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Rough week for Fisher

Sunday, 16.12.2007 / 2:24 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Rough week for Fisher
The news hit home with perhaps as much force as the nasty blizzard that swirled around Scotiabank Place on a wintry Sunday afternoon.

In the midst of a five-game winning streak, the Ottawa Senators learned Mike Fisher has been sidelined with a strained oblique muscle suffered in the first period of Saturday’s 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Both Fisher and Senators head coach John Paddock suggested it isn’t likely the heart-and-soul centre will join the team for a two-game road trip to Boston and Atlanta later this week.

The Senators are already missing workhorse defenceman Anton Volchenkov (broken finger) and Patrick Eaves (separated shoulder), a valuable contributor up front.

“It’s a substantial loss,” said Paddock. “I don’t think you can put a value on it. There’s no positive in having three of our top 10 players out of the lineup.”

Fisher, who missed almost the entire pre-season while recovering from a groin injury suffered during the Stanley Cup final last spring, hasn’t exactly had the best of weeks. First he lost a tooth after being head-butted by Carolina’s Scott Walker during a fight in Ottawa’s 6-0 whitewashing of the Hurricanes last Wednesday.

Now there’s this. Fisher couldn’t suggest a timetable for his return, but said Sunday “I probably won’t make the road trip,” which begins Tuesday in Boston and concludes two nights later in Atlanta.

“It’s always frustrating going out with an injury,” he said. “The team’s playing well and things are going good. But I know as much as anyone that it’s part of the game. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I’m back. I just need some rest.”

The injury occurred during the first period, when Fisher took a hard hit into the boards. He went out for his next shift, but felt pain when he made a turning motion to defend against a Thrashers player.

“You don’t realize how much (you use) certain muscles,” said Fisher. “I’ve never had this type of injury, so I don’t know. Hopefully, it’ll settle down quickly but with some of these things, you never know, you don’t know how long (the recovery will take).”

Paddock agreed any injury related to the abdominal area can be a tricky to predict.

“When you twist and turn, it’s constant,” he said. “I don’t think you can play until you’re 100 per cent. If there’s one thing you do in the game of hockey, it’s twisting and turning. It’s like going out to play a game of golf with a twisted oblique. You couldn’t do it, because you’re twisting. He’s going to have to heal.”

In Fisher’s absence Saturday night, Antoine Vermette moved up to the second line, turned in a strong three-point night and was named the game’s first star. Paddock said those kind of efforts will be necessary with Fisher out of the lineup.

“You have to find different ways to win,” said Paddock. “Sometimes your approach has to change in how you want your team to play, and other individuals have to pick up the slack.

“(Vermette) rose to the occasion and was rewarded with a little bit of offensive production, too. He just has to play. There’s no more offence than normal expected out of him. He just has to be one of our top six forwards now.”




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06