Friday, December 28, 2007

The Emery situation gets more interesting

I didn't want to discuss the Ray Emery "meltdown" that happened yesterday. It seemed to be the expression of frustration from an aggressive, competitive player looking to get more ice time. With Daniel Alfredsson's advice for Rayzor and the goalie's subsequent dismissal from practice today, I figure I'll at least mention the whole situation.First off, Emery was visibly angry at the optional practice on Thursday, as described by Bruce Garrioch: of the Ottawa Sun:
After swinging his goalie stick and sending some Gatorade bottles on the club's bench flying, Emery tossed his stick into the stands before heading to the dressing room.
Obviously the mainstream media was all over the event. While I don't agree with his actions, and they seem immature, I can understand his distress. Anyway, afterwards, Alfie weighed in with his thoughts on the situation, also according to Garrioch in the same article:
"To get considered for a start, (the coaching staff) is looking for (Emery) to show that he wants to be in there," said Alfredsson, who didn't see the incident. "You have to work hard in practice to show that you want to play. That's what most players do when they're not playing and the goalies are no different."

Now, that seems like common sense to me. Everyone seems to be noting it as a shot that Alfie took at Emery, but it's simply a captain offering his thoughts into the situation. He didn't berate Emery, he just said that to get back in nets he needs to work for his shot. On, however, Alfredsson had some different--and more personal--words for Emery:

"If he was our number one goalie right now and we lived and die by him then it would be a different story," said Alfredsson. "We'd expect more from him at all times. Gerber is our goalie right now and I think Ray's mission right now is if he wants to get back in it he's got to show the coaches he wants to do it. That's where we are at."

Then today, Emery didn't practice. Early reports stated that he was not allowed to enter the building, but it later came out that it was due to Emery not feeling well:

Speculation around the team hit a fever pitch this morning when Emery was seen leaving the rink before the Senators hit the ice. Coach John Paddock says he is ill, and teammates echo that.
So... interesting. I'm not going to speculate on the situation. Obviously there are reasons that the coaching staff might be disappointed with Emery, but he did look like he wasn't his normal self (health-wise) in his last start. Draw your own conclusions.

The bottom line is this: Ray Emery is a good goaltender. So is Martin Gerber. A friend of mine (known as Hawthy in Sens circles) analyzed the dynamic between the two aptly: Gerber's best game is better than Emery's best, but Gerber's worst game is far worse than Emery's worst. The Gerber has been playing well, and that's why he's continuing to play; Emery hasn't been at his best this season so he hasn't been rewarded with too many starts.

It's highly unlikely either goaltender will be going anywhere. With the market for tenders apparently very tepid, and Emery's actions on and off the ice this season, there are few teams who would be interested. Even if teams were interested, keeping Rayzor as a contingency plan should The Gerber falter worked well last year, and would be a smart move. In the long-term, though, Emery needs to smarten up. His frustration must be channeled into his play in games and practices, just like The Gerber did last season, and Emery needs to wait his turn and play his best whenever he gets the chance. That's my two cents, anyway.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin