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Healthy Ward Back in Action

Monday, 08.31.2009 / 1:52 PM ET / 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.

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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81