Tracking the Storm

Gerbe Makes Second Trip Back to Home State

Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 4:00 PM ET / 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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72