Cam Ward could be close to returning for the Carolina Hurricanes, which is magical news for a squad that has been taking a beating in the standings since both the No. 1 and No. 2 goalie on their roster went down nearly simultaneously with injuries. Carolina has sank to 10th place in the Eastern Conference and is 4-5-1 over the last 10 contests.
Justin Peters has done his darnedest to keep the Hurricanes above water, but his efforts have amounted to a 2-5-1 record. As such, the ‘Canes can’t get Ward back soon enough.
Michael Smith of the official website for the Hurricanes initially reported that Ward had taken part in a 30-minute practice this morning. The goalie spoke about his progress moving forward and about how head coach Kirk Muller felt the half-hour workout went:
He just told me that today was a pretty good day, that he was feeling good. Tomorrow he wants to get a full practice in with the guys and monitor it as the practices roll along here.
If Ward continues to progress well, he could get back into action next weekend as the Hurricanes have a back-to-back set against the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks. Muller spoke to Carolina’s site about what he wanted to see from Ward moving forward:
We’ve just got to watch and see him improve each day … before he gets pain free, solid and healthy. He needs to be healthy and 100 percent. He needs practices, and he needs to be looking sharp and confident.
That seems like a lot of work that needs to be done for Ward, but with two tough contests against the Blues and the Ducks coming up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the ‘Canes give Ward a go by next weekend. Ward at 75% gives them more of a chance to win than Peters does on his best nights, and if there’s zero chance of re-injury, expect to see the No. 1 back at the helm by this time next weekend.