Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Hockey News Weighs In On Emery ... And You'd Be Surprised

The "Bible of Hockey" has centred their coverage this week around the Ottawa Senators with Jason Kay and senior writer Mike Brophy weighing in on the misadventures of Eugene (What Fraud?) Melnyk's boys.

Perhaps the most controversial piece is Editor Jason Kay's column. Kay is probably the first national writer to give Ray Emery the benefit of the doubt and see through the massively overblown media circus that has engulfed the 25 year old goalie.

From The Hockey News (Jason Kay):

"Somewhere, somehow, Emery has become the greatest "scourge" in Ottawa since Alexei Yashin; an individual so contagious with disease, he has single-handedly dragged a championship-calibre team to mediocrity. ...

But if, as we suspect, this story has cascaded from a leaky faucet into Niagara Falls, could somebody please call a plumber?

We don't doubt Emery has caused a distraction in a dressing room anxious for a turnaround, but in this industry, rumors, innuendo and "true stories" tend to balloon like a baseball player on HGH. ... Fans and the media ... love to look for scapegoats, something with horns on which to hang juicy stories. ...

The players may not be able to control their netminder, but they can control how they feel about it and how they react to it. Using it as an excuse for the team's second half swoon is lame and, quite frankly, wearisome."

If anything, it's refreshing to hear a pundit have a rational take on the Emery situation. It's not a popular position to infer that Emery is anything but Satan himself and I get reminded of this every time I write about it with people calling me an idiot in the comments section and filling my email box with suggestions that are... well, impossible.

Conventional wisdom and popular opinion are a funny thing. You either get on board with the screaming masses or you get scalped by insane Martin Gerber fans out to squash any dissident opinion.

The only thing keeping Yashin the all-time goat in Senators history is the fact that some lunatics in Arnprior actually burned Yashin in effigy in 2000.

Some will call that passion. I call that "stay away from Arnprior...forever."


Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, you are far from the only one who worries about using Gerber in the playoffs. I've spent the whole season shaking my head at how overblown the Emery hate has gotten. I still think he's the better goalie for the playoffs. No, not as technically good when they're both "on" but so much more consistent. At least once he's got a few games under his belt.

DC In YOW said...

I also prefer Emery over Gerber (although it's much like preferring to stick a fork in my left eye instead of my right) and have a hard time thinking Murray will give Gerber much rope come playoff time.

Don said...

He'll have to give Gerber lots of rope come playoff time as Emery won't have played for a month.

I don't disagree with Murray's decision to go with a guy - and it being Gerber - but he's stuck with him now.

Anonymous said...

The article is not saying Emery is the better goalie. It is saying Emery is not the sole cause of the team's poor performance. But if you are talking about the better of the two goalies you need to check their statistics, just like checking the player statistics. Alfie get more goals than Fisher, Gerber keeps the puck out more often than Emery. Check the Senators website.