Philly would take a flyer until Monday

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

Senators defenceman Chris Phillips has never been accused of being selfish.

For once, he wouldn't mind.

If Phillips had his way, the Senators would wait until Monday to start their second-round playoff series.

Phillips, who missed last Saturday's Game 5 and series-clinching victory over the Lightning with a suspected knee injury, will try skating today.

"It's feeling better, but I'm going to have to see how it is after I get back on skates. If everything is okay, I should be able to get out there," said Phillips, who limped off the ice at the end of the second period in Game 4. "For selfish reasons, I'm kind of hoping we don't start until Monday because that would give me more time (to recover)."

Should the Senators start their Eastern Conference semi-final Friday, Phillips might be doubtful.

Phillips admitted yesterday that if the Lightning series had been extended to a Game 6, he would have faced a difficult decision.

Right now, he needs whatever rest he can get.

"I'm hoping I'll be okay to play," said Phillips.

Phillips also fessed up that it was difficult to watch the club's 3-2 victory over the Bolts from the stands.

"I don't know how the fans do it," said Phillips. "It was killing me to watch that game, especially in the third period. I could hardly sit still when I was watching it.

"I was in the (training room) with (Vaclav) Varada watching the last few minutes and I've got to admit that it was tough. I obviously hope that I'm not going to have to do that for much longer."

Varada, who left Game 5 against Tampa with an upper-body injury, was on the ice yesterday at Scotiabank Place but left practice early. Defenceman Brian Pothier and centre Chris Kelly didn't skate. All three are expected to be ready for the start of Round 2.

GOODBYE STEVIE Y?: When Senators coach Bryan Murray was coach and GM of the Red Wings, he got to know Steve Yzerman well. Murray said yesterday it would be tough for the fans in Detroit if Yzerman, 40, decides to retire after the club's first-round loss to the Oilers. "If Steve Yzerman retires (it) would be a big blow to the organization," said Murray. "This is a guy who made himself a complete player. He wasn't always the type of player he became. When he first got there, Steve Yzerman was an offensive guy who scored a lot of goals. But he changed his game so he could be strong at both ends of the ice." Murray said when he's trying to relate stories about how a player developed during his career, he likes to refer to Yzerman. "When I'm talking to a guy like Jason Spezza, I often point to the example of Steve Yzerman and how he developed his career," said Murray.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Senators G Dominik Hasek (adductor muscle) took part in 30 minutes of the on-ice session yesterday. He did go down to the ice once and was moving around better. Hasek has already indicated he won't be ready for Round 2 ... C Joe Nieuwendyk, who has a year remaining on his contract with the Panthers is expected to retire.


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