Wait isn't over for Fisher

BRUCE GARRIOCH, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Mike Fisher is going to have to play the waiting game a little bit longer.

The Senators centre told the Sun yesterday he won't suit up for tonight's game against the Atlanta Thrashers at Scotiabank Place.

Instead, Fisher, who will miss his eighth straight game because of a sprained right ankle, said he might need another week before he's ready to return. His priority remains being in top form for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Senators were hopeful Fisher might be able to play Saturday against the Washington Capitals, but after giving the ankle a good test Fisher decided he wasn't ready to make his return just yet.

"I decided to take (yesterday) off from skating and just took some treatment. I just thought that I needed to give it some rest," said Fisher from his Kanata home.

"I've been working pretty hard, but there are just some things that I am not capable of doing. There's just no sense in trying to rush back. The important thing for me is to make sure that I am healthy and ready for the playoffs."

The Senators have four games this week -- including two vs. Buffalo and one against Montreal -- and Fisher's only goal is return return to the lineup before the Sabres visit Ottawa on Saturday.

"I'm feeling better, but I just don't think I'm quite ready," said Fisher. "I've got to make sure that I am 100% for the playoffs. I'm just not where I want to be right now.

"I am not capable of doing the things I want to do. The important thing for me is completely ready to go for the playoffs. I want to get some games in before the playoffs, but I'm just going to take my time."

There likely won't be any changes for the Senators tonight. Defenceman Zdeno Chara, troubled by a deep bruise to his right hand that is taking a lot of time to heal, will miss his fifth straight game.

Don't be surprised if Chara doesn't play at all this week because it makes more sense to ensure he is completely healthy for the playoffs. Winger Martin Havlat, who's missed nearly four months following shoulder surgery, will see a doctor next Monday to get clearance to play.

"When guys are ready to play, I will put them back in the lineup," said coach Bryan Murray. "I don't ask anymore and I'm waiting for guys to tell me they are ready to play."

The Sens have had a tough time without Chara. He plays a lot of minutes, but one player who has done a good job in his absence his Brian Pothier. Not only has Pothier, who spent last year with the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton, gotten more of a chance to play, he has also worn the assistant's 'A' that would normally belong to Chara or defenceman Wade Redden, who has left the team to deal with a family matter.

"With the 'A' on his chest, it has given (Pothier) a lot more confidence and he knows that he's expected to play a leadership role," said Murray. "I think Pothier has taken the extra minutes and done an excellent job for us. He's taken a lot of extra responsibility and he's done a good job."

Pothier said he has enjoyed the added responsibility. He was one of the captains in Binghamton last season and knows what it means to play that kind of role.

"You never want to get more playing time because of these circumstances, but somebody has to take the minutes and you have to look at this as a good challenge," said Pothier. "(To wear) the 'A' is just a big honour. That is something that means a lot to me and you know what you have to do in this role. You want the chance to show that you are capable of getting the job done."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos