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

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Gunnstigator May 4, 7:00 a.m.

    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.

  • PGA: The Barclays

    Today at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: New Orleans at Indianapolis

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • HighSchoolOT.com Wrap-up Show

    Today at 9:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: San Francisco at Washington

    Today at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: LA Dodgers at Oakland

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
CHC 4
BAL 1
Final
NYY 4
CWS 3
Final
CLE 1
HOU 5
Final
WAS 3
SFG 10
Final
PHI 5
STL 4
Final
TOR 0
TAM 8
Final
CIN 1
ATL 3
Final
BOS 3
SEA 5
Final
TEX 3
KAN 6
Final
MIN 20
DET 6
Final
MIL 3
PIT 8
Final
COL 5
MIA 13
Final
ARI 5
SDP 1
Final
OAK 5
ANA 3
Final
LOS 6
NYM 2
1:05pm Today
NYY
CWS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
TAM
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
DET
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
BAL
 
4:05pm Today
WAS
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
PIT
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
SDP
 
8:25pm Tonight
TEX
KAN
 
9:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
9:10pm Tonight
LOS
NYM
 
Final
NEP 30
CAR 7
 
Final
DET 13
JAC 12
 
Final
NYJ 24
NYG 35
 
Final
GBP 31
OAK 21
 
Final
SEA 34
CHI 6
 
4:30pm Today
BUF
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
TEN
7:30pm Tonight
BAL
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:00pm Tonight
IND
NOS
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
STL
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
Final
DUR 5
GWI 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI