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.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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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