Gerber, the natural

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

Martin Gerber wanted to help a friend and wound up with a career in hockey.

As a 12-year-old in Switzerland, he accompanied Burgdorf buddy and hot goalie prospect Thomas Dreyer to a local hockey tryout, as Dreyer was supposed to bring a friend to bump up numbers. Gerber had never played hockey at all, but tried out at forward.

"I didn't look too good," Gerber recalled yesterday. "But they were a goalie short and each guy had to go in."

The rest is history. Gerber embraced the position and years later, beat out Dreyer when both competed for the starting job at SC Langnau.

"He's still my friend," Gerber said of Dreyer. "He's a goalie coach in Switzerland."

Masking his intentions

Gerber admitted his black mask with an Ottawa Senators logo must have looked odd to his teammates and Leafs fans, but there was no time for alterations after he was claimed on waivers Wednesday.

"It probably looks better than a plain white one," Gerber said. "I'm just waiting for a mask to show up. We talked this morning about painting it in a few days."

Quote/Unquote

"The guys in the room have stuck together all year. I'm not saying we're going to make the playoffs, but we're sure trying to make a push." -- Winger Jason Blake.

Goaltending feat

Gerber became the fourth Leafs goalie to win a game this season, along with Vesa Toskala, Curtis Joseph and Justin Pogge.

This has happened only in 1998-99 when Joseph, Glenn Healy, Felix Potvin and Jeff Reese had at least one victory and in the 1984-85 season when Tim Bernhardt, Allan Bester, Ken Wregget and Rick St. Croix picked up wins.

Loose Leafs

Toronto has played eight consecutive one-goal games. The feat was last recorded in the NHL in March and April of 2008 by the St. Louis Blues ... Coach Ron Wilson says new winger Jeff Hamilton likely will stay the rest of the season.


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