Peace meal for brawlin' Sens

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Senators enforcer Brian McGrattan was downtown Monday afternoon when he got a text message.

It was from goaltender Ray Emery, with whom McGrattan had fought in practice earlier in the day.

"He texted me and asked, 'You want to go out for dinner? I'll call you later on,' " McGrattan said yesterday after the Senators' optional practice, dismissing any idea this would be a lingering issue.

"We're good. It's not the first time it's happened. It's all cool. It was just a little heat of the moment thing."

McGrattan and Emery dropped the gloves and exchanged punches near the end of practice Monday after they bumped while doing laps during a skating drill.

BLAMES DONOVAN

They were both chuckling about it afterward.

McGrattan dragged winger Shean Donovan into the mix yesterday. McGrattan said Donovan was crowding him in the skating drill which sees the players circle the nets and wanted him to pass.

"I turned around to yell at Donovan and as I was yelling at him, I bumped Rayzor. I knew as soon as I bumped him, it was going to be a 'go' in the corner."

They both threw a couple of punches before Donovan and Antoine Vermette jumped in to break it up.

Why couldn't those guys have just minded their own business?

THE BIG RIG: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was accorded the honour of being voted to the all-star team by fans yesterday. When asked which of his teammates he'd pick to go with him, he chose linemates Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley and defenceman Chris Phillips. "I'd probably pick (Phillips). I don't know if he would be appreciated in the all-star game as much as Spezza and Heatley because he's more of a shutdown guy. You don't hear about him much, but we definitely know how much he means to us." ... Senators assistant coach Greg Carvel said he'd choose those three, as well, and Mike Fisher. "Mike Fisher, the intangibles he has will probably never get him to an all-star game, but he's the kind of guy you win Stanley Cups with. I'd rather have that kind of guy than a guy who goes to the all-star game because he's flashy."

RAY OF HOPE: Everybody in the Senators camp has been encouraged by the better effort being put in by Emery in practice. "It's been a much-improved situation where Ray has put a bigger effort into coming to the rink every day and working hard. That's what the coaches were looking for, too, for him to get more ice time and play more," said Alfredsson. "In practice, it's never fun to skate down on the goalie and you go to shoot and he's not really trying. It's been a much-improved situation for us." Carvel said he thinks Emery can win back the No. 1 job. "We can discuss it every day until we're blue in the face. When he wants to work hard, he'll be our No. 1 goalie again, I would think."

HEAR AND THERE: Emery didn't take part in the optional skate yesterday -- something he has been criticized for this season -- but it wasn't a concern to Carvel, who met with the media in place of coach John Paddock (he was in Winnipeg for broadcaster Don Wittman's induction into the CBC Hall of Fame). "John made it real clear (yesterday was) completely optional, fully optional. It's not a concern," he said ... W Patrick Eaves skated again yesterday and Carvel was holding out hope Eaves' shoulder would be good enough that he could be available for Saturday's meeting here with the league-leading Red Wings. "I'm hoping like heck we can have him by the weekend. We've got a couple of big games, especially Saturday's against Detroit. I'm sure everybody will have their eyes on that. It would be nice if we had our full complement of players for that game."


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