Oh, baby! New papa Cam Ward stifles Bruins


Oh, baby! New papa Cam Ward stifles Bruins

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- Cam Ward's last shutout came on May 3, 2009, when he made 30 saves in the Carolina Hurricanes' 3-0 victory over the Bruins at TD Garden in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He did it again Friday, by the same score, only with more saves (37). Only this time there was a big difference:

The presence of his newborn son, Nolan, who was born Wednesday and to whom he dedicated Friday's victory.

"These last couple days have been really amazing for myself, introducing my first son, Nolan, and both Nolan and Mom are doing awesome," said Ward after Carolina's win. "I was just excited about getting back on the ice."

Ward hadn't played since last Saturday, but, what with a newborn baby in the house, that didn't mean he was well rested. He was, however, used to being up early, so his recent sleep deprivation was a good thing heading into Friday's earlier-than-usual noon puck drop.

"Well, I knew it was going to be his first one watching," said Ward. "I'm just a very lucky young man right now, and I felt really good going into today.

"I'm very fortunate to have a lovely wife, and giving me a healthy boy. It's my first son, so knowing that he's back home, we drove him home yesterday, it's his first time watching Dad on the TV, so most certainly it was in my mind."

Ward was also in the Bruins' minds as well.

The B's had their chances on Friday, but Ward was consistently in the right place at the right time all game long.

"You've got to give Ward credit because he kept them in the game," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic. "He made some big stops for them, and that's, I think, the biggest reason why they won.

"He did a good job kicking the rebounds out," added Lucic. "If he put out his glove, he caught it, or he stopped the play every time. So he's a big part of that team, and we weren't able to break him down tonight."

Ward's dominating play was something Mark Recchi had seen before.

"Ward's a world-class goalie," said Recchi. "I was with him in Carolina when we won the Cup in 2006, and he knows how to win. He's a great goalie. He's very sound, technically, and he's a competitive guy. You're going to have to be willing to out-battle him. He's a battler, and we weren't quite willing to out-battle him."

The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 37-21 on Friday. They also went 0-for-4 on the power play. Even though the B's weren't in sync at all during their man-advantage opportunities, the old saying still exists for any team: your best penalty killer is your goalie.

On Friday, Ward was Carolina's best player

"I felt like I was seeing the puck really well," said Ward. "I felt that I controlled my rebounds, and any time you do that, you can help your team in your own zone."

When asked, after the game, if Ward showed any signs of slowing down, now that he has to take care of his newborn son the rest of the season, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice responded by saying, "No, we're hoping he has 70 more babies this year."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season. 

Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?


Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.

*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.

*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.

*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.

*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.

*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.

*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.