NAPLES, FLA. -- The Senators' No. 1 goaltending job will be Ray Emery or Martin Gerber's to win or lose.
Senators GM Bryan Murray told Sun Media yesterday that he won't be shopping for a goalie before next week's trade deadline and that it's up to either Emery or Gerber to get the job done.
While a top forward and defenceman remain on Murray's list, he says there's no sense in trying to find a goalie because there aren't any upgrades on the market.
"I don't know that there's anybody to look for," said Murray. "Realistically, that's the way it is right now. Financially, we're committed to (Emery and Gerber).
"We believe that they're both good goaltenders. For whatever reason, whether it's alternating games or whatever it may be, they're just not playing to the best of their ability. Hopefully, we can get that to turn around.
"After watching the New Jersey game, we weren't very fair. The way we didn't compete in a couple of cases doesn't give the goalies much room to make a mistake. And, if you make one, it comes back to bite you real hard. We've got to get our team back playing with the intensity and enthusiasm that they were early on."
STARTER UP TO COACH
Murray said he has discussed the goalie situation with coach John Paddock, but isn't going to order the coach to settle on either Emery or Gerber just because both goalies are unhappy.
"That's got to be (Paddock's) call," said Murray. "When you're coaching, you get judged on wins and losses, but you have to have the freedom to make the decision you want to make. I can talk to (Paddock) about my thoughts on different areas, but he's got to have the final say as far as putting people on the ice and doing whatever he wants to do."
Murray has other irons in the fire: Up front, it's believed he is in the group of teams that has made a pitch for Atlanta's Marian Hossa along with Tampa's Vaclav Prospal, Edmonton's Jarrett Stoll and the Islanders' Miroslav Satan of the Isles. On the blue line, Tampa's Dan Boyle and Buffalo's Brian Campbell are the prime targets.
"The way our team is playing right now, in particular, I think we could use another shot in the arm," said Murray. "I think we've got a real good hockey team and if something could be done to help that, we'd be willing to do it."