The stage is set for Ray Emery’s return to the Ottawa Senators roster.
And, to hear the goaltender tell it, he’ll see his first game action of the National Hockey League regular season before the week is out.
The Senators cleared the route to put Emery back on the roster by assigning Brian Elliott to their American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y., on Sunday morning. Emery completed his two-game conditioning stint with the B-Sens in fine form on Saturday night, turning aside 46-of-48 shots he faced in Binghamton’s 5-2 victory over the Hershey Bears. He faced 38 shots against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, turning aside 34 of them.
“It was definitely good to be here, and it was an opportunity for me to use it for what it was,” said Emery of his weekend in Binghamton. “It was for conditioning and to get games in, and I definitely got the work I wanted playing two games. So I’m glad (the Senators) let me come down here. It was a good experience.”
Emery planned to return to Ottawa on Sunday morning, where he’ll resume practising with the team on Monday.
“We don’t play again until Thursday, so that gives me three or four more days of practice,” he said. “I’ll make myself available to the team whenever they want to throw me between the pipes.”
He’s expecting that to happen either Thursday, when the Montreal Canadiens visit Scotiabank Place, or on Saturday, when the Florida Panthers come to town. Emery isn’t surprised he’s joining a team that has roared out to a 6-1-0 start without him.
“Well, we got a good team. That is no secret,” he said. “When you make it to the (Stanley) Cup finals the year before, then have a perfect exhibition (record), there are high expectations, and I would have been surprised if they hadn’t reeled off a bunch of wins at the beginning of the year.”
Emery hasn’t been a part of the run yet, as he’s been recovering from off-season surgery on his left wrist. He only saw two periods of action during the pre-season.
“The wrist is getting there,” said Emery. “I’m gradually getting my timing back.”