Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sens Notes: Emery still ailing; Roster uncertain

Emery's wrist not healed yet

Goalie Ray Emery was expected to be ready for the home-and-home season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs starting on Wednesday, but, is now expected to miss at least the first three games of the Senators' season. Emery had surgery in the offseason on his left wrist which ailed him most of last season. It has not been announced yet, but I would expect that he will be sent to the Sens' AHL affiliate in Binghamton to get some rehab starts in. This decision was probably made after Emery gave up two goals on just nine shots against the Flyers Wednesday night.

Gerber gets his shot

Martin Gerber was was the starting Goalie going into last season but, he struggled out of the gate, losing his job to Emery. He started sparingly in the New Year but he finished off strong going 10-0-0-2 in his last 12 starts. He has followed that up with a stellar preseason. He'll get a chance to win his job back. When Emery comes back a platoon is very likely as the Sens lose very little with Gerber as their starter providing he does not lose his confidence again like last year.

Elliot over Glass

Brian Elliot has been called up to backup Gerber until Emery returns. He probably won't get to play any action unless Emery is out for an extended period of time. Brian Elliot has only had 8 games of experience in the AHL while Jeff Glass, former Canadian World Juniors starter started 43 games in his second pro season in Binghamton.

Elliot made 14 saves, giving up just 1 goal in 28 preseason minutes for the Sens so that could have been the deciding factor, or the Sens want to let Glass better develop, starting in the AHL.

Roster Uncertainty

By the looks of it, the CASH line will be split up to start the season and the top 3 lines will look like this:


The fourth line is completely up in the air with jack-of-all-trades Christoph Schubert, tough guy Brian McGratton, veterens Niko Dimitrakos and Denis Hamel and prospects Nick Foligno, Alexander Nikulin and Ilya Zubov. Schubert will definitely make the team playing back on D, up front and on the powerplay. McGratton should play against tougher teams like the Leafs but he'll sit when their isn't a tough guy on the other side. Nick Foligno, who can play up the middle and on the wing, is the most likely prospect to make the team. Keep in mind that when McAmmond comes back he'll be centering the fourth line. But, before we can guess on what the fourth line will look like we have to look at Schubert's chances are at starting on Defense this season.

Phillips-Volchenkov and Meszaros-Redden are a lock as is Corvo on the 3rd pairing. Christoph Schubert, Lawrence Nycolat and Luke Richardson are all in the running for the 6th and 7th defense spots. All could conceivably make the club.

My guess: Against tougher teams we'll see a Hamel-Foligno-McGratton 4th line with Schubert moving up against softer teams. This would mean that Schubert would fill out the defense and one or both of Nycolat and Richardson will get to play D when Schubert moves up.