Cam Ward: A True Assessment of the Canes Goaltending

Sterling EbyAnalyst IJanuary 24, 2009

Cam Ward is a young and talented goalie currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. Even though he is the starting goalie, and a former Conn Smythe winner, many traditional hockey fans argue that Cam Ward is an "inconsistent" goalie, and shouldn't be starting.

On the other hand, being the Canes fan that I am, I have sat here and researched Cam Ward and found many statistics that will argue that Cam Ward IS a consistent goalie, and maybe the problem isn't with him, but elsewhere.

To start the article off, in 2006-2007 Cam Ward won 20 games before the All-Star break, and had a G.AA of 2.82. He currently has a G.AA of 2.57, the lowest of his NHL career, but only 18 wins to show for it.

To continue the argument, he has a record of 4-1 in overtime games, however only a shootout record of 1-2. He has the same record at home, as he has on the road (both 9-7) and a record of 18-14 right now.

Now my first argument to help prove Cam Ward's innocence is the Carolina Hurricanes problems with offensive scoring. When Carolina scores two goals or less in a game Cam Ward's record is 6-15.

When Carolina scores three goals or more Cam Ward is 12-2. You can see how his record is dramatically improved just by scoring one more goal. When Carolina scores five or more goals and Cam Ward is in net, Cam Ward is a perfect 4-0.

However, the statistics show goalies are murdering our offense. Goalies' Goals Against Average when facing our team is 1.70, and that shows a lack of offense.

Now, between Leighton and Ward whenever the Canes score more than two goals in a game, they are 16-3. That is some great stats. However whenever the Canes score two goals or less, they are 7-22. A downfall for the worst pretty much.

The funny thing is these are stats coming from a team who has somehow managed to score a goal in every game so far this season. Somehow avoiding the shutouts. Weird stat if you think about it.

Another stat I found intriguing was that whenever the Canes get 26 or more shots on goal with Ward in net, they have 15 wins. However, when shooting the puck 26 or more times they also have 14 losses with Ward in goal. It's almost a matter of saying, the Canes aren't getting quality chances on goal.

Could it be our lack of Defensive pressure? Could it be the fact that we've used 12 different defenseman this season? If we can't get consistency in our defensive pairings, how do we expect consistent results?

It isn't a matter of Cam Ward being consistent, It's a matter of our team being consistent. If we can get consistent goal scorers, it shows we can be a consistent winning team overall if we can score.

Don't expect us to make the playoffs though. I hope the Canes can stay healthy, that way maybe Cam Ward can win another Conn Smythe for us, on our way to another Stanley Cup. But if we don't remain consistent, just say bye-bye to the season.