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

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.