Carolina goalie Cam Ward seems to be a man who likes to change his masks almost as often as some goalies change sticks. He changed it at least twice last year, from his Nickelback themed mask to the State of North Carolina theme which had images of the Wright Brother's first flight as well as the USS North Carolina. This year, he's got a whole new look with an image of Blackbeard the Pirate gracing both sides. I've gotten a few recent requests asking about where people could find decent pictures of this new mask. I'd seen distant pictures of it, but I hadn't seen any closeups of it yet. Last year we were very fortunate to receive an email from the company that airbrushes Cam's masks, "Eye Candy Air". They were nice enough to provide Canes Country with a few shots of Cam's Nickelback mask and some information about it. They are extremely friendly people over there and are especially proud to be working with Cam. I shot them a quick email yesterday asking about his new mask and they responded almost immediately with a link to a close-up of it. (I probably should have just searched their site first, oops). They don't have a photo of the backplate up yet, but they will notify me as soon as they put one online and I will post a link to that as well, as soon as it is available. So here it is, Cam Ward's and Steve Nash's version of Blackbeard the Pirate. (click here to see the pic). Pretty gruesome, isn't it? It looks to be a cross between a vampire and a zombie! It's a perfect theme for Halloween, but it seems so unlike Cam. I'd love to ask him the reason behind this. Maybe it's supposed to signify a new Cam? The new and improved, "lean and mean Wardo"? Anyway, I'm not one to argue with success and "Wardo" and his new mask have been awesome so far this year. Long live Blackbeard's Ghost! (Thank you Stephanie, of Eye Candy Air for your quick response!)
In other news, John Forslund reviewed the defense in his latest blog posting. Mike Commodore looks like he will be ready to return to action on Friday night. Forslund is anticipating the following pairings: Hedican and Wallin, (both had very good games Saturday night), Wesley and Commodore, (Wesley has been a rock, hopefully Commie can return to his normal form), and Gleason and Kaberle. (they have struggled at times but looked good at other times). Tanabe and Seidenberg will find themselves in the pressbox, at least for Friday night. The power play was worked on at practice again yesterday, even though it's hitting at a 26% clip, good enough for 2nd best in the NHL! Andrew Ladd is feeling better but still isn't sure if he can return on Friday. Could it be possible that for the very first time this year, the entire roster would be healthy and ready to rock this weekend? It might be the first time that has happened in the last 2 years? Happy Hump Day!