It goes without saying that when you shut out an opponent in a key game, it’s defensive play that is key to your success. That’s how general manager/head coach Bryan Murray assessed the team’s 3-0 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday and how the squad should play going forward.
“You’re seeing a better game now, a better performance by the players without the puck. To me that’s where it starts. And certainly (Martin) Gerber playing the way he did,” said Murray (mp3 audio file
, 37 seconds).
Murray will reward Gerber with his eighth-straight start on Sunday against his old team, the Carolina Hurricanes. The Senators and Hurricanes face off in a matinée affair in Raleigh, N.C. (3 p.m., A-Channel, Team 1200).
When asked about the importance of giving the players confidence, Murray noted that’s his role.
“Well that’s my job, too. It's to allow players to be good. It's to allow players to have importance." he said. "Martin was one of those guys that I just felt was sitting there, who was working hard. You have to send the message to the guy that if you play well, we’re going to recognize it.” (mp3 audio file
The Senators will return to Ottawa on Sunday following their visit to Raleigh to play two home games next week. The St. Louis Blues visit Scotiabank Place on Thursday, followed by the seventh meeting of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.