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Tracking the Storm

Gerbe Makes Second Trip Back to Home State

Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 4:00 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gerbe Makes Second Trip Back to Home State
A native Michigan, Nathan Gerbe has played a regular-season game in his home state just once in his 209-game NHL career. Thursday will be his second.
A native of Oxford, Michigan, Nathan Gerbe has played a regular-season game in his home state just once in his 209-game NHL career.

Michael Smith
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This is in part due to the fact that Gerbe has played solely for Eastern Conference teams since breaking into the NHL in the 2008-09 season, and prior to this season’s realignment, Detroit was a member of the Western Conference.

Game No. 210 for Gerbe will also be his second in his native Michigan when the Carolina Hurricanes face off with the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday.

“It’s very exciting. I always enjoy coming back,” he said. “I get to see my family. I’ll go out to dinner with them tonight and just relax.”

Most recently, Gerbe, 26, spent time in Michigan prior to Hurricanes training camp skating and training with members of the Red Wings. Oxford is just under an hour’s drive north of the arena.

“Good group of guys that was nice enough to let me come in, stay there, skate there and train a bit with them,” Gerbe said. “It was fun.”

Other than that, Gerbe doesn’t get back to Michigan much, except at the beginning of the offseason.

“At the end of the year, I usually go there for a month, and then I break off and go into my training route,” he said. “That’s basically about it.”

Gerbe’s first visit to his home state as an NHLer came on Jan. 16, 2012 with the Buffalo Sabres. He logged nearly 11 minutes of ice time, as the Wings set a franchise record with their 15th straight home victory.

This time, Gerbe and the Hurricanes, who are looking to snap a two-game losing skid, will face a Detroit squad that hasn’t won at home in eight games.

“It’s a fun place to play,” Gerbe said. “Growing up there, I was a Wings fans, so it’s fun.”

In 21 games this season, Gerbe is tied for the team lead in goals with five. Muller has called him the Canes’ most consistent forward a quarter of the way through the season.

“He works. He’s been producing when he gets the opportunity,” Muller said, simply. “What he does do is he comes prepared, he’s very professional and he works hard. Because he’s so mentally prepared, he’s ready to play every night. When you do that, you’re going to be consistent.”

The 5-foot-5, 178-pound Gerbe, who has become somewhat of a staple on Jordan’s Staal’s left wing, might be his biggest critic.

“I can always be better, and I want to be better. I want to be more consistent and a bigger force on the ice,” he said. “So far, I’ve come in, worked hard and tried to be as consistent as I can be, but I know there is a lot of room to grow.”

Though he will be in town for business, Gerbe, now in his sixth NHL season, can’t overlook the fact that he’s going home, a special time for any player.

“That’s where you grew up. That’s the team you watch growing up,” he said. “There’s so much history there. Your family is there. That’s where you were raised and where everything started. That’s why it’s special.”

Gerbe said he expects 15-20 family and friends at Joe Louis Arena for Thursday night’s game.

“We’ll let them sort it out,” he said, smiling. “All my family is there. It’s home for me, and I love it.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61