Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters ripped the play of backup goaltender Eddie Lack in the team’s morning media availability Friday.
Peters was asked about Lack and Cam Ward and whether the two netminders could use the last 20 games as a competition to see who plays the majority of the contests. The coach pointed out that not only was Lack clearly behind Ward on the depth chart, he also maybe didn’t even deserve a spot on the roster to begin with.
“One guy has played 10 games. Eddie has played 10 games and was poor in his last outing. Let’s not kid ourselves, right? There were 16 shots and four went in. Not good enough. You 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 have a guy who is well ahead of the other guy,” Peters said. “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 your teammates. Your teammates are out there working their bag off, you better get some saves and a timely save at the right time wouldn’t hurt. That’s a little bit honest eh? Well no it’s honest. I just looked it up. You look up any goalie that has played 10 games in the NHL in the top 60 in save percentage, I know who’s 60. There are 30 teams. It’s not good enough.”
According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Peters then tried to add emphasis to the point.
Peters ended the media scrum by glancing down the hallway, in the direction of Lack’s locker stall, and saying, “Make a save.” Or something like that. There was another word in there but the point already had been made: the coach was not happy with the player.
In 10 games Lack has held a 3.33 goal-against average and .873 save percentage. Peters’ stats are correct in that Lack’s save percentage is the worst in the league amongst goaltenders who have played at least 10 games. Ward has a 2.64 goal-against average and .905 save percentage in 49 games.
Peters’ frustration in Lack is understandable. First, the Hurricanes have lost eight of nine and dropped far out of playoff contention, which probably doesn’t have him in the best of moods at the moment.
Also, in two seasons with Carolina, Lack has gone 14-18-8 with a 2.92 goal-against average and .896 save percentage. The team acquired him in the summer of 2015 and signed him to a two-year, $5.5 million contract extension, which kicked in this year. This means unless they buy him out, or the Vegas Golden Knights take him in the expansion draft, he’ll have to deal with Lack again next season.
Lack came to Carolina after a successful two-year stretch with the Vancouver Canucks where he held a 2.43 goal-against average and .917 save percentage in 82 games.
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