I woke up this morning with the kind of giddy excitement you had as a kid, waking up on your birthday or Christmas morning, you just know that today is something special, of course im talking about what I think is the game of the year so far in the BEST of the East vs the BEST of the West, the clash of the titans between the Sens and Wings. Since the start of the season when both these teams started to separate themselves from the rest of the league I had this day circled on my calender, this is a truly going to be an awesome night. Im anxious to see how the likes of Spezza,Heatley, Alfie and Fisher will do up against Detroit's best in Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Datsyuk or Holmstrom (just to name a few) the game has so much potential to be such an exciting and I think fairly evenly matched contest...and then just as quick as the excitement built inside me this morning, I came crashing back down recalling the goal tending match up, Hasek in nets for Detroit, which I think is awesome and should add more fire to the sens and hometown crowd, vs our top tender Gerb..wait..Emery is playing tonight? that must be a misprint..theres no way we can have a guy that has been called out by his coach and by his captain (who i cant remember EVER calling a player out before) all in the last 3 weeks, sure he won his last 2 or 3 games, but really?? Emery?? now before everyone jumps on me for being an Emery hater...I just cant imagine why Paddock would want to start Emery tonight, he hasn't done anything this season to justify starting against the number 1 team in the league and on top of that, i had this fear that we are simply going to get lit up tonight with him in nets. My basic feeling on why I think Emery has the potential to get smoked tonight are 2 big huge traits of noticed from him this year, 1) his lateral movement has been terrible, I remember last season thinking how amazing it was how quick he could move side to side and seemed to be ready for the shot, this season he looks slow getting from post to post, and the way Detroit can move the puck..thats bad news for us. 2) He looks lost in the net, I don't know how many times watching him this year he just seems completely lost in his own crease, not sure where the puck it or seemingly whats happening in front of him..thats a big concern to me.
So that being said, why give him the start today? well sources are telling me(and by sources I mean the little voice in my head..but saying sources sounds more legit than saying in my opinion..)that this could very well be a measurement if Emery will be our guy or not, will he come into this game fully prepared or will this be yet another game were the fans are groaning at each soft goal that he allows, tonights game could very well be an indication of whether or not Ray lasts the rest of the season with Ottawa or not.
Now don't get me wrong, Gerber hasn't exactly been sensational the last couple weeks, but In my opinion I still believe he earned the right to start tonight over Emery. I respect what Emery did for us last year, helping backstop the team to the finals, but that was last year, and in my opinion Emery, right now, isnt the same goaltender. If you really look back to last year objectively, how many games did he really steal for the Sens? well ok..ill give you that one..The 43 save performance against Detroit 13 months ago...makes ya think eh????
So...Prove me Wrong Ray...I really hope you Prove me Wrong!