Thursday, November 6, 2008

Starting in goal for the Senators...

Alex Auld will be making his seventh consecutive start tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Craig Hartsburg is doing all he can to avoid calling Auld the starter over Martin Gerber, but it sure looks like that it what's happened. Auld has been technically sound, stopping pucks at opportune times, and using his size effectively to let the shots hit him. He was declared as the first NHL goalie to win a starting job by The Puck Stops Here blog. A lot of people aren't surprised; Ben on this blog,Jeremy Milks over at Black Aces, as well as James Gordon of the Hockey Capital blog all predicted it would happen sooner rather than later (let's not bother thinking about what I thought could happen).

Some people have given Hartsburg a hard time for criticizing Gerber, but I don't have a problem with what he said. To refresh your memory, as reported on TSN, Hartsburg said of Gerber: "He makes a lot of saves in the game but you leave there every night thinking he could have had that one or maybe should have had that one. We're early in this but you start to see trends too and that's something we have to address with Martin."

I don't really have a problem with it. Totally fair (and true), and couched with the acknowledgement that Gerber does make good saves at some times, but they are terribly offset by bad goals at worse times.

So, good for Auld. And good for the team. As much as Auld says he's team-first, there's a reason he signed with the Senators: He must have seen an opportunity to step up as a starter.
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