I openly questioned John Paddock's decision to start the struggling Martin Gerber ahead of Ray Emery last night against Buffalo, but Gerber played a solid game, making 22 stops in regulation and overtime and coming up huge in the shootout. Gerber didn't look particularly good on the goals he gave up and once again had some trouble controlling rebounds and pucks at his feet, but you have to give him credit for the win. He's certainly a better shootout goalie than Emery is.
Now the decision gets even harder for Paddock with the Detroit Red Wings coming to town on Saturday. Goalies around the league are getting killed by the Wings and if Emery starts, he's going to have to stand on his head. Even if Emery plays well and still loses, the momentum is going to shift in Gerber's favour with the fans and the coach. I'd say the pressure is on Emery, big time.
It's hard to believe Paddock only gave Dean McAmmond 6:29 of ice time last night. I'm not sure what the problem is but Deano is getting the shaft in my opinion. He didn't look too happy even after he scored the shootout winner. He looked more angry than anything. Meanwhile, Randy Robitaille racked up an impressive 17:02 and no one even noticed.
Whatever happened to the Sabres anyways? They looked nothing like the fast and aggressive team they were last year. They could have had the game last night if they showed any sort of energy in the first two periods. Jocelyn Thibault made a few ridiculous saves that reminded everyone that he was the guy who was once traded for Patrick Roy.
For after-game analysis, it's hard to do better than Don Brennan who consistently writes colourful articles that seem to capture the feelings of the players and the game better than any other local Ottawa beat writer. He might not get much credit but he really does look at the game in a different way.