Carolina Hurricanes Need to take Notes from Florida Panthers

Carolina Hurricanes v Chicago Blackhawks
Carolina Hurricanes v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The New York Rangers fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Having defeated the Carolina Hurricanes last round, it is always easy to compare the new opponent to how the Canes played against them. The Panthers play a different style from the Canes but one thing stood out in Game 1, goaltending.

Sergei Bobvrosky was steady and calming in the win last night. Bobvrosky has been one of the better goalies in the league for the past decade but has taken things to another level since being given the chance in last year's playoffs.

The Hurricanes can start in the goal crease when planning on how to get to the next level in the 2024-25 season. It has been argued that the Canes lost the series to the Rangers due to the play of Frederik Andersen. Like any team sport, one player is not the only reason but can play a huge factor.

Many things did not go the way of Carolina in the 6 game series against New York but Andersen was simply not good enough. It is noticeable just how steady and confident the Panthers can play in front of Bobvrosky and how the Canes are almost waiting for a soft goal to be let in and change the momentum.

Bobvrosky is and has been a better goalie than Andersen in their careers but that does not mean Andersen has been particularly poor. Goaltending wins the playoffs and that is just a fact. The Canes spread the talent around their team and relied on a familiar face in Andersen but the focus will need to be on having the same confidence the Panthers have in Bobvrosky in Andersen, Kochetkov, or whoever is in between the pipes next spring.

Spencer Martin came into the club and impressed in limited time but he does not seem to be the answer. He adds nice depth for sure and having an AHL affiliate this season will help in case he needs work.

This Canes team has gone as far as Andersen will take them and he is a free agent following this upcoming season. Pyotr Kochetkov has a bright future but there appears to be a lack of confidence in him as Andersen has been the number one when healthy. Is Kochetkov that calming force needed in goal for the Canes?

I believe cutting ties with Andersen makes the most sense this summer. The team needs to manage and squeeze out more salary cap space for the rest of the team and Andersen makes a decent salary. The free agent market is thin for goalkeepers but changing the room with a fresh, veteran face that can fill in for Kochetkov would be smart.

Someone like Scott Wedgewood is an option who has experience and has been around the league. He can play 40 games a season and would be affordable. He has been playing with a good Dallas team for the last two years and seems to have found himself. The large moves will not be available this summer with all the retention needed of their free agents. Hitting on a depth move with an upside will be the best chance to make strides with new faces.

Ultimately, this should be Kochetkov's crease to lose and a change is needed after two exits from Andersen. Like Florida, the Canes cannot play their style if they have no confidence in the goalkeeper.