In the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Cam Ward made some great saves and then at other times, he let in soft goals.
I’m not blaming the loss last night on Ward – the Pens simply powered over the Carolina Hurricanes with their speed and skill, but it would have been a closer game had Ward stopped some pucks he should have saved.
In the first period, Jordan Staal made a bad play along the boards, blindly playing a puck into the middle of the ice where Jussi Jokinen was waiting to intercept. Beau Bennett ended up taking a shot from the slot that was stopped by Ward.
The 30-year-old was at the top of his crease and in great position to stop the puck.
But on Paul Martin‘s goal in the second period, Ward isn’t where he was supposed to be:
A second before the picture, the puck had rebounded behind the net, but Ward should be playing more shallow in the goal, in case if something like this happens.
Ward then sees the puck, but takes too long to get over to the left side giving Martin a slam-dunk goal.
Later on in the third period, the Penguins had taken a 3-2 lead and Ward made some incredible saves to keep the Canes in the game, including a save on Chris Kunitz that required the goalie to reach behind him and swat the puck away.
But on the next face-off, Ward fails to cover a puck that leads to a Tanner Glass goal.
At this point, the puck is slowly rolling in on Ward. He tries to get his glove on it, but misplays the puck and it goes scooting to Glass’s stick for the Pens fourth goal.
Ward had the right idea, but as a nine-year veteran, he needs to make that stop. Ward was probably tired after making those big saves before the goal, but that stop should have been made.
On the Penguins’ fifth goal, Jokinen shoots from above the circle and while it was a quick shot, Ward also should have had that one.
In last night’s game, the team did not play well in front of Ward. They had trouble generating offensive chances through parts of the game and the breakouts just weren’t happening.
But if it was a game the Hurricanes could have won, Ward would be the scapegoat. In future games the team will need Ward to play more consistently.