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micheelob

Ward is average at best!

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How can some of you put all those on Ward. Like others have said he is over worked once again he doesnt have a good back up who can give him some nights off. There are more things to worry about then ward. Scoring goals is a HUGE problem on this team. I would rather have rutherford spend his time trying to find carolina a good consistent forward.

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How can some of you put all those on Ward. Like others have said he is over worked once again he doesnt have a good back up who can give him some nights off. There are more things to worry about then ward. Scoring goals is a HUGE problem on this team. I would rather have rutherford spend his time trying to find carolina a good consistent forward.

There's a problem with scoring, true enough. But when a team can be ahead 5-1 (granted it was Leighton in goal that night), and still lose the game, it is time for a goal tending reality check. Ward is a pretty spotty goaltender with flashes of excellence. In goal, flashes aren't good enough, you have to have consistency. Fact of the matter is the Hurricanes lack heart, and it goes top to bottom. You can see it in the way they fail to attack the net, the way they fail to finish checks, the way they miss passes and pass too much... and in the way the goaltenders let in bloopers. They simply are sloppy and accept that style of play, at all positions. There is no fire in their belly, and it shows. They have the talent, but it's presently going to waste. Ask yourself, what would Babcock do? And then remember that Hasek, (easily a better goalie than Ward) retired because he said he lacked the required motivation for the RedWings...and that's how you win games.

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Ward is a good goalie, a good back up that is...bring in a #1 goalie...and let Wardo wait till the playoffs to play.. or just get rid of him all together..that works for me.. he Might be a good back up goalie for the rats

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Ward has been very hot and very cold, just like the team lately. He went from the league's third star one week to swiss cheese the next. Ward's numbers are average to slightly below. His save % career is .899 and this year, his best year, .906 for 34 games (27th in the league). 5 teams have back-up goalies with better save % than Cam. Boston, Fla, Montreal, Vancouver, and Chicago. And that's not including Clemensen in NJ. Cam's GAA is 2.70 this year, again best in career, and that is 22nd in the league. A top 10 goalie will have a save % of .920 or better and GAA 2.50 or better.

I have been a believer in Ward and still want to see him excel each night, but the lack of consistency remains. His flashes of brilliance, such as 59 saves v. the Isles, along with how he performed during his 1 playoff run make it difficult not to see the possibility. However, improving from .904 to .906 from last year to this year and from 2.75 to 2.70 GAA really is not much of a change. So, Ward will continue to improve some, but he is going to be average with flashes of greatness during his career.

The problem for the Canes is that almost the entire team fits this type of description, consistently inconsistent and average for position at best. The question becomes how to build a team, around the goalie or not. My view is that Cam is good enough for this team and attention should be placed to our top forward line and top defensive pairing. I grew up watching Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr win SCs and Ward is at least as good as either of them. If the other pieces were in place and Cam's inconsistency was hurting the team record, then to me it would be time to attempt to upgrade and keep Cam for an excellent back-up. For those who believe in building a team around the goalie first, then yes it is probably time to bang the drum to change the payroll structure and bring in a proven, top-flight goalie. For me, I'd rather see the money distributed to upgrade the top O & D lines.

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Ward is a good goalie, a good back up that is...bring in a #1 goalie...and let Wardo wait till the playoffs to play.. or just get rid of him all together..that works for me.. he Might be a good back up goalie for the rats

Yeah... Kill Cam, saves Carolina!.... or trade him for "# 1" goalie like Vokoun, or Huet, or Auld, or Leclair, or Biron....

Patience and give Cam some credit - he's our # 1 and will be for future.

I believe in that guy.

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I think his own teammates in front of him are hanging him out to dry a lot of times. If I was him, I'd want to do some *edit* chewing in the locker room between periods.

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yeah...but when you let in an average of OVER 4 pucks PER GAME in 5 losing efforts...that's gotta say something. I said it earlier this season -- the canes are just an average team....it took me a long time to get to the point of saying it..let alone putting it here. i still get to see some good hockey - just most of it comes from other teams

it blows me away that you guys bash ward so easily. I just dont get it. He is a good goalie. Give aways, odd man rushes, screen shots, you try stopping those. He let in one softy tonight, big deal. I dont see any threads started here that said "great job by ward tonight" when he was standing on his head during our little win streak. Wards fine

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Ward is a good goalie, a good back up that is...bring in a #1 goalie...and let Wardo wait till the playoffs to play.. or just get rid of him all together..that works for me.. he Might be a good back up goalie for the rats

:angry: Don't you go messing with my Rats. Goaltending is the only consistant thing we've got in Albany right now ;)

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He currently ranks 14th in the whole league tied for wins with Carey Price (the Allstar :rolleyes: ), Ty Conklin and Jose Theodore. He's also played in 34 games compared to their 25, 22, and 28 respectively. He is 1 win behind Scott Clemmenson and Steve Mason (who sit in 8th, 9th and place) and have only played in 28 games each. The top of that list includes goalies that have more games, have an excellent back up and/or an elite team in front of them.

