banner
Ken Medlin

Canes 'Ward' off the competition

Posted May 4, 2009

It's starting to feel a lot like 2006.

Think about it: the Hurricanes are engineering one playoff comeback after another, anchored by the stellar play of Cam Ward in goal.

Like Yogi Berra once said, It's deja vu all over again.

Cam Ward came of age in the 2006 playoffs. Forced into action due to Martin Gerber's sickness, Ward took the reigns and guided his team to a Stanley Cup.

But for the following two seasons, Ward's play was inconsistent. At times we saw flashes of his Stanley Cup brilliance, while at other times we saw him give up the kinds of goals that leave you scratching your head.

At the time, it was easy to shrug off Ward's inconsistency as the inevitable side-effect of growing pains. After all, he won the Cup at the ripe old age of 22.

But it was equally easy to wonder when Ward would regain the form he found in the post-season of 2006, and if he would ever maintain that form on a regular basis.

Well, he's there now.

Without Ward, the Hurricanes would never have made the post-season.

Without Ward's play against New Jersey - a series in which he went head-to-head with the legendary Martin Brodeur and gave no quarter - the Canes would never have advanced to the second round.

And without Ward's play in Game 2 against Boston (his fourth career playoff shutout), the Canes might well be down two games in this series.

Looking back, it's clear now that one of the most important moves Paul Maurice made upon taking over as head coach was to make Ward his everyday (and we mean EVERY day) goalie.

Ward had been splitting time in goal with Michael Leighton. But when Maurice showed confidence in him, Ward's play took off.

Ward himself likes to say that he earned his playing time, and of that there is no doubt. But he also admits that he now has the peace of mind to know that a mistake here or there will not cost him playing time.

The result is a goaltender playing as well as anyone in the NHL. And this time it feels like it's for good.

1 Comment

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • StunGunn May 4, 2009

    Wardo made amazing save after amazing save last night. He stood on his head and made saves that looked impossible. In the third period Boston kept firing away - some from point blank range - but Cam said "NO" to every single one. What a great player.

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 4
GWI 2
 
Final
DUR 1
GWI 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
LEH
DUR
 
Final
DET 8
CLE 6
Final
CIN 2
CHC 5
Final
TAM 5
TOR 1
Final
MIA 6
WAS 2
Final
PHI 5
ATL 4
Final
BAL 18
BOS 7
Final
MIL 6
STL 3
Final
CWS 5
KAN 3
Final
ANA 4
TEX 5
Final
OAK 6
HOU 7
Final
SDP 3
LOS 1
Final
SEA 2
MIN 4
Final
ARI 0
PIT 8
4:10pm Sunday
COL 0
SFG 0
Final
NYY 6
NYM 4
6:10pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
6:10pm Tonight
BOS
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
CWS
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
TAM
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PHI
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
BOS 93
CLE 101
Final
SAN 105
LAC 114
Final
WAS 125
TOR 94
Final
DAL 121
HOU 109
7:00pm Tonight
BRK
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
Final
MIN 4
STL 1
Final
OTT 0
MON 2
7:00pm Tonight
DET
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
WAS
NYI
 
Final
DUR 4
GWI 2
 
Final
DUR 1
GWI 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
LEH
DUR