Even though Ray Emery is on a two game winning streak and looks to be getting back on track, Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock has opted to go with Martin Gerber for tonight's game against Buffalo. That's the same Gerber that gave up 10 goals in his last two games, both losses.
"There are reasons you make a decision and they are my reasons, and that's it," he told the Ottawa Citizen.
Okay. He's the coach and he gets to choose who plays. Fair enough. He may be as eloquent as a third-grade bully who kidnaps the ball on the playground, but he's the coach.
Then he had this to say about the fact that Ottawa took zero penalties against Tampa last Saturday:
"I think there's good charging and the odd good elbowing penalty. There's nothing wrong with that. I think there's real good elbowing penalties. When you play in the playoffs and the other team's best player happens to get an elbow in the head, I think it's a good penalty. I do. "
It's hard to criticize a coach who's going to the All-Star game, but somehow Paddock gives me an uneasy feeling.
It's not just his bizarre handling of his goalies. It's things like playing your top line to the point of exhaustion during the season without regard to their health when the playoffs roll around. It's things like not playing Brian McGrattan when other teams seem to do just fine with an enforcer in their lineup (Anaheim, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Calgary). It's things like the major drop off in play of guys who excelled under Bryan Murray, most noticeably Chris Kelly and Dean McAmmond. Those are two guys who used to have bigger roles but now sort of scrounge around for ice time and more responsibility.
How about a wild 7 game losing streak? How about his childish comments to the media who he clearly doesn't respect?
Maybe it's the recipe for success but I'm not so sure.