|Senators G Gerber still waiting to make Cup finals debut|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 03 June 2007 13:07|
For The Associated Press|
OTTAWA (AP) -Martin Gerber has had one of the best seats in the house for three of the past four Stanley Cup finals.
If asked, he'd gladly give it up.
Ottawa's backup goalie has yet to make a playoff appearance for the Senators, who signed him as a free agent last summer.
Gerber, who lost the starting job to Ray Emery in mid-November, won the Stanley Cup with Carolina last season and was with Anaheim in 2003 when the Ducks lost to New Jersey in seven games. He didn't make an appearance in either of those finals.
And he's still sitting as the Senators trail Anaheim 2-1 in this year's finals, preparing for Game 4 at Ottawa on Monday night.
``This time of year goalies always want to be playing but that's the way it is right now,'' Gerber said. ``It's nothing I can change. I've just got to be ready and prepare myself.''
Michel ``Bunny'' Larocque won four straight Stanley Cups with Montreal from 1976-79 while making just one playoff appearance, a scoreless period against the New York Rangers in relief of Ken Dryden in the first game of the 1979 finals.
Charlie Hodge won five Stanley Cups with the Canadiens between 1956 and 1966 while backing up Jacques Plante and Gump Worsley. Hodge's contributions to those championships totaled five playoff games, all in 1965, including three appearances in the finals against Chicago.
OLDE TIME HOCKEY: Ducks coach Randy Carlyle remembers how players used to police themselves to prevent cheapshots.
``There was an old saying that you had to eat wood if you were going to come far enough and hard enough. And that was reality,'' Carlyle said. ``If somebody was putting you in a position of vulnerability ... there was usually some sort of Sherwood or Louisville hockey stick that they had to go through first. And that was accepted. The rules have changed.''
Carlyle was a gritty forward during his 17-year NHL career, and was one of the final players to play without a helmet before retiring in 1993.
SLUMPING SPEZZA: Two games without a point wouldn't be considered a slump, except when it involves Jason Spezza.
It's the Senators center's longest drought since he failed to register a point in consecutive games on Oct. 12 and 14 - Ottawa's fourth and fifth games of the regular season.
``Biggest slump of the year,'' Spezza said with a smile, not caring to be reminded about it because Ottawa was coming off a 5-3 win.
Spezza was encouraged because it was his and his line's best outing of the series. The group generated several scoring chances and scored a power-play goal - tying the game at 3 - when a bouncing puck banked in off the skate of Daniel Alfredsson.
``I felt a lot better with how I played last night, and I'll build off it,'' said Spezza, who's tied for the team lead with 21 playoff points (seven goals, 14 assists). ``Hopefully, the slump ends next game.''
SWITCHING JERSEYS: The Ducks weren't going to give the Senators or reporters any hints as to whether they'll be making any lineup changes for Game 4 at Ottawa on Monday.
Shortly after forward Brad May, wearing a blue practice jersey, and forward Ryan Getzlaf, wearing orange, hit the ice for practice, both were asked to switch to white ones at the bench.
The different-colored jerseys represent which line each player is on. After the uniform change, the only way to differentiate the players was the forwards were wearing white jerseys and defensemen black ones.
The only player not practicing was top-line left wing Chris Kunitz, who missed the final two periods of Saturday's 5-3 loss because of what was described as an abdominal strain. Carlyle said Kunitz is likely to play Monday.
SOMETHING TO SLEEP ON: Senators right wing Chris Neil has a puck in his locker stall, though it's from his 100th career point and not the one he kept from his first Stanley Cup finals goal Saturday night.
That puck spent the night in special company, beside his newborn baby daughter in her hospital crib.
``I keep stuff like that,'' Neil said. ``It's been an emotional week for me. Watching your baby being born, it's amazing. It makes you feel like you're invincible.''
Neil's wife gave birth to the couple's first child late Friday evening.
His mother died in a car accident while he was on a road trip last season. Neil acknowledged that there were bittersweet moments during one of the happiest 24 hours of his life.
``There were a couple of tears shed but I know she was watching,'' Neil said.
SWITCHING JERSEYS II: Senators forward Patrick Eaves was as stunned as anyone when his No. 44 jersey made an unexpected appearance in Game 3. Eaves, a healthy scratch for the second straight game, was watching on TV in the Senators dressing room when Jason Spezza briefly returned to with his sweater with ``Eaves'' across his back in the second period while his own jersey was being sewn after it was torn. ``I was kind of surprised,'' Eaves said. ``I was just watching the game and I saw myself out there.''
AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.
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