A-Train not ready to return

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

It looks like the Senators will have to make do without top defensive defenceman Anton Volchenkov for another week.

The A Train was expected to practise with this teammates Wednesday as he makes his way back from a dislocated elbow he suffered Oct. 28 against the Florida Panthers, but he has suffered a setback.

“It didn’t respond a couple of day ago as well as we thought,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston earlier today. “There’s a little more soreness in there. We wished, we hoped he’d be ready to play this weekend, but that’s not looking like the case. Mid-week is probably what we’re looking at.”

The Senators have missed Volchenkov, who, when paired with veteran Chris Phillips, makes up one of the best shutdown duos in the league.

Volchenkov has also bee particularly effective in the past against some of his Russian countrymen like Evgeni Malkin, the Art Ross Trophy winner who visits Scotiabank Place with the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night, and Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s top goal scorer, who will be in town with the Washington Capitals Monday night.

Volchenkov’s absence has meant more ice time and a different role for Filip Kuba. The veteran has been paired up with Phillips and is being asked to perform more of a shutdown role. Kuba clocked 30 minutes and 11 seconds of ice time against the New York Rangers on the weekend and another 23:35 Tuesday night in the 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Senators centre Mike Fisher scored a pair of goals in the win over the Leafs, giving him nine on the season and he seems to be getting more and more comfortable playing with Alex Kovalev, who assisted on both the goals.

“The comment was made that maybe he can’t play with Kovalev, but that’s not the case,” said Clouston. “(Fisher) makes everybody around him better with his work ethic and everything he does. Does he always score on every chance? No, but you take it with all the good he does.”

Clouston also defended Kovalev, notorious for drifting through games.

“My comment is always, if some of the guys started burying the chances ... he put (Jonathan) Cheechoo in on a breakaway the other night and he made a couple of other nice plays, a back door to (defenceman Chris) Campoli. Last night a guy scores on his setups.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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