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Defence never rests for Sens

Wednesday, 19.12.2007 / 3:08 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Defence never rests for Sens
They must soldier on without one of their sturdiest anchors.

But even without the presence of shot blocker extraordinaire Anton Volchenkov, the Ottawa Senators’ defence corps continues to band together to shut the door on the opposition.

The Senators have reeled off six straight wins heading into Thursday’s contest at Philips Arena in Atlanta against the Thrashers (7 p.m., A-Channel, Team 1200) – the last of four meetings between the teams this season. In the last five games of their current streak, they’ve been positively smothering on the defensive end, outscoring those foes by a 24-8 count.

Steadying the troops one more time in Tuesday’s tight-checking 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins: Big blueliner Chris Phillips, whom Senators head coach John Paddock credited with turning in an “outstanding” game.

“He was so strong with the puck and battling guys in the corner and making little plays,” Paddock said after the team’s workout Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta. “He won the battles on the penalty kill.”

No surprise there, really. Phillips and Volchenkov are renowned around the league for their shutdown capabilities.

“I don’t think you have to do any more than go and look at last year’s stats,” said Paddock. “They were plus-36 and plus-38 playing every night against the (Ilya) Kovalchuks and the (Alex) Ovechkins and (Vincent) Lecavaliers and (Jaromir) Jagrs.

“There’s nothing else to say. That speaks to the level of their play right there.”

Sometimes, though, the stay-at-home types chip in at the other end of the ice. Take Luke Richardson, the wily 20-year National Hockey League veteran, who notched the go-ahead goal against the Bruins in the third period. It was Richardson’s first NHL goal since Nov. 26, 2005 – the only one he scored that season for the Columbus Blue Jackets – and came with his father, Glen, watching from the TD Banknorth Garden seats.

“As a defensive guy, any time you can contribute offensively, it’s fun,” Richardson, 38, told reporters after the game. “It was nice to have (Glen) here, that’s for sure.”

Added a grinning Paddock: “We should bring his dad on more trips.”

Chevrier a 'true icon'

Canadian broadcast legend Don Chevrier, who died Monday at age 69 at his home in Florida, is best known for his work on Toronto Blue Jays and CFL telecasts. But he touched hockey fans in Ottawa as the first play-by-play man on Senators local broadcasts.

“Don was a true icon in Canadian sports media, and we were proud to have Don contribute to the Senators broadcasts,” said Senators COO Cyril Leeder. “We want to express our sincere sympathies to the Chevrier family.”

Jim Steel, the Senators’ vice-president of broadcasting, called Chevrier “the consummate professional who provided credibility to our broadcasts in the early years of the franchise. He will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of working with him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Around the boards

Martin Gerber (16-4-2) will make his fourth straight start in goal against the Thrashers … Less than 100 tickets remain for each of the Senators’ next four home games – Saturday (vs. Chicago), Dec. 27 (New York Islanders), Dec. 29 (Washington) and Jan. 5 (Tampa Bay). Fewer than 2,000 remain for a Jan. 10 visit by the Buffalo Sabres.




1 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
7 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31


B. Ryan 43 12 21 7 33
E. Karlsson 46 11 22 -5 33
K. Turris 46 9 20 -8 29
M. Stone 44 11 15 9 26
M. Hoffman 43 16 9 19 25
C. MacArthur 45 13 11 -7 24
M. Zibanejad 44 11 12 1 23
D. Legwand 45 7 12 -4 19
A. Chiasson 43 7 10 -8 17
M. Michalek 42 6 9 -7 15
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 6 7 2 .900 3.16