Fisher's on 2010 radar

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

Mike Fisher’s stock is rising just at the right time for his Olympic hopes.

Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman will sit down Wednesday in Detroit with the management team he has assembled to select the 23 players who will represent the country at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

The Senators centre has certainly put himself on the radar screen.

While Fisher is a long shot to make the team — he wasn’t among the 46 players invited to orientation camp in Calgary in August — an NHL executive said if Yzerman wants a fourth-liner who can chip in offensively, Fisher would be a good fit.

“They’ve got to at least look at him,” said the executive.

The 29-year-old Fisher, who played well for Team Canada at the world championship in Switzerland last spring, has been turning heads lately. He scored his fifth goal of the season Saturday — a feat that took him until Jan. 17 last season.

“The puck is just going in for whatever reason,” said Fisher, who is second on the Senators with 11 points while skating on a line with Daniel Alfredsson and Alexei Kovalev.

“I don’t feel like I’m any different a player. A lot of it has to do with how the team is playing. We’re playing a different style, we’re more successful and I’ve been a recipient of playing with a better (team) than we were last year.”

Coach Cory Clouston likes what he’s seen from Fisher.

“I can’t comment on his start (last season) because I wasn’t here. I thought he played very well (when Clouston came in) and I think he’s just kind of picked up where he left off last year,” said Clouston.

“He’s getting the opportunity and he’s making the most of it. He’s complemented his linemates very well. He’s the kind of guy who makes guys around him better because of his work ethic, his physical play and he creates open ice for other players.”

Metallica rules!

The Senators weren’t on the ice at Scotiabank Place yesterday, but many were among the 16,000 in the building for the Metallica concert. LW Jarkko Ruutu, who has seen the heavy-metal band play about 10 times, said half the team planned to attend the concert. “There’s not many concerts where you go and everybody is standing up and the energy is going between the band and the crowd,” said Ruutu.

In 1997, the Flyers scratched D Janne Niinimaa because he was on-stage with Metallica at a concert in the parking lot of the Wachovia Center the day of a game against the Senators. So, what is it with Finns and Metallica? “I went to the same high school (as Niinimaa),” noted Ruutu. “We’re good buddies. Finland is a metal country, big-time. A lot of bands are coming there because they sell out right away.” Clouston’s also a heavy-metal fan and likes Metallica, but didn’t go to the concert. “Normally I would,” he said. “(But) I have to keep a low profile.”

Winchester’s impact

Clouston conceded the club will have to make a roster decision once C Jesse Winchester returns tomorrow from a two-week conditioning stint AHL Binghamton. Winchester won’t, however, return to the Ottawa lineup immediately. “I went down (to Binghamton) Friday and watched him play and he played very well,” said Clouston. “He showed some creativity and poise with the puck that we didn’t see as much up here. He’s got a little more confidence down there.”

The Senators could ask Winchester to remain with Binghamton through the weekend. The Baby Sens will play Friday at the Bell Centre (vs. the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens’ affiliate) and Sunday in Ottawa (also vs. Hamilton) ... There was no update on the status of C Jason Spezza (back/groin) and D Anton Volchenkov (elbow), however, neither will play tomorrow vs. the Lightning.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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