Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Ward Confident About Long-Term Health

Wednesday, 03.24.2010 / 2:56 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Ward Confident About Long-Term Health
While nothing is yet set in stone, Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward feels confident that the back troubles that have plagued him on and off this year will have no long-term effects on his future.

Paul Branecky
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The team’s franchise goaltender first experienced back spasms in the 2009 playoffs and then again during Canada’s Olympic orientation camp this past offseason. An unrelated back issue then popped up during the February 3 game at Calgary, which has kept him out of the lineup ever since.

Despite initial concerns over the most recent problem, Ward said he expects a full recovery in relatively short order.

”The doctor told me there was a five percent chance of it coming back, so I like my odds,” he said.

The goaltender resumed practicing with the team on Tuesday and is on track for a return to game action sometime next week. While the Canes will need every possible point over the last nine games of this season to even consider the possibility of a playoff spot, the team is more concerned about getting Ward back in games to get the best possible read on his condition moving forward.

”To leave the season when he’s done playing with a real good idea of where his injury is at … is very important so we’re not having those same questions in September of next year,” said coach Paul Maurice.

Ward said that he knew right away that his latest back issues were different and more concerning than what he had struggled with earlier.

”It was a small thing that I felt in the first period of that Calgary game and didn’t think was serious enough to pull myself out of the game,” he said. “But as I went along over time, it got worse and worse to the point that I haven’t had that much pain in my back in my whole life. 

“I sure hope that doesn’t happen again, and I’m confident it won’t.”

In addition to making multiple visits to back specialists, Ward has been working with the Hurricanes’ training staff to put himself in the best possible condition to avoid further setbacks. That has him feeling as though he could contribute immediately upon re-entering the lineup.

“This year I’ve suffered a couple of significant injuries, and in the first one I was able to come back and in my eyes play pretty strong,” said Ward, referring to a leg laceration suffered in early November. “My expectations are the same with this one. I want to come back and feel good about myself and the team before the season ends.”

While no specific date for his return has been made public, it seems as though he could be aiming to play either Wednesday at Montreal or Thursday at Ottawa. That could change depending on how he feels this week, as he claims to be feeling better each day.

”The way things are going right now, there’s no reason to think that I couldn’t be back within a week,” he said. “When I come back, I want to be able to perform at my full potential because that’s only fair to the team, especially since both of our goaltenders have played so great since I’ve been out. I want to make sure that when I come back I’m ready.”


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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
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60