Yesterday, Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters had some harsh words in regards to Eddie Lack
Most of the time I ignore what coaches say in interviews or to the press even if they are a coach for the Carolina Hurricanes. I do this for many reasons. The number one of those reasons is the fact that most coaches just say what the press wants to hear. The answers are often glib reiterations of phrases heard all too often: “Our compete level wasn’t high enough” or “We didn’t get to the dirty areas.” You get the picture. So for me to actually pay attention to one of these interviews, and then actually write an article about it things had to be noteworthy.
That happened yesterday evening when a reporter questioned Bill Peters about his goalies, Peters said this about Lack’s play:
"Not good enough. Look at his numbers in the league they’re not good enough. So I don’t think it’s much of a competition. I think we got a guy that is well ahead of the other guy. That’s what I see and the numbers back that up. So when he gets in again he better play. He better earn some respect from his teammates. His teammates are out there working their bag off, you better get some saves. And some timely saves at the right time wouldn’t hurt. That’s a little bit honest, eh?"
I think that’s about as honest as you can get there Bill. In Peters’s defense, the question was asking if with the return of Lack there would be more of a goalie competition. And Peters is right, Eddie Lack’s starts this season have been less than stellar. Almost all of Lack’s goaltending stats are as Peters says later in the interview, “If you look up any goalie in the league that’s played 10 games in the top sixty in save percentage I know who’s sixty. There’s [sic] thirty teams, not good
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A Double Standard
Immediately the comments on this story centered on why Peter’s criticized Lack in this way but not Cam Ward. One article looked at the double standard inherent in these criticisms of Eddie Lack but never in the case of Cam Ward. To an extent, they have a point, but like I said above Peters was only answering the question he was asked.
He wasn’t asked if goaltending was the issue behind this year’s team not making the playoffs. He wasn’t asked if Cam Ward was good enough to deserve a contract extension. Peters was asked if there was going to be competition for goaltending starts, and he answered that Lack hasn’t played well enough to earn more starts. At the essence of the issue, Peters is correct Lack just hasn’t been “good enough.”
Goalie Woes are Nothing New
This is what Travis Yost had to say late last night after another loss by the Carolina Hurricanes due to questionable goaltending. To add insult to injury it was to one of the worst teams in the NHL the Phoenix Coyotes. Yost followed up with another tweet showing the stats.
Peters answers yesterday weren’t just a response to one bad goaltender, they were a response to years of goalie ineptitude. There’s not much you can do with the x’s and o’s if your goalie is going to let in every single mistake you make. It’s impossible for a team, especially a young team, to play mistake free hockey.
Years of frustration boiled out from one question. Hopefully, the spotlight brought to this issue will bring changes in the goaltending department because this year has shown that neither Lack nor Ward is good enough to help the Carolina Hurricanes reach the playoffs. Now if the franchise will just admit the same things out in public maybe a change for the better will actually be made.