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Starting goaltender Cam Ward will be the most important player for the Carolina Hurricanes this season. Last year, Ward's GAA and save percentage were the highest they had been since the 2007-08 season. This was one reason why the Hurricanes finished 25th in GAA last year.
To be fair, his defense did not play well in front of him for stretches of the year, but for the Hurricanes to make their first playoff appearance since the 2008-09 season, Ward has to play at an elite level.
The additions of star forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin will help the team score more goals than they did last year, so Ward should have more offensive support.
Veteran Brian Boucher will likely begin the season as Ward's backup. He was 1-6 in 10 games last season for the Hurricanes and is not capable of giving the team a good chance to win if Ward needs a break or misses games with an injury.
Ward is a solid No. 1 goaltender, but the Hurricanes would be wise to find a better backup than Boucher for next season.