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Gerber gets call against Leafs

Tuesday, 11.6.2007 / 4:16 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Gerber gets call against Leafs
Martin Gerber is in a zone, the kind of place in whichevery goaltender aspires to spend as much time as possible.

The Swiss stopper has been as big a reason as any for the Ottawa Senators’ sizzling12-1-0 start to this National Hockey League season. And he’ll get a chance to add to his gaudy numbers against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

Head coach John Paddock revealed after this morning’s game-day skate that Gerber will make his third straight start, on the heels of back-to-back victories over the Boston Bruins on the weekend. And while there are plenty of numbers to support the decision, Paddock said it’s much simpler than that.

“It’s the coach’s prerogative who he wants to play,” said Paddock. “That’s really all there is to it … I want him to play in there again.”

Gerber, it might be pointed out, is 2-0-0 against the Leafs this season. But that would only be telling a sliver of the story. He’s 9-1-0 overall, with his league-leading win total matched by stellar goals-against average (1.88) and save percentage (.938) numbers.

Clearly, he’s thriving on the heavy workload. But there’s only one statistic that truly matters to Gerber.

“At the end of the day, (winning) is all that counts,” he said. “If you’re not winning, it doesn’t matter how many pucks you stop. You need the two points, and at the end, that’s all that really counts.”

That being said, Gerber is happy for another chance to start.

“It’s always great to go back in there and (keep) things going,” he said. “It’s way easier than being in and out, that’s for sure.”

While Gerber is back in, centre Jason Spezza remains out with a groin injury that has now sidelined him for four games. There’s no word yet on when he’ll be ready to return.

The Leafs, meanwhile, are getting forwards Kyle Wellwood and Mark Bell into the lineup for the first time this season. Wellwood has missed the entire season so far while recovering from a sports hernia injury (he had surgery in September), while Bell – a former Ottawa 67’s star – is back after serving a 15-game suspension.

“They’re going to be excited to get back in there, for sure,” Senators centre Mike Fisher said of the additions to the Leafs lineup. “They’re going to be pumped up, and we expect that (tonight).”

Including pre-season, the Sens and Leafs have played three times already this season, with Ottawa prevailing each time. But it’s never been easy.

“The first three games this year were tight games … we expect nothing different tonight,” said Senators forward Dany Heatley. “We have to realize what they’re capable of, and play one of our best games tonight.”

Rink notes

Paddock said he likely won’t decide tonight’s lineup scratches until after the pre-game warmup … The game will be produced in high-definition format, a first for a Senators regional telecast on Rogers Sportsnet.




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02