With some less than inspiring play from the goaltending position during the exhibition season, Bryan Murray met with the media today and answered some questions regarding the team's situation. Here's a transcript of what was said...
Question: Are you concerned about the goaltending?
BM: I hard knew that was the question. No I'm not. We'll see as we start the regular year if I have to be worried. I certainly didn't like the number of goals we gave up in in the last couple games by either one of them. But I think we played the last couple of games also like they were the preseason games and "Let's get them over with and get serious about playing." I thought we were quite careless in our own end. I thought we had a couple of rebound situations. But the goaltenders have to be better. There's no question. We know to be a contending team, you have to have good goaltending. I believe they're both capable of that. They have to go do it now.
Question: (Goaltending) is such a key position, how patient can you be?
BM: Well, they're both under contract and the options are limited with what we can do so we just expect that they will play to their capability and we know that they're both capable of being good goaltenders. We're just counting on them doing it.
Question: blah, blah, blah, Robin Lehner, blah blah blah?
BM: He says, "Just put me in, I'm ready to go." I say that you have to take time. You have to have some success. You have to go down and play at a level that you'll get most of games and we're hoping that. But he's a very confident, young man. A very strong, young man. He's been through it. He believes that any time we need him, he's ready to play. You have to be carefuly but it depends on the personality of the person as well.
A Thought On David Hale
The news making its way around the Alfiesphere (TM SteveHL) today was that the Senators brass had decided to waive David Hale for the intents and purpose of assigning him to the Binghamton Senators. Under normal circumstances, it's news that would cause one to barely bat an eyelash. However, with Filip Kuba not set to return for another three to four weeks, Hale was a player who looked like he was positioned to start the season here. Considering that Hale's a player who accompanied the team to CFB Petawawa, skated at a practice there as Matt Carkner's defensive partner and participated in the team bonding exercises, there was no reason to foresee the way today went down. Now any time someone in Ottawa gets lulled into a false sense of security, it will be referred to getting Haled.
GM Bryan Murray wasn't without explanation though, "We are assigning him. We have six healthy D to start and cap space to protect." Now there's a motto for the blueline to start the season: If we're protecting cap space? Who's protecting the net?
All joking aside, the fact that the Senators are comfortable fielding a roster that includes only six defencemen is pretty intriguing. After assigning Hale, the organization has approximately $1.2-million in cap space and we're almost assured that Bryan Murray has something up his sleave. (Ed. note: The last time management said that they would address a need on the blueline, we had to wait about 60 games before Murray dealt a 1st to the Isles for a package including Chris Campoli. Hopefully we don't have to wait that long before something is done.)