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Ward to Shoulder Load Down Stretch

Sunday, 03.6.2011 / 1:25 PM ET / 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

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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