Ice-cold Cheechoo starting to get scoring chances

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 PM ET

Not everyone has soured on “the other guy” the Senators retrieved in the Dany Heatley deal.

Take the four young sweeties in Section 108 yesterday, for instance. (And don’t say, “Would I.”) Adorned in their various, extremely sexy Halloween costumes, they also showed up at SBP for a game against the Atlanta Thrashers with a sign that read: “All Aboard The Cheechoo Train.”

Surprising there wasn’t a stampede to the nearest platform, the first time they flashed it. (The sign).

As hot as those girls were, Jonathan Cheechoo has been just the opposite since arriving from San Jose along with Milan Michaleck, who leads the Senators with six goals.

Cheechoo, who you might remember had 56 goals in in 2005-06, has yet to light the lamp in a dozen games with Ottawa. At times, he’s been The Invisible Man.

Most of the time, he’s looked like a labourer, the way he labours around the ice. Other times, he’s been the tenant in coach Cory Clouston’s doghouse.

But on a day people dressed up in disguises, Cheechoo came as a player.

“If Jonathan didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck again,” said Clouston, who lauded the performaces of both Cheechoo and Ryan Shannon. “He keeps playing like that, and the goals are going to come.”

Indeed, Cheechoo had his best game of the season against the Thrashers. Some would chirp that that’s not saying much. He was one of those buzzing loudest around goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the final 20 minutes. Cheechoo beat him once, but didn’t beat the goalpost.

“Things haven’t been going right,” said Cheechoo. “The little bounces haven’t been going my way. At the same time, if you work hard you’re going to get those bounces eventually. That’s one of the things I try to do, and I’ll continue doing that.”

He bemoaned missing an open side after stepping out from behind the net.

“Those are shots I’ve been working on in practice,” said Cheechoo. “It’s not really gripping the stick, I think the more you practise it the better it’ll come in the game.”

He remembers similar times he’s experienced such hard slumps.

“My first year in pro hockey I had four goals at Christmas,” said Cheechoo. “You’re going to go through struggles. Not everything is going to come easy all the time. You’ve just got to put your head down and grind through it. That’s one of the things my dad taught me growing up. It’s what I carry through here. You’re not always going to like the outcome, but if you put in the (work) eventually it will go right for you.”

Cheechoo was happy to hear about the four young women and their sign.

“I didn’t get a chance to see that,” he said, “but that’s pretty cool. This is such a big hockey town, it’s nice to know you get support like that.”

And quite a show of support it was.


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