Tracking the Storm

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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 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