NHL

No controversy for Senators, Gerber starter in Ottawa

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TSN.ca Staff
9/18/2008 6:26:01 PM
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With Ray Emery dispatched to Russia, when the 2008-09 season opens there will be no goaltending controversy for the Ottawa Senators.

When Alex Auld was signed by Ottawa in the summer, in was with the understanding that Martin Gerber was the number one goaltender - period.

That being said, Gerber's been in the league long enough that he knows nothing is a given.

"You're never guaranteed anything in this league," Gerber said on Thursday. "You have to really work for it and prove yourself everyday."

"[Nevertheless] it's good to know that I'm getting the ball first. I just have to make sure I'm ready for the first game."

Auld knows as well as anyone that anything can happen in the NHL, especially when you play between the pipes. Auld started last season with the Coyotes, but was the odd man out when Phoenix acquired Ilya Bryzgalov. Auld was sent down to the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage - a move that really opened Auld's eyes.

"Last year, almost having it taken away, having to go to the minors for a bit, made me appreciate [the NHL] even more," said Auld. "My outlook changed."

Auld was eventually traded to Boston and filled in admirably as the Bruins battled injuries.

"Going to Boston and getting to play a lot off the start, I really settled in there. I'm looking for more of the same here [in Ottawa]."

Auld understands his role in Ottawa is to be a backup and believes that when he's not playing he can help Gerber be his best.

"We can push each other and make sure we're always sharp. When you're not playing you need to be supportive and put the team first. It's a team first attitude here and I want to be a part of that."

But the season is a long one and as Auld has seen plenty of times before, when you are a goalie in the NHL "anything can happen." Auld knows he might just get another chance to start.

Martin Gerber (Photo: Andre Ringuette/Getty)

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(Photo: Andre Ringuette/Getty)
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