The 2018-19 season bore witness to the most consistent goaltending that the Carolina Hurricanes have received in a very long time. Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney held the fort and helped the Hurricanes stay in the playoff mix. The opening of free agency saw McElhinney head out for Tampa Bay, removing one half of a successful netminding tandem.
Veteran James Reimer arrived in the trade that saw the end of the Scott Darling Era. Reimer, who has been a starter in his career, is coming looking to prove himself after an underwhelming stint in Florida.
The Hurricanes’ team defense is much tighter than what he saw with the Panthers, a fact that should bode well for a rebound season. His career GAA (2.81) and SV% (.914) show that Reimer can be a solid if unspectacular option.
Ideally, Mrazek can duplicate his performance from last season. The fiery Czech is a fierce competitor. If he can use that emotion to his advantage and limit it from distracting him, then he’ll be good to go. While I’m not completely sold on Reimer as a 1B, I do think he can be reliable in more of a traditional backup role. Of course, that all depends on how he and Mrazek perform this season.
If we see more streaks like this, we can all rest a bit easier.