After a string of very impressive starts, Martin Gerber had a less-than-spectacular game against the Montreal Canadiens. As a result, Ray Emery will make his dramatic return to NHL regular-season action tonight against the Florida Panthers.
I think this is an excellent move by Sens head coach John Paddock. After a weak goal in the first period, I think that Gerber lost some of the magic that had made him so effective in other games. This magic was a faith in his own abilities, a lack of pressure to perform, and genuine confidence from his teammates.
Putting in Emery for tonight's game takes some of the pressure off Gerber, and puts it onto a goalie who can better handle the spotlight. Emery has lost some of the sparkle of being a second-year miracle man, and he now has to prove himself - not only to be a true #1 goalie for the whole year, but also to battle for that position from a much different perspective than last year.
So I applaud Paddock for having some insight and some foresight into the goaltending situation. If Emery wins convincingly tonight, then there will be a whole new spin on the goalie saga that will brew (hopefully positively) throughout the season in Ottawa.