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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Ward Confident About Long-Term Health

Wednesday, 03.24.2010 / 2:56 PM / 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 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45