Being a part of something new can be hard. Whether it be a team or a new job, it stinks. You have to adjust to the new standards that have been set before you and as the person at the bottom of the totem pole, you have to listen.
Joel Ward has been in the league for many years and played for many teams, when he joined the Sharks, it felt different. The beginning to his year ushered in something new entirely. He responded with his second best year points wise since he was with the Capitals in 2013-14.
Where does he go from here? At 35, Ward should be on the back end of his career, yet he only gets stronger. Do we see a drop off or does he remain startlingly consistent? Either way, Joel Ward is a heck of a teammate to have.
2015-16 Sharks 5v5 Forward Usage Chart (via Corsica Hockey):
ZSR: Zone Start Ratio; The percentage of non-neutral zone starts that are offensive zone starts (OZS/(OZS + DZS))
TOI.QoT: Time On Ice Quality of Teammates; The weighted average TOI% of a player’s teammates
Rel.CF%: Individual corsi-for percentage subtracted by the team’s overall corsi-for percentage.
Joel Ward HERO Chart (via OwnThePuck):
As far as highlights go, this is a damn good one to have on your resume. Pekka Rinne isn’t the player that he once was but undressing him like that is still impressive. Ward has always had the moniker of “Mr. Playoffs” and he lived up to it once again with 13 points in 24 playoff games. Let’s hope he has many more of these plays in him next year.