|Ottawa Senators forward Mike Fisher is all smiles following practice yesterday at Scotiabank Place, when he learned he is a finalist for the Selke Trophy -- awarded to the most outstanding defensive forward. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)
The Buffalo Sabres as underdogs in their series against the Senators? Bryan Murray doesn't believe the hype.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff may be trying to steal a page from the same coaching book as Tampa's John Tortorella, but the Senators are paying no attention.
"Lindy is a con man. He just says this stuff to get you guys talking about it," said Murray.
"They want to call us the favourites, they can call us the favourites," said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "We don't mind. We are the favourites.
"We finished in first place (in the Eastern Conference) and if they want to call themselves the underdog that's fine. It doesn't really matter what anybody says once you get into a playoff series.
"We know they're a good team, they've got lots of talent and we respect them."
JUST LIKE TORTS
"This is just (Ruff) trying to do what Tortorella tried to do. We're going to approach this series the same way as the last one," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson following a light workout yesterday.
"They can talk about this team having pressure and that team having pressure all they want. The pressure is going to switch through the series. That's the way the playoffs are."
The Senators have more firepower up front, but the Sabres have some offensive weapons of their own -- led by Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Tim Connolly.
No disrespect intended, but Murray isn't going to bother matching lines against the Sabres. He might use Zdeno Chara in certain situations, but won't get bogged down with that approach.
"I'll leave that to Lindy," said Murray. "I'm sure he's going to do enough line matching for the both of us."
If rookie goalie Ray Emery, coming off his first series win, was feeling any heat, he wasn't showing it.
"We're excited to get back to playing," said Emery, who has a 2.62 GAA in the playoffs. "It's fun. We're in the next round of the playoffs and this is going to be a good challenge for me to get to the next level. I've been in the playoffs before (at other levels) and you want to just keep winning. You want to keep having success."