Ward’s Return Timely for Hurricanes
Cam Ward will return to action tonight against the Bruins, after a 10-game absence.
Ward has been sidelined with a lower body injury since October, during which time the ‘Canes went 4-5-1.
With the Metropolitan Division tighter than any other right now, the Conn Smythe winners return will be most welcome.
Carolina currently sit 4th in the Division; just 5 points behind leaders Washington, but only 4 clear of last placed Philadelphia.
Ward was hurt in the Hurricanes game against Minnesota on October 24th, which turned in to one of five straight losses for Kirk Muller’s side. Despite a recent resurgence, including four wins and one shootout loss in their last 6 games, the club sits outside the play-off places at present and have a tough run of games coming up, including two encounters with the Bruins and two meetings with divisional rivals New Jersey.
Justin Peters has performed well during Ward’s absence, but the Saskatoon native is still the franchise’s clear number one and, with Anton Khudobin on the injured reserve, Carolina will be grateful to have their top stopper back.
What may be of concern for the Hurricanes, however, is that this represents Ward’s second ‘significant’ injury in the past year. Ward missed the final 27 games of last season with an MCL sprain.
The injury largely ended Ward’s chances of making Team Canada for next years Olympics, and on a team struggling to score (2nd worst offence in the NHL right now) strong goaltending is vital.
If Ward remains healthy, and recaptures his form, a play-off berth might not be out of the question.