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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Ward to Shoulder Load Down Stretch

Sunday, 03.06.2011 / 1:25 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Ward to Shoulder Load Down Stretch
Although Cam Ward finally got a night off, it’s not something he should get accustomed to.

Paul Branecky
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According to coach Paul Maurice, the Hurricanes goaltender, whose of streak of 24 straight starts in goal was broken by Justin Peters’ appearance in Friday’s loss in Chicago, could start all 16 games to finish the regular season.

“We looked at the schedule, and I don’t imagine there will be a lot of time when we won’t be looking at him,” said Maurice after Sunday’s off-ice workout at the RecZone. “Unless something comes up where he’s not right or not feeling right and we don’t feel he can be mentally ready for the game, I would expect that he’ll be ready to go.”

If Ward does finish the season without interruption, he will have started 40 of the team’s final 41 games and would lead the league with 74. That number could even be higher if not for back-to-back starts by Peters in early January with Ward sidelined by a minor infection. Ward already leads the league in shots against with 1,870, 131 more than Montreal’s Carey Price, who ranks second.

That being said, his night off in Chicago, coupled with the six-day break between his Thursday start in Buffalo and his expected Wednesday start against Atlanta, will result in an unprecedented spell of rest for the Canes’ workhorse. The team hopes that will have him prepared to shoulder the load down the stretch.

“He should be well-rested and fresh,” said Maurice. “We have enough blocks of time off between our blocks of games. We ran him (24) games in a row, so this will just be a short hop for him. This will be easy for him.”

Prior to the Chicago game, Maurice said that he planned to start Ward as long as the goaltender felt up to it following his overtime win over the Sabres. On Sunday, Maurice said that the team’s coaches instead made the decision to start Peters in Chicago.

“It wasn’t a conversation where he was given an opportunity to give his opinion,” said Maurice of Ward. “We assessed where he was physically after that game (against Buffalo) and made that decision after the game.”

While Ward, barring injury, seems certain to break his personal single-season starts record of 68 set in 2008-09, he won’t set a franchise record this season. That honor is held by Arturs Irbe, who started 76 for Maurice during the 2000-01 season.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45