My Thoughts On The Emery/Gerber Issue

Funny how much changes in a year.

In fall 2006, it was All Hail Emery! Ottawa’s Saviour! Down With Gerber!

And now the tides have turned. Gerber is proclaimed as our number 1, and Emery is left in the dust.

Where once most of Ottawa’s trade rumours involved dumping Gerber, now Emery is on the proposed trading block.

It is truly sad, all the bandwagon jumping that is going in.

I won’t get into excuses for Emery’s play. No, he has not been at his best.

I actually have a theory on that. Last year, Emery was number 1 in GAA for much of that start of the season. This was when the Sens were playing horrible, and Emery was one of the few Ottawa players not struggling.

And then the Sens got good again, as a team. And Emery’s brilliance faded. Maybe this was because of his injured wrist. But maybe not.

I have also noticed that when the Sens are up by a few goals, in full control of the game, Emery tends to start letting in soft goals. And not just this year, I noticed this a lot last year as well. Again, maybe it’s due to fatigue from his sore wrist..but maybe not.

I have a feeling that Emery is a big-game goalie. He plays his best under pressure, when the stakes are high and the score is close, or when his team is struggling. On a strong team however, he gets complacent and doesn’t play up to his ability.

Gerber is the exact opposite however. He thrives playing for a good team. If he has confidence in his team, he has confidence in himself. He can’t be pushed or pressured.

So, we have two radically different goalies. And though the price is a tad expensive, I think that this is vital for our team. They both are good in different situations, and can pick up if the other struggles.

So why trade either? We have a great asset, one that could help us win the Cup. Why ruin that? We have enough scoring. Alfredsson is in his prime, Spezza is one of the top 4 play-makers in the league, and Heatley is Heatley. Vermette and Fisher are coming into their own as top 6 forwards. We may have the best 3rd and 4th lines in the league.

So, at least until next summer, and maybe beyond, I say we stay true to both our goalies.

43 Responses to My Thoughts On The Emery/Gerber Issue

  1. Rysto says:

    Mark my words: Martin Gerber will never take any team to the Stanley Cup finals are a goaltender.  If Ottawa does trade Emery(and all indications are that they will) they will make the biggest mistake in franchise history.

  2. MR40 says:

    Gerber had two bad playoff game’s, while he was sick.

    Oh yeah he’s a playoff no show.

  3. getzlaf15 says:

    Reports are saying General Manager Bryan Murray is packaging a deal which includes Ray Emery, Patrick Eaves and a prospect. In return is Jason LaBarbera, and a forward. *Michal Handzus*. 

    This will also make room for the Senators to resign Wade Redden at his asking price.

    * – not confirmed

    If this trade goes through, this is how the Senators line up would shape out.

    Heatley – Spezza – Alfredsson

    Vermette – Handzus – Fisher

    Foligno – Kelly – Neil

    Donovan – McAmmond – Robitaille


    Redden – Meszaros

    Philips – Volchenkov

    Corvo – Schubert





  4. Rysto says:

    Patrick Eaves is better than Michael Handzus on his own.  Stop making things up.

  5. Rysto says:

    This has nothing to do with 2006.  It has everything to do with his terrible rebound control and subpar "puck awareness"(Gerber loses sight of the puck like no goalie I've ever seen).

  6. leafy says:

    Ottawa would best be advised to hang onto both Gerber and Emery.  Unlike many others teams, Ottawa is gunning for the Cup and they need to be strong in goal with some extra insurance.  Trading either goalie would be a mistake in my opinion.

  7. habsrock99 says:

    Steve Ludzik from The Score made an interesting point after that 4-1 loss to Washington.

    He said that it seems the Sens aren't rallying behind Emery like they did last year. He went on to say that maybe they have no confidence in him or maybe they aren't a fan of his attitude in the locker room. He finished off by saying that Emery looked brilliant last year because the Sens played for him possibly because they had no other comfortable option in goal and that maybe they just put up with his "bad" attitude and now that Gerber is showing he can play this year, maybe the Sens aren't willing to put up with a possible bad attitude in the locker room and would rather have Gerber playing then Emery.

    Now, I don't like Steve Ludzik nor do I like Steve Kouleas and I very rarely agree with anything they ever say. But, I think Ludzik makes a fairly valid point in that maybe the Sens put up with Emery last year rather then actually playing for him. Maybe, with the re-surgence of Gerber, the Sens would rather have a less vocal guy between the pipes rather then a guy who puts on a show for the camera's. Maybe the Sens don't want a goalie who thinks he's an enforcer.

