Flyers vs. Hurricanes
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 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
A. Nestrasil 48 7 13 5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60