Shot at goalie critics

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Bryan Murray wants to stop the debate over who's No. 1.

One of Murray's first goals after taking over for fired coach John Paddock is to straighten out the Senators' goaltending situation. Murray believes the Martin Gerber/Ray Emery argument has become a distraction.

Murray said he's going to play both goalies during this four-game road trip that started last night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Murray won't put a timetable on picking a goalie to lead the Senators into the playoffs.

Exasperated with all the talk about goaltending in the media -- and in the dressing room -- the Senators' coach/GM suggested the situation will work itself out once the club gets back to playing good, consistent hockey.

"(The goaltending issue) becomes bigger than the club. This is what happened here this year: It became the total issue on our hockey club and it's not the total issue,"

Murray said.

'OTHER GUYS' ON ICE

"It's only part of the issue. The goaltender doesn't have to be the only player on the team, does he? There has to be other guys. All we worried about is Ray Emery and Martin Gerber and who is going to be No. 1? Let's just get our team to play right and then the goaltending will fit in when we identify the guy to fit in."

Murray also said Paddock's handling of Emery was only part of the reason a coaching change was made.

Murray read Paddock's comments to the media yesterday that if he could do it over again, he would have been tougher on Emery.

While Paddock told Emery not to practise on two occasions because he showed up late, the former coach didn't address Emery's unwillingness to work hard on the ice. Paddock feels that contributed to his downfall.

Murray didn't disagree, but said there were other issues.

'NUMBER OF THINGS'

"Discipline is always the reason the coach gets in trouble," said Murray. "Whether it's with an individual ... but it's seldom an individual. It's more than that. Sometimes, the players take advantage because a player is allowed to get away with certain things.

"It's a number of things. Let me assure you, it wasn't only one player. There were a number of things going on."

Gerber said he hasn't had a chance to discuss the goalie situation with Murray at length, but understands both netminders will get a chance to show what they can do.

"He told us to just do what we can do, push hard, practise hard and play well in the games that we do get," said Gerber. "We're just trying to play much better hockey than we did before. We just want to get a win."

Murray has no set plan for his goalies: "Not a specific number of games. These are both experienced guys. They both have the ability to play. It's the team getting comfortable with a guy."


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