The Ottawa Senators are in town to pay our Canes a visit tonight at the RBC. In goal for the Sens will be ex-Hurricane Martin Gerber who struck gold in the free agent market last summer. Enough gold that it makes him one of the highest paid goalies in the entire league! His payday? 3.7 million a year for 3 years! Folks, that's not in Turkish lira or in Canadian loonies, that's in US dollars! So how is Marty doing? According to the Goalie Stats page on NHL.Com, Gerber is the 45th rated goalie in the league with a save percentage of .890 and a goals allowed average of 3.45. His record is 3-8-1. He's been such a disappointment that he lost the starting job awhile ago to last year's backup for the Sens, Ray Emery, (Emery's salary? $925,000). After 7 straight starts, Emery will take a rest on the bench tonight because of a sore wrist. Hopefully the Canes can add to Gerber's woes by lighting him up a few times and will make his record an unenviable 3-9-1.
In fairness to Gerber though, he's not the only Senator to start the year off slowly. Ottawa Captain Daniel Alfredsson who makes 4.7 million per year has gotten off to one of his worst starts in years, if not his career. There was rumor of trading him a few weeks ago, but recently Daniel has improved his game. He's up to 7 goals and 13 assists now, approaching the numbers of team leaders Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza who have 29 and 28 points respectively.
The Canes have been on a bit of a rollercoaster of late, looking pathetic at times in losses against the Islanders and Rangers, but looking like superstars once again against the Bruins. Which Canes team will be at the RBC tonight? Hopefully the ones who give 100% on every shift. I don't mind losing a game as long as it looks like everyone is trying hard, which is usually the case for this hard-working team. Rod Brind'Amour still leads the team in scoring and is 2nd in the entire league with 33 points. Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, Justin Williams, and Erik Cole are all right behind with 28, 24, 24, and 23 points. Johnny Grahame has earned another start and will be in net tonight for the Canes. Laviolette wants to ride the hot goalie and in the past 2 games, Grahame has been very good. That's not to say that Cam Ward has played poorly, but Cam has played a lot so far this year and is due for a break. As long as Grahame is playing well, all the better!
After the slow start the Senators have been playing very well recently, so well that they beat Buffalo twice last weekend! They are very capable of coming in and playing a super game and even though Gerber has not looked it yet this year, he can be a world class goalie capable of shutting out any team on any given night. Let's hope it's not against us tonight! Let's Go Canes!