Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Jim Rutherford Says Goaltending and Injuries Are the Reasons for Five Year Playoff Drought

Jim Rutherford is now the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to explain why the Carolina Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season.

William DePaoli of InsidePittsburghSports.com said Friday that Jim Rutherford said that “goaltending issues, injuries among keys for Hurricanes not making playoffs last 5 years”. He also said there’s a different business model in Pittsburgh.

While these two areas must be addressed, they weren’t the only reasons why the team has struggled for five seasons. The team put on the ice for each of the last five seasons have not met expectations, and they just have not been good enough to consistently compete with the league’s top teams.

From 2009 to 2013, Cam Ward was the team’s work horse. It’s not fair to blame the team’s goaltending for their seemingly endless struggles. If anything, blame could be placed on the lack of a backup goalie, but at the same time, it was Jim Rutherford’s responsibility to get a reliable back up goalie and put a good team on the ice.

The Carolina Hurricanes were plagued by weak defense for years. They provided little to no help at all for whoever was in net for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Players like Bobby Sanguinetti, Brett Carson, Derek Joslin, and Bryan Rodney were all defensemen that just weren’t good enough to play in the NHL, but the team was forced to play them due to lack of depth and ability at the position. Bobby Sanguinetti is playing overseas, Derek Joslin, who was bought out by the Canes, is also playing overseas, and Brett Carson and Bryan Rodney were last spotted playing in the American Hockey League.

Injuries have been a huge issue for the team for the past few seasons. Players like Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, and others have suffered significant injuries. The Carolina Hurricanes will need to stay healthy in order to finally make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.



Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Jim Rutherford

  • HatTrickCane

    I think maybe he meant the goaltending issue was a lack of a good backup so Ward wouldn’t have to play so many games.

  • Greenbaum

    For years the Canes have depended on two players to win games, Erik Staal and Cam Ward. Without a defense in front of Ward, he is left to do all the work. That will take a toll on anyone including a goalie. Don’t blame Ward for Canes problems. Staal is another story. In a way it’s like Wards story, we all depended on Staal to do the scoring without help. But more importantly, I don’t think he can lead in the locker room. Time for a new Captain? The other thing I see from this team and Rutherford is that he has no patience. Our team has become a revolving door for players. If you look around the NHL there are a lot of successful players who were at one time on the Canes team. You need to build a team that stays together and plays hard together. Moving Sutter for brother Staal in my opinion was not a good move. Look at the likes of Vanik and Ladd or Williams…. all good players BUT for someone else.