Slow time for Habs news, but there was some divisional rival news which is always important for us.
Emery signed with the Senators yesterday and avoided arbitration. This probably isn't a surprise, but it can't really be viewed as good news for the Habs, that's for sure. He is now a Stanley Cup finalist, he wrestled a job from a defending Stanley Cup champion goalie and managed to post the 7th best save % in the league last year. He's also pretty good against the Habs.
Apart from that, it does bring up one question: Is the Northeast Division now the best division for goalies in the NHL?
Every starter had a save % over .900 – all in the top 20 of the league last year. We have the perennial Jennings winner, a Stanley Cup finalist, two all-stars and Toskala (who isn't so shabby either).
Only the Northwest has better overall calibre based on reputation with Kiprusoff, Luongo, Backstrom, Roloson and Budaj.
If I had to choose, I'd say Northwest their group is better, but then again, so are their defenses (bar Edmonton).
Thankfully for the Habs, we don't even play those teams this year. Unfortunately, there will be no easy mark in our 32 inter-division games. It would be nice if there were, as our scorers aren't exactly prolific.
Maybe we can look to taking a lot of shots as the way to go, since the defenses of our divisional rivals fall well below the level of league's best. Or, maybe we can hope that the Emery contract forces a trade, so we get a few Gerber "flu" games throughout the year.
What I wouldn't give for 8 games against a Biron, Norrena or LA.