Arbitrating a Scenario: Chicago Blackhawks, Antti Niemi at a Crossroads

July 21st, 2010 by Kyle Wahlgren Leave a reply »
Not too long ago it was 2006, and the Carolina Hurricanes had just defeated the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Winning goaltender and Conn Smythe winner?

That would be Cam Ward.

Throughout the 2005-06 season, the Hurricanes stomped through their schedule en route to compiling 112 points.  Shattering team records in wins (52) and points (112), they were led by coach Peter Laviolette.

Over the course of the season Ward played back-up goaltender to Martin Gerber, who started in 60 of the 82 games played.

Following the first two games of the opening series in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Carolina had quickly found themselves in an 0-2 hole against Montreal. 

What was Laviolette's answer?

Pulling his seasoned goaltender for the unproven rookie, Ward.

Ward had accumulated 28 appearances during the regular season, establishing a 3.68 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage.

The move could have been mere luck, but in turn it may have been the biggest decision of Laviolette's career as a head coach.

Ward would not only lead his team to a S ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
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