Ward, while far from perfect, hasn't been the problem this season IMO. He needs consistent support in front and in back of him. Its hard enough that us fans dont always know which Canes team will show up for the game, but when Cam Ward has to figure it out and then adjust accordingly....well....we've seen what that looks like.

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At what point will Cam take this team on his shoulders and prove that HE IS our last line of defense!(NOT THE BACK OF THE NET) So yes the rest of the team ,minus a few players wern't much better, but Cam also has to make those big stops to keep us in the game. Those soft goals really deflate a team.

Cam shouldnt have to take the team on his shoulders. Look at Jersey, there winning at the same pace they always do and look who is in net, same with vancouver and there just now getting god(luongo) back. Maybe stop giving up 10 two and three on ones and Cam and you wont be crying about his play. These players are the elite of the elite there supposed to score on every oppurtunity they have. Ward is by far are last thing to worry about. If Ward was on any other team hands down hes top 5 in the league. Just because he played better then having a cement wall in the net in the cup run everyone has godly like expectations for him. So what if he makes 1 mistake a game, every player on our team is making about 5 a game and there is no blame on them. Sad....

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He's currently ranks 14th in the whole league tied for wins with Carey Price (the Allstar :rolleyes: ), Ty Conklin and Jose Theodore. He's also played in 34 games compared to their 25, 22, and 28 respectively. He is 1 win behind Scott Clemmenson and Steve Mason (who sit in 8th, 9th and place) and have only played in 28 games each. The top of that list includes goalies that have more games, have an excellent back up and/or an elite team in front of them.

Ward, while far from perfect, hasn't been the problem this season IMO. He needs consistent support in front and in back of him. Its hard enough that us fans dont always know which Canes team will show up for the game, but when Cam Ward has to figure it out and then adjust accordingly....well....we've seen what that looks like.

Ward is 14th in wins in the league, so having played more games means he should have more wins than the other goalies. His win % is well below the others you mention. SV% and GAA level the playing field for comparison and Ward is 27th and 22nd respectively in those areas. These stats place him slightly below average for the league. Not awful and not all-star.

I agree with you TSA that Ward is not the problem for the team - for now, but he also is not and will not become the team savior. I scream my head off when Wardo makes a great save and I sit on his end of the rink. Unfortunately, I still hang my head more than expected at this point in Cam's career for goals where he is responsible for making the stop. Build the team in front of Cam and let's see what happens is what I think is best for the team. Then, if he continues to be inconsistent, it's time for a change.

For people who expect Cam to be a fortress in net, it's not going to happen. If you want that type of goalie, find out what Backstrom wants to resign and what MN would go for and sell out whatever it takes to get him. I'm thinking that would take Cam, Ruutu, and Bowman or Boychuk and that might not even be enough, maybe a 2nd round pick as well. Those types of goalies do not just grow on trees as the saying goes. I really can understand why fans would want to go that kind of direction with the Canes and that has less to do with Cam specifically than it does with expectations for the goalie position and how to build a team.

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He currently ranks 14th in the whole league tied for wins with Carey Price (the Allstar :rolleyes: ), Ty Conklin and Jose Theodore. He's also played in 34 games compared to their 25, 22, and 28 respectively. He is 1 win behind Scott Clemmenson and Steve Mason (who sit in 8th, 9th and place) and have only played in 28 games each. The top of that list includes goalies that have more games, have an excellent back up and/or an elite team in front of them.

Ward, while far from perfect, hasn't been the problem this season IMO. He needs consistent support in front and in back of him. Its hard enough that us fans dont always know which Canes team will show up for the game, but when Cam Ward has to figure it out and then adjust accordingly....well....we've seen what that looks like.

Let's wind the clock back to the day before the Florida game. We have a 4 game streak going, everything is working, Ward is the 3rd star of the week, his save% is around .917 and GAA around 2.50. Everyone is singing his praises, "I always knew Ward was a great goalie, he just needed some time!".

Fast forward to today. We've lost 5 in a row, the team has scored 9 goals in these past 5 games, nothing is working, turnovers and poor defense lead to goals giving the other team momentum and Ward comes up with some great saves and sometimes there's nothing he can do. Everyone is angry, understandably, calling for different trades and a scapegoat is needed to explain everything. First it was Kaberle, then Wallin, then Brind'amour then Babchuk so now it's Ward's turn.

