.

These stats raise the question: how many more games would the Hurricanes have won this year with better goaltending? At least a few, I would think.

With the Metropolitan Division and Wildcard race this close, there's still a possibility that Carolina could miss the playoffs. The Hurricanes can be a legitimate contender but goaltending is an area of concern.

Alex Nedeljkovic hasn’t excelled in the AHL this season like many thought he would and even Anton Forsberg holds just a .909 SV%, so I’m not sure if a call-up is the fix. Reimer’s .910 SV% isn’t bad and if he was simply a true backup, those are fine numbers. But when your starting goaltender is able to manage just a .901 SV%, you can only wait for so long before making a move. If the Hurricanes want to make a legitimate run, I’m not sure this is the duo to do so with.

For more, follow @BenShelley_20 on Twitter.


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