Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward has seen better days. The 31-year-old netminder is in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career, and he’s been little better than backup Eddie Lack, even though Ward continues to get the lion’s share of the starts. Monday night, Ward’s bad play mixed with his obvious frustration for a clear visual of just how his season has gone.
In the second period of Carolina’s contest against the New York Rangers, Hurricanes center Riley Nash was battling for a loose puck in the right wing corner against Blueshirts winger Chris Kreider. Kreider was able to strip the puck off of Nash, and swung his body around to put the puck on net in one quick motion. The sharp-angle shot somehow eluded Ward, who vented by destroying his stick on the post:
That was less than three minutes into the second frame and it was the third goal Ward had allowed on the evening. Not hard to understand why he was so frustrated. The Hurricanes went on to drop the game 4-3, and it was the third time in his past four games Ward allowed more than three goals in a contest. Ward has started 18 games this season, and in 11 of them he has allowed at least three goals against, including four games in which he allowed at least four goals against.
Carolina fought back into the game, but the Rangers had netted their fourth goal, which stood as the game-winner, when Ward made a terrible play with the puck and put it right on the tape of Rangers center Derick Brassard. It was Carolina’s second loss in a row and eighth in their past 10 games.