Okay, it wasn't the biggest of tests, but all that matters is that he passed. And not one of those by-the-seat-of-the-pants passes, but Martin "the Gerbinator" Gerber got a shutout against the Philadelphia Phantoms. I mean Flyers, sorry...
A few other players likely impressed those of you who watched Amateur Hour on Rogers Community Television on Tuesday night. One of whom was Nick Foligno, who scored a goal and notched two assists. Ilya Zubov, whose first name I refuse to spell with a 'j', also played well, showing a good nose for the net on the Senators' first goal of the night. He played well at times, and I actually hope John Paddock gives him a shot playing on the second line between Daniel Alfredsson and Antoine Vermette (neither of whom played against the Flyers). Luke Richardson didn't look nearly as slow as I thought he would, and might make a few decisions difficult for Paddock and GM Bryan Murray.
You know what wasn't impressive, though? The Rogers broadcast. I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I'm glad I got to see the game, but come on... are you kidding? A few notable typos: Miek Fisher, Llija Zubov, Jaon Spezza... give me a break. Also, I didn't know the Senators moved their affiliate to "Binningtum", although that is the name the colour commentator gave to them. He also extolled Gerber for his rebound control, noting "No rebounds to speak of," even though that couldn't be farther from the truth. While he improved through the game, Swiss Cheese's biggest problem was controlling rebounds and trying not to kick-save pucks right into the slot.
Another beef is the refs. I understand it's time for referees to show what they can do, too, but the new referee (I don't know his name, and NHL.com doesn't have stats up yet) was absurdly sensitive. My friend, a former referee with an eye for these sorts of things, noted the likelihood this new ref was trying to 'pad his stats' with regards to hooking penalties because the NHL is trying to cut down on obstruction infractions. Well, on that count, good job.
In other news
Oh yeah, Mike (as opposed to 'Miek') Fisher signed a five-year, $21M contract on Monday. I sure hope that Fish the Dish earns his $4.2M contract every year--48 points won't cut it--but a great job nonetheless by Murray to lock up an important part of the Senators roster.
Crossing one of the unregistered free agents he'll have to sign at the end of the 2007-08 season off his (substantial) list is certainly a boon for Murray, and hopefully he'll be able to sign Dany Heatley before the season starts. It would certainly be nice, but I might be dreaming. Heater suggested a willingness to accept a home town discount, but most people would say that just to appease the public and the media. He apparently doesn't want to negotiate during the season, so it would probably be beneficial for the Sens to sign him now when the temptation to test the market is likely lesser. Chris Kelly will also hopefully be signed, as CK is another important role-player for the team.