Sens' Fisher on the rebound

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

A couple of the smartest passes lately have come off the stick of Senators centre Mike Fisher.

He dished a couple of beauties to Chris Neil and Alex Kovalev for goals against the Montreal Canadiens in the Senators’ 3-1 win Saturday night.

Fisher also shone during the 3-on-5 disadvantage the Senators were forced to kill off for a minute and 55 seconds 12 minutes into the game. Fisher was credited with two blocked shots during the kill.

He’s currently second on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists, both of his scores game winners.

Talk about doing it at both ends of the rink.

It’s been a great start to the season for Fisher, who, like many of his teammates, had a dip in production last season. After seasons of 22, 22 and 23 goals, he had just 13 last season and his point total dipped to 32.

His days here in Ottawa have been marked by debate over whether he’s capable of being the team’s second-line centre.

How about first line?

He had the most ice time of any of the Senators’ centres Saturday in Montreal with 20 minutes and 46 seconds, edging out Jason Spezza (20:42), working between Alex Kovalev and Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Senators coach Cory Clouston has shown the confidence in Fisher to play him in all situations.

Senators GM Bryan Murray subscribes to the rising tide raises all boats theory. A better team concept and Fisher’s willingness to work, a constant in his game, have been a good combination.

“We knew full well he was a quality player,” said Murray. “I just think he fell into the group last year where a lot of guys had a tough year. There’s a better feeling on the team this year.

“His battle level is up, he’s got the work ethic and he’s making good plays with the puck. One of the things he might have been criticized for before is sometimes not making the play that was there. He’s finding the open man. When he’s got the puck he’s confident and poised. He looks more relaxed.”

Fisher said he felt like had a good training camp and that’s carried over to the regular season.

“I enjoy playing with Alfie and Kovie,” he said. “(The coach) has been putting me in every situation and I’m trying to do whatever I can to contribute.

“Everyone has been chipping in, the goaltending, lines 1-4 and the defence. It’s been fun.”

Regin back in

It looks like there will be at least one change in the Senators lineup for Thursday night’s tilt with the Nashville Predators at Scotiabank Place. Rookie Peter Regin looks like he’ll return to the lineup between Nick Foligno and Neil, replacing centre Ryan Shannon. Regin has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury. Shannon was one of four players wearing grey sweaters at practice yesterday along with fourth-liners Chris Kelly, Shean Donovan and Jarkko Ruutu. “Possibly, yup,” was the reply from coach Clouston when asked if Regin would line up in that spot with Foligno and Neil Thursday. “He’s a good player, a very good player and he was playing well up until the injury.” Regin had two goals and an assist and was plus-three in the four games he played before being injured. Shannon has no points in three games and is a minus-3 ... There also remains the possibility defenceman Filip Kuba could be back for Thursday, but after not practising with his teammates yesterday (he skated before practice), the odds just might be against his return. Clouston said a decision will be made this morning on whether Kuba will join his teammates for today’s practice. Kuba, expected to be the club’s top defenceman, has been sidelined with a groin injury, missing all but the club’s first game, so you have to wonder if just five days of skating and a couple of practices will be enough to have him ready to go Thursday night.

Hear and there ...

The Senators entertained about 3,500 school kids at Scotiabank Place for practice yesterday. They were part of the Faceoff Field Trip, which gave the kids a look into NHL hockey such as how the ice is made and how a Zamboni works. It was part of the Sens@School education programs. Teachers can register their classes free of charge ... Clouston said G Brian Elliott, who won his only start this season, will likely play one of the next two games. After Nashville visits Thursday, the Senators host the Boston Bruins Saturday night.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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