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Senators begin regular season tonight

Wednesday, 10.4.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Senators begin regular season tonight
Martin Gerber gets the start in goal for Ottawa tonight. Photo: A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

The 2006-07 season begins tonight for the Ottawa Senators when the team visits rival Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The wait has been a long one for the Senators, a team that played nine pre-season games in a stretch of 12 days in September.

"It's good to finally get close to our first game," says captain Daniel Alfredsson. "It's finally here."

There'll be a different look to the Senators lineup that defeated the Maple Leafs in seven of eight contests during the 2005-06 regular season. It starts in goal, where Ray Emery returns but will be joined by newcomer Martin Gerber - who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. Gerber says he's becoming comfortable with his new surroundings.

"(The pre-season) was an adjustment period for me. It was an important time for me because I was a new player. This team has tons of skill and lots of speed. I'm just trying to go out and keep things as simple as possible. This will be exciting for sure."

Joining Gerber as newcomers in the organization are defencemen Joe Corvo and Tom Preissing, as well as forward Dean McAmmond. Also joining the opening day roster are Russian rookie Alexei Kaigorodov and forward Denis Hamel, an AHL veteran who has been called up to Ottawa on nine occasions during his career.

General manager John Muckler is confident he has a solid lineup.

"We feel we have put together a team that will be competitive," Muckler says. "Our defence is more mobile and up front, we have two lines that can score; a third line that can contribute offensively, as well as defensively; and a fourth line for checking. We have some good depth with our players (in Binghamton) also. We have the skill level here. We just have to get a little bit more out of everybody."

From Day 1 of training camp, head coach Bryan Murray has demanded a high level of effort from his players.

"We want a good work ethic throughout our lineup. That will make us competitive," Murrary says. "This is going to be a hard-working team. The players have worked hard in practices, and most of our (pre-season) games have been played at a good level, too."

"We're starting with a clean slate here. We have to prove we are a good hockey team. We're trying to get everybody to buy into playing a team game. That's our most important message at the start of the year."

As was the case in 2005-06, the Senators will face all Northeast Division opponents, including Toronto, eight times this season. After tonight's regular-season debut, the Leafs and Senators return to the ice tomorrow at Scotiabank Place for the Senators' home-opener. The game will mark the first of three times this season when the teams play back-to-back games.

Click here to view the Senators' opening-day roster.
Click here for a look at the Senators' complete regular-season schedule.
Click here for information on tickets for upcoming games.




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