    Now, I'm not saying Emery tries fighting but that game against Buffalo where he fought Andrew Peters was a dumb act on his part. Goalies are paid to save pucks, protect leads and to keep his team in games, not take on the toughest guy on the other team. I know it's a one time incident but I've heard stories from friends who watched Emery play before he made the NHL and they constantly tell me that he tried fighting other players and that he'd let his attitude take over and would do dumb things like slash a guy in front of the net, taking a dumb penalty. And Emery's 273 PIM since 1999-00 (OHL, AHL and NHL stats) don't really say otherwise.

    Now, I'm in no way saying Emery's a bad goalie, because he's a damn good goalie who tends to get lazy often and let in soft goals. If he were to fix his supposed attitude and if he would stay sharp and not let soft goals in, he could be a Top 5 goalie in the NHL.

  8. habsrock99 says:

    Handzus is one of the NHL's best face-off men and his ability to win those crucial face-offs, make him quite valuable. Though, he just signed a deal with LA, he's going no where.

  9. habsrock99 says:

    Not true. Kings GM Dean Lombardi has already stated that he's no longer looking for a goalie because he's got confidence in LaBarbera to be his #1 go to guy and that Jean-Sebastien Aubin is more then qualified to be a quality back-up to LaBarbera.

  10. Archion113 says:

    Yeah because Emery is soooooo talented..

    come on man.. he isn't even a good goalie.. he's an average goalie playing on a frigging great team.

    Robert Esche would thrive on the Sens for christ sake…

  11. Archion113 says:

    Who wanted want a thug ganster in their locker room?

  12. MR40 says:

    Fair enough. Everyone always says he choke's in the playoffs, but he's only played like two game's.

  13. senators101 says:

    Vermette's also a great face-off man.  Yanic Perrault is another great face-off man.  Would you trade Huet and a solid 2nd line youngster making a million bucks for Perrault and and Chicago's backup goalie?

  14. senators101 says:

    You're crazy if you think it was a bad idea for Emery to fight in that game.  Buffalo's tough guys wanted to take on Spezza and Heatley and the only tough guy on the ice was emery.  He didn't want to fight Peters.   He wanted to fight Biron and when Biron was getting his face punched in, Peters decided to come in.  That wasn't Emery's choice.

  15. dcz28 says:

    Sens should just trade both Emery and Gerber and just give Volchenkov bigger pads, a blocker and a catching glove…he makes most of the saves anyways.

  16. prayin-for-the-wce says:

    Emery is Cloutier in his prime, nuff said.

  17. muckies says:

    interesting,  maybe in the locker room Emery is a dick.  As a #1 He shouldn't be getting outwroked by Gerber whcih happens everyday

  18. habsrock99 says:

    That was a bad example on my part after I realy thought about it (which was after I hit "ok") but the Penalty Minutes don't lie. Here's another example: When he blatantly high sticked Maxim Lapierre in a game against Montreal (Not saying he didn't deserved it). It was a stupid penalty to take and if I'm right, it cost Ottawa the game. Then he got that 1 game suspension over it.  

  19. habsrock99 says:

    I never said to make the trade, I just stated Handzus' value to a deep team like Ottawa. Plus, I did say he's going no where.

  20. habsrock99 says:

    I believe 3 and one of them was a shutout (In the 2nd round) and another he was pulled in (against Montreal)

  21. jimbob says:

    If gerber takes us to the stanley cup final, then i share that sentiment.  Don't think for a second that emery will be traded, even though there is some bad blood between he and bryan murray.  Fans know what he did in the playoffs.

    Right now, they are just riding the hot hand.  In Carolina Gerber was sick until december, and when the sens and canes were battling for #1 in the east, he faltered and cam ward stepped in.  He was given a 2nd chance to start the playoffs, ward was much better.  Down the stretch, emery will be given the starts.
    Plus, with Gerber getting 20 wins this season, teams will start making offers (teams like LA, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, etc)

  22. habsrock99 says:

    The Kings aren't looking for a goalie anymore. Dean Lombardi is happy with LaBarbera until Bernier steps up in a few years.

  23. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    Emery is a coke head and is in love with the spot light.
    Drop him like a bad habit.

