Ed note: Rather than put the burden on one player to check in often amid the busy season for a dedicated player blog, we've decided it would be better to rotate through the roster for brief updates throughout the year.
Today's subject is starting goaltender Cam Ward
Obviously we just had a longer offseason than what we were hoping for. It was disappointing the way the season ended last year, but at the same time it’s a chance to use that as motivation coming into this season. For the most part I stuck around Raleigh
and made a couple of trips. I went back home for about three weeks to Alberta
and went on a Mediterranean cruise in Europe
with Eric Staal
and his wife and had a good time.
My wife and I really like it here. We’ve got our house here, so for the most part I just enjoy being here. I’ve got a boat down here, and there’s nothing better than having the nice weather down here to enjoy it. You want to make at least one or two trips to make the family, and the only bad thing about living here is that it’s a long ways from home. My parents are going to be flying in on Saturday and are going to be here for about a week and a half, so it’s going to be good for them to be here and see opening night.
I think everybody is excited to come back to camp and get things going again. We feel very strong with the team we have with the skill and the character to be one of the top teams in this league. Hopefully we get off to a good start.
Camp has been good, but camp is camp. It’s a chance to get the feel back and to gel with one another again and try to get on the same page so you’re peaking on opening night October 10. We’ve got a lot of new faces on the back end with our defense. That will take time, but with that being said it’s the whole idea of the exhibition season to use this time to get to know one another so that come October 10 we have no excuses.
Personally for myself I’ve felt great in practice. In practice you’re getting your reaction and your timing back, but when you get into a game situation it’s a completely different ball game. You’ve got to be mentally focused for the full 60 minutes and anything can happen at any given time. In practice you can anticipate what’s going to happen with set drills, and it’s very predictable. In games it’s just getting the feel back and getting to know the new players on the team.
My first couple of exhibition games were a little bit of a struggle just to get back in the game flow of things again, but I was very happy and pleased with the way things went in Nashville
. Hopefully we can end on a positive note here on Sunday.