Cam Ward is slated to start for the 15th time in 16 games as the Carolina Hurricanes, (2-10-3) take on the Columbus Blue Jackets, (8-5-2) tonight at Nationwide Arena. Ward has started both sides of back-to-back tilts before, but the team has yet to win the second game of a back-to-back all year.
Although, it's hard to distinguish between loses because the team has also yet to win a road game all year long. With just 2 wins in 15 tries, the circumstances or details of the games do not seem to matter.
Ward started a personal best 28 consecutive games before being relieved by Michael Leighton in the season finale against New Jersey last April. He then went on to start all 18 playoff games, and now will have 15 of 16 in this season under his belt. That makes 61 starts in the last 63 games, spread out over the end of last season and start of this season. No wonder the goalie has had intermittent back problems.
Ward's stats last year warranted the consecutive game streak, but he has been average in recent games this season. His year to date stats are not at all impressive.
|2009 - Cam Ward||14||821||2||9||41||3.00||402||361||.898||0|
It only stands to reason that he will need a break at some point. Does the coaching staff have any confidence at all in Michael Leighton?
Columbus will be starting.last year's young phenom, Steve Mason, who has a rough start to the season himself.
|2009 - Steve Mason||12||711||6||4||40||3.38||359||319||.889||0|
According to ice chip, Ray Whitney did not make the trip, so expect the same lines as last night.
Raffi Torres has been hot of late for the Jackets, but always be on the look out for Rick Nash who is by far and away their leading scorer.
|2009 - Rick Nash||15||10||11||21||-4||8||2||2||1||0||62||16.1|
Today is ex- Cane Mike Commodore's 30th birthday. He will see some action tonight although he has missed previous games due to a leg injury.
Tonight's game starts at 7 and will be on FS Carolinas as well as 99.9 The Fan.