  24. KingCanada says:

    A little bit of exaduration eh?  Ottawa's biggest franchise mistake was drafting Alexander Daigle 1st overall in 1993 when they missed out on Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya who were the 2nd and 4th picks overall respectively.

  25. wingsfan13 says:

    great assessment, i think ur dead on.  sucks for emery owners in fantasy leagues though.  nice article

  26. cartino says:

    In hindsight it was a huge mistake, but every single GM at the time would have taken Alexander Daigle in 93. Factor in we also had one of the worse GM's ever at the time Randy Sexton (whose wonderful track record of Yashin, Daigle, Bonk, Berard) didn't really pan out. Granted future GM's were able to translate these busts into something more:

    Yashin (who is no longer in the league) –> Jason Spezza+Zdeno Chara
    (Pretty damn good trade in my opinion)

    Berard (Journey man) –> Wade Redden

    Daigle (Bust)  –> Vaclav Prospal (Decent forward), 2nd round pick, Pat Falloon (Bust)

    Radek Bonk –> Extra Large Double Double Timmy's coffee (boy did Mucks need that to stay awake)

    The double slap across the face though for us was the Quebec Noridiques were absolutely FANATICAL about obtaining Daigle and were willing to offer a package of players similar to what they got in the Lindros deal (Forsberg was included I believe)…. And Ottawa's bonehead GM wouldn't budge.

  27. cartino says:

    He played 3 games in that playoff year. Lost the first 2 games in Carolina against Montreal where he was replaced by Ward. and in the Conference finals against Buffalo when they were in tough against the sabres they started Gerber in game#5 or 6 and he stoned the sabres for the win, didn't understand the move as Ward was playing good and played the rest after that game but hey it worked.

  28. cartino says:

    In the offseason it was an easy choice! Keep Gangstah Emery and trade Martin Garbage (a nickname he earned around some parts here when he stunk the first half of the season).

    Now both goalie are making things difficult! Emery is not playing as well and Gerber is playing great!! It's a tough choice what Bryan Murray will do. At one end I think you keep them both as you have 2 solid goalies with a flaw or 2 and you may want one or the other depending on circumstances. But they have to trade one in the offseason to free up salary cap room no reason about it. Also sucks as they'll have more value at the deadline than the offseason.

    Gerber is hit or miss, he has some good years and bad years, I think he's overachieving abit right now but if he's having a great year keep him, his flaw I think is he needs confidence or he's horrible and at times rebound control is iffy.

    Emery as someone else pointed out, is a solid goalie when the pressure is on and the game's are close, if he's up by a big lead he tends to let in some soft goals (take Atlanta's comeback last week giving up 4 goals in about 9 minutes of the 3rd). Look at last year in the playoffs, how many times did Ottawa have a 2 goal lead and he'd give up a late goal to make us sweat out a 1-goal win or how many times did Buffalo come back late in the 3rd to tie a game on us?

    Tough decision to make on how to handle this. Right now I'd keep playing the hot goalie 2/3 starts.

  29. jimbob says:

    Labarbera won't take LA to the playoffs, he got hot (he played moderately well) but won't do anything special for the franchise.
    Bernier is still another year away (AHL)

  30. habsrock99 says:

    Well the Kings aren't really a play-off team, seeing as they are the weakest of a lot of play-off contenders. I think Lombardi's buying time until Bernier does come into his own and who knows, that could be next year and picking up a salary like Gerber wouldn't really help the Kings much in the long run because what if they do trade for Gerber and Bernier steals the #1 job next season, the Kings will be stuck with a back up earning over 3 million.

  31. habsrock99 says:

    I believe Berard was drafted and traded by Sexton on Draft Day the year Berard and Redden went 1 and 2.

  32. Rysto says:

    I don't recall Cloutier every making the Finals.  He never even got out of the second round.

  33. Rysto says:

    Ottawa can win a Stanley Cup with Ray Emery, but I don't believe that they can win with Martin Gerber.  Compared to that, not drafting a player they would have lost to free agency in the last 90s is nothing.

  34. cartino says:

    I think it would probably be best if the Sens kept both this season and trade one if the offseason.

    At the end of the day no matter who does better or worse, It boils down to the Sens are an organization that swears by the draft/youth development to build a solid competitive team. Emery will always be looked at as one of their own they drafted and developed and will want to keep him. Gerber will always be looked at as one of John Muckle-luck's mistakes. And I think they'll in the long-run keep Emery.

    Emery has all the skills, just needs to mature and fix that attitude of his abit.


  35. senators101 says:

    Right on Leafy! I, like many sens fans, wanted to trade a goalie for anything to clear cap space.  Now, I don't think I'd do that.  We have a really good team and I wouldn't want to take the chance of trading 1 goalie and finding out the other one gets injured come playoff time.

  36. senators101 says:

    Yea, I remember that.  He has a short temper but his attitude works wonders in the playoffs.  He was fantastic for us last year in our run to the Finals, especially against New Jersey where all the games were decided by 1 goal.  I think he got a 3 game suspension when he did that to Lapierre, but boy did that guy deserve it lol.   He's bad in the regular season because of that, but he's not stupid.  Come playoff time, he's ready to go.

  37. senators101 says:

    lol.  Volch doesn't even need bigger pads, a blocker and a catching glove.  He's good the way he is.

  38. senators101 says:

    But Gerber would only have 1 more year on his contract.  This is his second last year.  Gerber will, if not anything else, help Bernier adapt to life in the NHL.  As bad as he played last year, he's a very good goalie.  If I was Murray, I wouldn't trade him anywhere right now. If he has a good year, we'd get much more in the summer for him and at least we have 2 good goalies going into the playoffs. 

  39. senators101 says:

    Emery is a playoff goaltender.  If Gerbs goes in as #1 and for whatever reason, sucks, Emery will slide in there and play like he played last year.  He was very good.

    I disagree with getting more for gerbs at the deadline.  For most players, you'd get more.  But teams going into the playoffs, aren't looking for a new #1 goalie, so the only teams that are interested in Gerbs are people who need a goalie next year.  He'll actually get more in the offseason.

    Here's a prime example.  Buffalo had Martin Biron to get rid of at the deadline and the only taker was philly.  What was his return? A 2nd overall pick.  I'd sure as hell hope we get more than that for Gerbs.

  40. cartino says:

    I hope Emery turns it around and makes it back to #1 by all means, he was great last year in the playoffs.. made us sweat a few times giving up late goals but came thourhg in the end.

    Gerbs at the trade deadline is hit or miss, you may have some teams desperate for a goalie upgrade to make the playoffs and you may get a 1st round pick.. take 2 years ago Edmonton gave up a 1st rounder for Minny's backup Dwane Roloson and it worked out great for both teams. Then again you're right Buffalo needed to get rid of Biron and only got a seconder rounder.

    At the end of the day I think they do need to keep them both for the playoffs..

    Besides we could just trade Gerber in the offseason to the Leafs… I hear John Ferguson Junior is quite fond of handing out 1st round draft picks for goalies other teams want to offload.

  41. cartino says:

    HEY!!! That Coke incident was hush-hush and kept under wraps… how did that story ever get out and you find out about it?

  42. senators101 says:

    Toskala's return was insane.  SJ dumped baggage with Bell and got a 1st, 2nd, and 4th.
    Vokoun: Florida gave up 2nd rounder in 2007, 1st in 08, and a conditional 2nd in 2008.

    With those kind of picks going out, I'm not sure what Minni was thinking when trading Manny Fernandez.  Maybe they were willing to trade him for a bag of pucks cuz of backstrom.  His return was a 4th rounder and Peter Kalus who  has got 5 points in 9 games so far this season.  I personally don't know too much about him. Maybe also cuz of his 4.5 million price tag.

    I'm happy with either of the first two deals.  Teams that are desarate for goaltending will give away lots.  In Toronto's case, for someone who could have walked away at the end of the season lol.

  43. cartino says:

    Digging back into some Sens history.. after they drafted Berard.. that was Rick Boweness+Randy Sexton's last year with the Sens as both were fired early on in the season and replaced by Pierre Gauthier who hired Jacques Martin.

    In January there was a big 3 team trade between Ottawa, NY Islanders, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. I may be missing one or 2 players involved  but the meat of it was:

    Otttawa –> Redden (From NYI), Damian Rhodes (Goalie from TO)
    NY Isles –> Berard (From Ott), *Can't remember but it was a prospect from Toronto (Maybe… Ken Belanger not sure).
    Toronto –> Kirk Muller (From NYI), Don Beaupre (From Ott)

    After that trade and with Jacques Martin behind the bench Ottawa turned themselves around, although they finished in last place that season again, they won alot more game in the 2nd half of the season and were often competitive most nights at least instead of pushovers like they were before.

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