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Gerber gets call against Leafs

Tuesday, 06.11.2007 / 4:16 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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.


STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL