Tracking the Storm

Ward Named NHL Player of the Month

Wednesday, 04.1.2009 / 1:07 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


Ward Named NHL Player of the Month
After a flurry of player of the week awards, the NHL today named Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward as its First Star of the Month.
Paul Branecky
Index | Archive

During the month of March, which was stellar for both Ward and the entire team, the netminder posted a 10-1-2 record, a 1.98 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

“It’s a great honor and it’s definitely nice to be recognized,” said Ward. “When you look at it, the most important thing is winning hockey games, and we’ve been able to get ourselves on a roll and set ourselves up for hopefully a playoff position.”

Update: This is just the third time in franchise history that a player has earned such an honor.  Eric Staal won it in October of 2005, while Mike Rogers of the Hartford Whalers took one home in December of 1980.

During March, Ward was among the league’s “stars of the week” two weeks in a row, winning the third star award last week and the first star prior to that. He also won another third star award back in early January.

The pile-up of awards is a tribute to the goaltender’s improved consistency, which is undoubtedly at the best it has been since the 2006 playoffs, and possibly the best of his career.

“I’d like to think so,” said Ward. “I’ve got to credit the team for playing a lot better defensively in front of me, and I’ve gotten a lot of help with (Goaltending Coach) Tom Barrasso, and obviously the opportunity to play by Paul Maurice. I’m enjoying that opportunity and trying to make the best of it.”

Ward has played in 24 consecutive games, which is a career high that may not end anytime soon. Clearly, he isn’t showing signs of fatigue.

“We’ve been playing a lot of hockey,” he said. “I think if you look at the schedule – it’s my fourth year and this is the busiest schedule that we’ve had. With that being said, the coaching staff has done an excellent job of giving us time off in between games to let us rest mentally and keep us sharp.”

Is he back to where he was when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2006?

“I’d like to think that I’m at a better level,” said Ward. “I’d like to think that I’m a better goaltender than I was in ’06, and I think I have improved. I would have to give a lot of credit to Tom Barrasso, who had definitely been by my side for the ups and downs and has made me a better goaltender today.”

Most importantly for the Hurricanes, Ward seems to have rediscovered that form just in time to give himself and his team a chance for more honors going forward.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72