Fisher up for Selke Trophy

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

About the only hardware the Senators are going to get a chance to bring home this spring is the Stanley Cup.

While Senators centre Mike Fisher was nominated as a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, the rest of his teammates were shut out for any other NHL awards.

Though captain Daniel Alfredsson deserved consideration for the Hart Trophy as MVP and Zdeno Chara should have been in the running for the Norris Trophy as the top defenceman, both were passed over.

THRILLED

"I'm surprised with all the talent on this team that we've only got one finalist, but that's okay we'll just try to make names for ourselves by going out and winning the Stanley Cup," said Senators centre Jason Spezza.

For his part, Fisher was thrilled. He's in tough company in his category against Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour and annual favourite Jere Lehtinen of Dallas, but it's nice for Fisher to get a chance.

The winners will be announced June 22 in Vancouver.

"I know what this award (the Selke means) and I know the people who have won it and this is obviously a big honour for me to be considered," said Fisher, nominated for the first time in the category.

RUNNER-UP IN '04

On the Norris front, the news had to be shocking to Chara. He was a runner-up for the trophy in 2004, but wasn't even in the top three in voting done by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Sergei Zubov of Dallas, Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, who is the favourite, are the finalists.

"There's some good defencemen who have had a great year," said Chara. "What can I say? I did my best."

Defence partner Chris Phillips was surprised to hear Chara isn't a finalist.

"I didn't even know he'd been (passed over) until you told me," said Phillips. "I believe he's one of the top defencemen in the league. He plays a lot of minutes against all the best players. I am surprised he's not a finalist."

Alfredsson wasn't upset after learning he isn't a Hart finalist.

"It's just nice to be considered," he said.

Jaromir Jagr of the Rangers, San Jose's Joe Thornton and Miikka Kiprusoff of the Flames are the Hart finalists.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Senators coach Bryan Murray said following a 40-minute workout yesterday at Scotiabank Place that he's not sure whether D Brian Pothier will be in the lineup tonight for Game 1 vs. Buffalo. While LW Vaclav Varada (upper body), C Chris Kelly (lower body) and Phillips (knee) should all be ready to play, Pothier (undisclosed injury) will be a game-time decision. Pothier was on the ice for practice. Phillips, who missed Game 5 against the Lightning, said he was going to see the doctor one more time to make sure he isn't risking further injury by returning to the lineup. "I just want to make sure everything is okay," said Phillips. "It has felt pretty good out there, but it can be different in a game. I just want to get it checked out and make sure everything is okay." If Pothier or Phillips aren't available, then the Senators will insert D Christoph Schubert into the lineup ... Buffalo D Teppo Numminen has played 17 seasons in the NHL and his teams have qualified for the playoffs 10 times, but he's never participated in a second-round series ... The Senators have a lot of respect for the Sabres and they're expecting a tough series. "We know it's not going to be easy. They've got a lot of talent on that team. They're a team that skates well and they've really done well with the new rules," said Fisher ... Senators G Ray Emery and Buffalo G Ryan Miller used to face each while they were with Binghamton and Rochester respectively in the AHL. "I've had some success against him because we played each other about 15 times in the minors, but I don't look at it that way. I don't think it's going to come down to me against (Miller). This is a team game," said Emery.


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