Andersen Playing Solid, But Can He Take on a Larger Work Load

Seattle Kraken v Carolina Hurricanes
Seattle Kraken v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The best-case scenario for the Carolina Hurricanes this year was to have all the players healthy and tough lineup decisions for Rod Brind'Amour. This is coming to fruition in the goal crease lately as all three goalie options are playing solid right now. Spencer Martin, Frederik Andersen, and Pyotr Kochetkov have had positive moments all season and at the right time, they are all playing at a high level.

Since returning from a serious medical condition, Andersen has been phenomenal, to say the least. In five games, the Denmark native has five wins a stellar 1.40 GAA, and an impressive .946 save percentage.

It was not a guarantee that Andersen would see the ice again this season or his career for that matter. The biggest obstacle in his career has seemingly been health. The 34 year old has not been able to play over 60 games since 2018. Despite injury, Andersen played strong in the playoffs last season. His 62 starts in the Stanley Cup playoffs give the 34-year-old him the experience needed to make another playoff run.

The main objective upon his return weeks ago was to get him back in game shape and with the other goaltenders playing well, bring him along slowly. The immediate success is a slight surprise but does not mean the plan should change. The real question is can Andersen stay not only healthy enough to be available for the playoffs but more importantly for a long playoff run?

In every Stanley Cup run, a team will find itself playing more than one goalie and that will have to be the case for the Canes just to keep Andersen fresh. Kochetkov is ready for the challenge of the playoffs himself and should be considered as the Game 1 starter. With the combination of recent medical problems and rust, Brind'Amour may just want to start and jump on the back of Kochetkov. However, this team is mentally strong and used to playing in front of multiple keepers.

Andersen is not the perfect goaltender and has shown that in his time with the Canes but he is certainly the most proven to be in between the pipes this spring. His health issues will be a concern to start him Game 1 and jump on his back as he simply may not be able to carry that load at this time.