Pyotr Kochetkov must prove he’s the go-to at goaltender
If there is a weakness on this Carolina Hurricanes team, it’s at goaltender, and neither Antti Raanta nor Pyotr Kochetkov have separated themselves as the true No. 1 goaltender, or at least as a clear-cut 1A. However, at 24, Kochetkov has a much better chance of being the future than the 34-year-old Raanta, so while the opportunity rests with both in terms of this season, Kochetkov has much more to play for.
Given the current race the Hurricanes find themselves in, Kochetkov couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. It’s not that his numbers have been pedestrian, but right now, he hasn’t played like a goaltender a perennial playoff contender should exclusively trust between the pipes. However, that can change with a sensational run in February and down the stretch.
His GAA is a healthy 2.60, but he’s also only facing an average of 23.25 shots on goal per game, which inflates that number. His meager 0.898 save percentage tells a better story, meaning he’s experiencing a rather up-and-down season instead of clear-cut consistency.
With a quality starts percentage of 0.545, however, Kochetkov is ironically showing us that when he’s on, few NHL goaltenders are tougher to beat. It’s also worth noting he has five shutouts over the past season-and-a-half, so it’s all about getting consistent.