Thursday, January 3, 2008

Volchie's return, and other roster juggling

Public domain photo from flickr user kaatiya

If I'm going to berate players when they are doing things wrong, it's only right that I congratulate them when they turn their act around. And, while it's still early in his awakening, Ray Emery has certainly been doing the right things to get back into John Paddock's good books. After a lack of any visible commitment or work ethic earlier in the season, Rayzor's been regularly attending practices on time for the past week, and was the first player on the ice for Wednesday's optional practice. (As an aside, what's with Sens players taking snowmobiles to practice? Not that it's not completely boss, but both Emery and Daniel Alfredsson have done so in the last week.)

Meanwhile, Martin Gerber has been doing everything necessary to get himself into Paddock's doghouse. Allowing ten goals in less than four periods is one thing, but when you begin criticizing the coach you're asking for it. After allowing three in the first period of Tuesday's game against Washington and being pulled, The Gerber suggested that he's not getting opportunities to redeem himself, and that Paddock's tactics were folly.

First off, The Gerber had the opportunity to redeem the seven goals allowed in Saturday's game by getting the chance to start the next one. How many opportunities do you want? This is the second time this season The Gerber's complained about getting pulled, and the guy so many fans are loving as an all-team guy is quickly tarnishing his reputation. But maybe he's just being competitive, which is fine.

Anyway, this might mean a little juggling in the crease, as Emery should probably get the opportunity to start on Friday against the Sabres.

Speaking of Friday against the Sabres, Anton Volchenkov will be back. Which means there's an extra defenceman. Or, if Christoph Schubert moves up--and it appears he will--then there's an extra forward. Which, according to Paddock, is Nick Foligno, and he has consequently sent the 2005 first-rounder back down to Binghamton.

Cody Bass remains with Ottawa, though. While Foligno is more effective offensively, Bass plays the fourth-line role better than Foligno, so that might be why the BassMaster remains in the bigs.

Apparently Patrick Eaves is getting close to returning, anyway, so Bass might be sent to the farm pretty soon.
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