Volchenkov not ready to return

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov skated hard before his teammates practised at the Bell Sensplex Wednesday morning.

It looks like he’s going to be doing that a little longer than anticipated.

After working out with assistant coach Luke Richardson, Volchenkov told Sun Media that he doesn’t expect to be back for another two weeks or “one week and a half,” at least.

When Volchenkov originally dislocated his right elbow when Kamil Kreps of the Panthers fell on him in a game Oct. 29, it was projected Volchenkov would be out for a couple of weeks and it’s going to be at least that.

It might even be closer to a month, based on the way “The A-Train” was feeling Wednesday.

“It still hurts to pass,” said Volchenkov after yesterday’s workout. “I can’t shoot.”

He did not make the trip here with the club and will skate on his own again Thursday and for the foreseeable future.

One thing you know: If there was any way he could be playing, Volchenkov would be out there.

The guy’s pain tolerance is through the roof.

“Each day there’s little improvements. The swelling has gotten a lot better in his elbow,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston. “The strength is improving a lot. I think pretty soon they’re going to fit him with a brace just to give him a little extra support.

“I know originally we said it was going to be two weeks, but it might be a little bit longer than originally thought.”

The Senators miss Volchenkov, especially against a team like Thursday’s opponents, the Flyers, who have a big, robust forward group.

Hear and there

Flyer C Danny Briere said he had heard “all kinds of things” about G Ray Emery in the goaltender’s days with the Senators. Now, after having had a chance to see him first hand as a teammate with the Flyers? “No complaints there; he’s been a great teammate, so far,” said Briere. “Everyone deserves a second chance. Maybe he made some mistakes. If he is willing to work to make it right, I’m all about giving people a second chance. So far, as a person he’s been great. As a goalie, he’s been tremendous for us. Those last few games, he looks like he is playing with a lot of confidence. Hopefully, it stays with him.” ... The key against the Flyers in Philly? “It’s always tough. You’ve got to stay strong for the first 10 minutes,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson. “That’s the key to every game there. You’ve got to give yourself a chance.” ... Senators G Pascal Leclaire gave up a soft goal to Edmonton’s Gilbert Brule in Tuesday’s night win. Does he take that kind of goal to bed with him? “Absolutely ... not. These things happen,” said Leclaire, eyeing the media scrum in front of his locker. “It’s like dropping a pen at your desk, except it’s in front of 20,000 people. I’m not worried. When you win, you forget your personal mistakes pretty quickly.”

Bouncing back

Senators G Pascal Leclaire has given up a couple of soft goals in the last couple of games, but coach Cory Clouston is looking at the bottom line, at least coming out of the Edmonton win. “I thought when we needed him he was at his best,” said Clouston. “He played very, very well part way through the second and early in the third and allowed us to get our feet underneath us. He’s no different (than the rest of the team). He did what he had to do to win a game. Is he playing at his best? No, he’s not. There’s areas he can work at, no different than a player. The bottom line is we got the win.”

Cheechoo train

W Jonathan Cheechoo scored his first goal of the year against Edmonton and while it took a while, Clouston said he’s been satisfied with other areas of Cheechoo’s game. “I know everybody judges someone like that on numbers; we don’t. Part of his game is he has to help out offensively and produce, but his attitude, work ethic and his detail to doing the little things while he works hard, those are valuable to us, as well. If we can get him scoring like he did last night, he’s going to be a big part of our team ... which he is already.”


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