Ward has the skills to be an elite goalie, the problem is mental. When the team is consistently scoring and playing great D, Ward is on top of his game and making all of the big saves. When everything is going wrong in front of him, he is average. Now if everything is going wrong in front of him, it doesn't matter how spectacular you are, scoring 1 goal a game and expecting to win is ridiculous.

I'll pull out a stat that I posted yesterday. When we score 3 goals in a game we are 16-1-2, that regulation loss being against Toronto the other night where we only showed up for 20 minutes. If we had consistent scoring and solid defense, we would have a completely different atmosphere around here and we would not be this low in the standings.

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Ward is 14th in wins in the league, so having played more games means he should have more wins than the other goalies. His win % is well below the others you mention. SV% and GAA level the playing field for comparison and Ward is 27th and 22nd respectively in those areas. These stats place him slightly below average for the league. Not awful and not all-star.

I agree with you TSA that Ward is not the problem for the team - for now, but he also is not and will not become the team savior. I scream my head off when Wardo makes a great save and I sit on his end of the rink. Unfortunately, I still hang my head more than expected at this point in Cam's career for goals where he is responsible for making the stop. Build the team in front of Cam and let's see what happens is what I think is best for the team. Then, if he continues to be inconsistent, it's time for a change.

For people who expect Cam to be a fortress in net, it's not going to happen. If you want that type of goalie, find out what Backstrom wants to resign and what MN would go for and sell out whatever it takes to get him. I'm thinking that would take Cam, Ruutu, and Bowman or Boychuk and that might not even be enough, maybe a 2nd round pick as well. Those types of goalies do not just grow on trees as the saying goes. I really can understand why fans would want to go that kind of direction with the Canes and that has less to do with Cam specifically than it does with expectations for the goalie position and how to build a team.

I think that's a pretty fair assessment and I'd love to see what Ward could do when he gets consistent support in front of him. We've seen glimmers of what might be (in the recent win streak) where Ward seemed to elevate his play and gain more and more confidence. I used to cringe when he played the puck but most of the time now, he does a decent job of getting it up to the dman or at least clearing it up the boards. Not always, but much improved.

He, like Staal or any other player wont be a savior for this team but I do think given the right support, he can become one of the top goalies in the league. I agree with those that say he was rushed too soon after the Cup win and it slowed his development. Even though he's shown slight improvements each season, I can understand the frustration from the fans when he either has a off night or lets in a bad goal. It happens to all goaltenders some nights and when it does, you hope that the offense might pick up their game to help support him. That has never happened this season and Cam is on an island.

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I do think that Ward has the potential to be an elite goalie, but there are times when I get frustrated with him beyond belief. With that being said though, I do think that the recent string of losses boils down to the fact that the team is not putting the puck in the net. I know they played OK against the Sabres the other night, but they certainly didn't play well enough to win. We have so many guys that under performing right now and in my opinion it starts with Brindy and Williams. Both of these guys need to score to give the Canes a true 3 line scoring presence, but when we have to keep juggling the lines it gives the centers like Staal and Cullen zero chemistry with their wingers.

The team that we saw in the 3rd period the other night against the Leafs is the sort of team that won the Cup a few years ago. Right now they are showing mediocre effort and seem to be bewildered when other teams get more of the bounces. I think it comes down to the fact that even though we may have more shots than the other team, we aren't working hard enough to get the better chances. That is why Ward has had to be overworked. Leighton has MAJOR rebound control issues and I don't think anyone trusts him when the Canes are giving up 5-6 Grade A scoring chances through the first two periods.

When this team shows a lot of effort, highlighted by the recent 4 game win streak, Cam is the one who gets the most benefit out of that, but when they don't Cam is the one who suffers the most.

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The boy needs a break. He's tired from being overplayed.

That was kind of my point about the # of games played being far more than the others he's tied with the in rankings. The numbers can be interpreted different ways and you can certainly say that because he's played more games he should have more wins, or you can say that he's being overworked as compared to comparable goalies.

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If we had consistent scoring and solid defense, we would have a completely different atmosphere around here and we would not be this low in the standings.

Ryan, consistent scoring and solid defense is the basis of quality hockey at any level and something that the Canes will not produce on the ice without changes to the team. If the team in front of the net remains the same, then putting in place a goalie who plays consistently high level hockey where he can be counted on to bail out the team when needed and avoid let down goals is another option. Cam is not this level of elite goalie, a shutdown goalie who can single handedly create consistency for his team, and he should not be expected to play to that level. Providing consistency in front of Cam should allow him to be more consistent, but don't expect him to be the league 3rd star week in and week out once that happens :) . For me, the inconsistencies feed each other and any approach to addressing the issues is better than no approach.

