Fisher proving to be quick healer

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Mike Fisher just might be ready to take on the hated Maple Leafs tomorrow night.

When the Senators centre suffered a knee injury 10 days ago at Madison Square Garden, it looked like he was going to be out for an extended period of time, but the four-day break in the schedule this week might be enough to help him make his return.

Not only did Fisher skate before the club went on the ice at the Bell Sensplex, he also stuck around for the Senators' one-hour skate and the possibility of him playing tomorrow against Toronto at Scotiabank Place hasn't been ruled out.

"I felt pretty good. I felt quite a bit better than (Monday). I was feeling strong and I was pretty happy with the way it went," said Fisher. "We'll see how it goes the next couple of days in practice. I'm hopeful that there's maybe a chance I can play.

"I had a pretty good day. I haven't made a decision. I wasn't really sure (how long it would be) because I haven't really had this type of injury before. It's not like anything I've had. I was optimistic that it wouldn't be too long, but it's come along as good or better than I thought."

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said that's why the break might be a blessing for the team.

"Fisher is back with us and this gives him a few days to get back into it," said Alfredsson. "I'd love to have him back. He brings so much energy and I thought he was pretty good on the point on the power play as well. That would be a big boost for us."

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said he won't make a decision on Fisher until after today's workout.

"We're not sure yet," said Hartsburg. "We will see how he does (today), but it's a good sign that he took part in practice."

JUST TALKING

Hartsburg had a long chat with the players at the end of practice, but he wasn't ready to reveal to the media the message he was sending. "If I wanted you to know that I would have said, 'Come on down, put your little nose right in between those big guys and listen.' Is a coach not allowed to talk to his team? What, you can't stand there and talk to your players? I thought that was part of coaching," said Hartsburg, tongue in cheek. "We just talked about practice and how things went. It was no big deal. You talk to the players. That's what you do. I can't come back here and go in the room, so I did it on the ice." One area Hartsburg addressed is making sure players go harder to the net to have more success offensively. "When you have a few days off, it's easy to get into a little bit of a lull and just go through the motions," said Alfredsson. "That's where (Hartsburg) thinks we can be better. He wants us to be more aggressive in taking the puck to the net, not just staying on the outside and getting into the dirty areas to score some more goals because we didn't score a lot of goals in practice."

OFF THE GLASS

D Erik Karlsson, the Senators' No. 1 pick at the NHL draft in June, will spend Christmas in Ottawa. He was named to the Swedish national junior team along with RW Andre Petersson, the Senators' fourth-round selection ... Hartsburg has liked what he has seen from former 67's captain Brendan Bell in the three games he's played since being recalled from Binghamton. "He's played well. He's quick. He can move the puck and he's smart finding people," said Hartsburg. "We'll continue to try him, but I think he's done a good job for us so far. He didn't have the camp we expected. Going down there, he's played very well and he's come up and done what we thought he would do at camp." ... RW Ryan Shannon (post-concussion) took part in practice yesterday and could play tomorrow.


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