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A new life in the NHL for McGrattan

Tuesday, 11.29.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Ottawa Senators
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A new life in the NHL for McGrattan
McGrattan proudly shows off the puck retrieved after he scored his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur on Nov. 19.

Life in the NHL is everything Senators rookie Brian McGrattan had expected, and then some.

"It's going amazing," said the Senators tough guy after the pre-game skate Tuesday morning. "Hockey and everything it brings, it's a whole different life in the NHL. You're treated first class everywhere you go. I have never been in a town where people all know who I am. I have to pinch myself. This is something I have dreamed of my whole life."

Keeping opposing enforcers in check, and offering protection to some of the most talented players in the league, makes the NHL job even more special. Skating with the first-place Senators everyday can only improve his skills, too. McGrattan, 24, knows he has to develop other aspects of his game, not just his talent when the gloves are dropped.

"Practice is fast every day. Guys like Heatley and Spezza, Redden and Chara, when you go one-on-one against guys like that, you're going to become a better player. To be on a first-place team is pretty special. I just have to keep working to improve."

On Nov. 19, McGrattan deflected a Brian Pothier point shot past New Jersey Devils superstar Martin Brodeur for his first NHL goal. McGrattan has a hard time describing how he felt after the goal.

"It was an awesome feeling, I can't really explain it. My parents were in town so it was good for them to see it. To score against an Olympic gold-medal-winning goalie, it was pretty cool."

The adjustment to the team itself has been easy says the Hamilton native. He thanks his teammates and coaches for their support.

"We have the best coaches in the league. They're easy to approach and they teach well. It's easy to understand them. The biggest thing is I've had coaches who don't tell you when you're not playing well. I have good communication here. I'm very comfortable with players and management. I played with six or seven of the guys in Binghamton. It was easier to come in knowing them than it would have been coming in fresh."

Redden still at least a week away

Senators defenceman Wade Redden told reporters on Tuesday after practice that he is still at least a week away from returning to NHL action.

The all-star defenceman did add, howeve,r that he hopes to skate in the "next couple of days" to test out his injured knee. The injury resulted after getting tied up awkwardly with forward Mike Fisher during a practice last week.

"The stiffness is going down, and it's starting to feel better. Next week I hope I get playing again. I can't put a day on it. It depends how treatment goes and how I am feeling."




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02