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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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81