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It's the whole team, the whole organization. We are average. We are inconsistent. We won't spend the money for a big time scorer, high profile goalie or head coach, so let's hope we can get to the playoffs where anything can happen.

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Ward is still a young, developing goalie. He is going to have his ups and downs. If the team skating in front of him could score 3 or 4 goals, his occasional let down wouldn't be so obvious.

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There's a problem with scoring, true enough. But when a team can be ahead 5-1 (granted it was Leighton in goal that night), and still lose the game, it is time for a goal tending reality check. Ward is a pretty spotty goaltender with flashes of excellence. In goal, flashes aren't good enough, you have to have consistency. Fact of the matter is the Hurricanes lack heart, and it goes top to bottom. You can see it in the way they fail to attack the net, the way they fail to finish checks, the way they miss passes and pass too much... and in the way the goaltenders let in bloopers. They simply are sloppy and accept that style of play, at all positions. There is no fire in their belly, and it shows. They have the talent, but it's presently going to waste. Ask yourself, what would Babcock do? And then remember that Hasek, (easily a better goalie than Ward) retired because he said he lacked the required motivation for the RedWings...and that's how you win games.

I think this is a pretty good post. If anyone has ever played hockey as a scorer at a high level, you know when your goalie lets in garbage it places a LOT more pressure on you and your linemates to try and make something happen EVEN MORE than you already put on yourself. It also gets you pissed off that it happened. (at least it did for me and my teammates. We got to the point that we almost didn't like the goalie anymore for not being focused enough, or not wanting it enough or whatever you want to call it. We gave 110%, why isn't he?) It can start a whole cascade of bad things for the team.

Also, as far as the team playing better in front of him, I will always go back and slo-mo the feed and see what D missed their assignments and most often it is Corvo and Pitkanen who either blow their coverage by not taking the right player, or by not hustling and getting back to defend. So yes, Cam does let in garbage (way too much for my liking) and defenders miss their coverage too.

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I think this is a pretty good post. If anyone has ever played hockey as a scorer at a high level, you know when your goalie lets in garbage it places a LOT more pressure on you and your linemates to try and make something happen EVEN MORE than you already put on yourself. It also gets you pissed off that it happened. (at least it did for me and my teammates. We got to the point that we almost didn't like the goalie anymore for not being focused enough, or not wanting it enough or whatever you want to call it. We gave 110%, why isn't he?) It can start a whole cascade of bad things for the team.

Not that I dont agree with this but it can go both ways. When a golaie sees the guys lazily skating up the ice turning over puck after puck, or not creating any real scoring chances, or worse, allowing multiple odd man rushes in a game, he must get pretty frustrated himself.

We've seen what happens when both the goalie and the forwards are focused and on the same page, and thats why its so frustrating for many of us.

BTW, good discussion. Its nice to read some real thoughtful input without the usual "he needs to go" with nothing to back it up. Well done, besides, what else do we have to discuss?

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Ryan, consistent scoring and solid defense is the basis of quality hockey at any level and something that the Canes will not produce on the ice without changes to the team.

The thing is the team was playing like that towards the end of december and beginning of this month, so it is possible. I do agree changes need to be made though. When I said consistent scoring and defense that was a kinder and more general way of saying we can't win scoring 1 goal a game and turning the puck over in our zone. Obviously if we are playing well we'll have both of those and people would be happy.

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I have held my tongue on this version of the great Ward debate because I wanted to make sure that when I did say something it wouldn't just be my personal feelings coming through-I don't sport a Ward jersey at games for no reason! With that being said I understand where everyone's frustration is coming from. It's tough to watch your #1 goalie go from Star of the Week to 5 goals against in a matter of a few weeks. But, in his defense, he is only 24 years old and is still developing as a goaltender. After watching him lift the Conn Smythe trophy, I think we ALL expected him to be that good all the time. Maybe that was an unrealistic expectation at that point in his career. Maybe things would be different if he was able to rest for stretches in 06-07 instead of going from a little-used backup who had an outstanding playoff run to the number one guy overnight. I think he gets tired, both mentally and physically, after starting 9 or 10 games in a row, especially when his team doesn't support him the way that they can or maybe should (both offensively and defensively). This happens to all young goaltenders. Take Ryan Miller from Buffalo-his coach has even said that he gets worn out by the end of the season because he is used almost every night.

Bottom line (sorry this is so long) is this: do I think that he steals games for us resulting in a win when we should lose? Yeah I think he does. Do I also think that sometimes he lets in a goal (or two) that is a bad goal and we lose as a result? Yeah I think he does. But I firmly believe that he is our number 1 goalie and his play will only get better, and more consistent, as he gets older.

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