Things are looking up on the injury front for the Senators this morning, with noses back in joint and groins no longer groaning, apparently.
Senators No. 1 goaltender Martin Gerber admitted yesterday that he was not pleased at being pulled by coach John Paddock in Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Flyers, but he had moved on.
His bruised feelings aside, the better news is Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is expected to play tomorrow night when the Senators are on Long Island to face the Islanders.
He missed the loss to the Flyers with a sore groin, but skated on his own yesterday before practice.
ALFIE FEELING BETTER
"I feel pretty good," said Alfredsson, who plans to skate on his own again today and if things go well there, will practise with his teammates.
"You want to get back as quick as you can, but at what cost?"
Gerber, meanwhile, spoke yesterday for the first time with Paddock about being given the hook against the Flyers.
"You're never happy to leave the net. You want to finish what you started," said Gerber, who was pulled after giving up three goals on 25 shots, the last of which tied the game 3-3.
"It's always disappointing when that happens. I felt all right. Things went different ways. The bounces didn't go my way. You just move and on and try and get something out of it."
Paddock said he spoke to Gerber yesterday to explain why he took him out of the net and basically told him what he told the media after the game.
Paddock didn't like the goals. He gave Gerber the hook following a goal by Philly's Mike Richards at 7:51 of the second period.
It came after Richards skated around defenceman Wade Redden and followed up on his own rebound, sliding it between Gerber's pads.
The Flyers' first goal came on an angled 17-foot shot by R.J. Umberger from the left-wing circle that beat Gerber to the long side. The second was a 47-foot slapper by Scott Hartnell.
"He's fine," said Paddock after his talk with Gerber. "I just told him why I did it. I didn't like the goals. He was probably the most surprised because it was a tied game, but sometimes that really hasn't anything to do with it and it didn't in that case."
WON'T NAME STARTER
Paddock said he still isn't sure who will start tomorrow and stressed his high expectations for the Gerber-Ray Emery tandem.
"There shouldn't be a weaker moment. They are two very capable, solid National Hockey League goaltenders. They'll play a bit better, the team will play a bit better and the results will be different," said Paddock.
"There's no more onus on them than there is on the rest of the team. That's the way a team works."
The Senators have lost three games in a row and four of the last five (1-3-1) and given up 19 goals in the process.
Senators centre Jason Spezza said he and his teammates haven't lost confidence in the club's goaltending.
"I don't think so. We've got two pretty good goaltenders," he said. "Sometimes you've got to pick your goalies up, sometimes you need your goalies to steal games for you. Fingers can't be pointed.
"We've lost a couple of games, but we've still got a pretty good record. We have probably the best 1-2 tandem in the league. We're pretty happy with where we sit."