Khudobin's play brings smiles to Carolina Hurricanes - WNCN: News, Weather

Khudobin's play brings smiles to Carolina Hurricanes

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Goalie Anton Khudobin wearing a smile on his face is not an unusual sight at a Carolina Hurricanes practice.

 Some would even say, he's quite the jokester.    

"Sometimes, yeah," he said.

Khudobin has a lot to smile about these days. He's having a career year for the Hurricanes.

But that success was not enough to earn him a spot on the Russian Olympic hockey team. Playing for his country, on home soil, would have been a dream come true.

But, he said, "I have my job, I have to work for my team.   I have to help them get the points, so even though I didn't make the Russian team, it's fine with me because I have to play here."

And that's fine with his teammates. Khudobin has gone from an unknown backup goalie to the biggest reason the Canes are in the playoff hunt.

"I don't think it's a surprise at all," said defenseman Jay Harrison. "He's got all the skill in the world and he works really hard. He's a great teammate and we're happy for his success."

No one really knew what to expect of Khudobin. Before  this year, the most games he'd played in an NHL season was 14 games.

"He's been consistent and confident," Canes coach Kirk Muller said. "We're not the only team, all 30 teams in the NHL are saying the same thing, that you need goal tending to win hockey games."

Winning, of course, keeps the smiles coming for Khudobin.

"You have to be positive at all times and smile and it just makes your life easier, I guess," Khudobin said.

And Khudobin's play is making things easier on the Canes.  

Todd Gibson

Known as "Gibby" around the station, Todd excels at taking viewers beyond who won or who lost. He hosts "Friday Night Blitz," a showcase of varsity football action in our area. If you have a cool sports story, tell Gibby! More>>

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