To all those goaltenders out there who have made outstanding saves this season: we're sorry. We really are. You did your best, but it's going to take a miracle save to come close to beating out Cam Ward for the best glove stop of the season.
Ward's monster glove save has all the elements necessary for a great save. Was it made in desperation? Check. Did he have to cover a lot of ground to make the stop? Check. Were there fans thinking the Penguins were about to score before Ward reached out? Absolutely. And not only did Ward extend to his physical limit to snare David Perron's shot, he did it in a one-goal game.
Carolina rode Ward's 27 saves and five unanswered goals to a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh. The victory pushed Ward to a 19-21-5 record on the season, and improved his goals-against average to 2.43 and save percentage to .910.
Rumors have swirled that this may be the final season in Carolina for Ward. With one year remaining on a deal that has an average annual value of $6.3 million and with Ward recently turning 31, it's clear he's not their goaltender of the future. Injuries cost Ward last season, and the emergence of Anton Khudobin as a cheaper alternative has made Ward expendable.
If he does leave Carolina, it will be saves like this -- of which Ward has made many -- that will be remembered most.