ST. LOUIS — Mike Fisher is frustrated, unhappy with the way he is playing.
Battling an undisclosed injury, the hard-nosed centre is determined to play through the pain as this four-game road trip wraps up Friday against the St. Louis Blues. He wants to get better.
Counted on to contribute offence on a line with captain Daniel Alfredsson and winger Milan Michalek, Fisher said Thursday he isn’t 100% and has no idea when the injury will be healed.
“It’s going to take some time,” he said.
It was decided Fisher could play with the injury, but he’s struggling to get results. He is pointless in the club’s last seven games, is minus-6 and hasn’t been a physical force.
“Sometimes you get your adrenaline and your legs from being physical and being able to forecheck,” said Fisher Thursday. “Right now, I’m not able to do that.
“It’s kind of frustrating because that’s my game. For me to be effective, it’s getting into the traffic areas. It’s not a perimeter game and that’s kind of what I feel like I have to be right now. I’ve still got to think the game well, be smart and use my legs. I can contribute that way. I can play better than I have.”
It was pointed out to Fisher that he’s not a perimeter player. This is a guy who is at his best when he’s able to go to the net, create traffic in front and win physical battles for pucks along the boards.
“When I’m playing well and skating well, those are things I have to do,” said Fisher. “I have to be physical and play good in all areas. That’s how I’m successful. I’m not skilled enough, that’s for sure.”
GM Bryan Murray said the Senators need production from Fisher’s trio if Ottawa is going to have the kind of success everybody expects.
Michalek has only three points in the last 10 games.
“We need that line to be a real top line for us and competitive every night,” said Murray. “With Mike being the middleman as the worker and the playmaker, we really need him to help us to make the next step into where we think we can be.”
Everybody — Fisher included — gets a pass for the club’s last two games — 5-1 and 7-1 losses to Philadelphia Monday and Carolina Wednesday. It hasn’t been easy dealing with the death of the daughter of Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson, Daron, who passed away last weekend.
Senators coach Cory Clouston said there are ways Fisher can contribute more during what’s been a tough stretch.
“Getting pucks in deep, driving the net with or without the puck, shooting the puck more and just playing his game. His game should allow him to have opportunities and he just has to capitalize on them,” said Clouston.
Fisher said taking a game off wouldn’t make much of difference in helping the problem heal. Let’s face it, bringing up Corey Locke or Zack Smith from Binghamton isn’t going to make the Senators better.
“It’s been slow, but playing every other night is not helping,” said Fisher.
“I want to be better physically. I still have to find ways to contribute and be better offensively and suck it up.”