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Tracking the Storm

Healthy Ward Back in Action

Monday, 08.31.2009 / 1:52 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Healthy Ward Back in Action
Although some alarm bells went off when Cam Ward sat out the initial portion of Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp with a sore back last week, it was always going to come down to how he felt come Hurricanes season.

Paul Branecky
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Given that he participated fully in the team’s informal practice on Monday – almost two full weeks before he would have been required to take the ice – it seems as though the injury won’t be much of a concern.

“After I got some treatment and some medication I was able to go out on the ice,” said Ward, who later participated in the final red/white scrimmage at the Canadian camp.  “I felt great out there.”

The Canes' starting goaltender was part of a stacked group at Monday's RecZone scrimmage, as his unit headined by Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Ray Whitney and Rod Brind'Amour appeared to get the better of the red team, which was led by Chad LaRose and Scott Walker.

"I picked the right team today," said Ward.


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He described his back injury, which started as spasms but has subsided into stiffness, as something that has only popped up twice (also during the Eastern Conference Finals against Pittsburgh) and did not bother him throughout the summer. Ward was cautious when it flared up again just prior to the Olympic camp, not necessarily because he thought it would still be bothering him when the season started, but because he only had a small window in which to demonstrate his skills to the Canadian brass.

“It was pretty stressful going in because I wasn’t sure if I would participate,” he said. “There was no point in going out there at 80 percent and getting lit up by some great players. I wanted to make sure that I was healthy.”

Ward played in the second period of Canada's scrimmage as time was divided as equally as possible among the five goaltenders in camp. Despite the relatively relaxed feel that the exhibition provided (think All-Star Game), the contest ended in a surprisingly low-scoring 2-2 tie – a credit to the goaltenders, no doubt.

“It wasn’t for a lack of opportunities, because the game was as wide-open as you might have expected,” said Ward.

The goaltending corps at Canada’s camp also consisted of Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury, Roberto Luongo and Steve Mason, with three expected to make the final roster. Although it’s early in the process and the eventual selection process will have more to do with the opening months of the regular season than it will with the camp, Ward feels good about his chances thus far.

“I felt comfortable out there, and there’s a reason you get invited in the first place,” he said.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61