Rested Comrie raring to go

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A one-week break between games at this time of the season is more than fine with Mike Comrie.

Not just because it beats the heck out of the six-month intermission he's used to.

"You always hear players say it takes so much to win in the playoffs ... I was surprised at how physically drained I was after the first round," the Senators' second-line right winger said yesterday.

"It was nice to get the rest, and to be able to refocus for the second round."

In his sixth NHL season, Comrie has never before been fortunate enough to experience this feeling. Both previous times he made it to the NHL playoffs, his Edmonton Oilers lost in six games.

Comrie did more than his part to ensure the same fate wouldn't befall the Senators against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

Not only did he score (two goals, one assist), but Ottawa's smallest player also hit and fought.

Comrie joked that "it feels like I'm back in college, preparing for the week ahead," when asked about the seven days between the end of that series and tonight's game.

But he also believes he hasn't lost the edge or intensity he had against the Penguins.

"At this time of year, you could take a couple of weeks off and still be ready at the drop of a puck," Comrie said. "It's exciting. Every player wants to play in the playoffs, but not every player gets a chance to play for a team that wins a round. It's only one round but we worked hard against Pittsburgh."

Comrie has had some personal success playing the trapping Devils. With six points in six career games, he is one of only two Ottawa players to average at least a point a game against New Jersey. (Insurance defenceman Lawrence Nycholat has two points in two games).

Comrie's eyes shifted back and forth when he remembered the goals he scored on Martin Brodeur.

"They were all end-to-end rushes, then (shots) to the top shelf," he told a couple of reporters. "You guys haven't seen them?"

Returning to reality, Comrie said the plan against Brodeur has to be simple.

"You have to play the percentages and get as many pucks to the net as you can," he said. "(Brodeur) is going to make saves but he's only human. His record might not show it but he is human.

"The biggest thing is worrying about ourselves. We have to respect them, respect Brodeur for the great goaltender that he is, but we have to have confidence in ourselves."

Comrie is not too worried about the extra pressure further down the playoff road. He's not planning on changing his game at all.

"There's just more media," he said of the atmosphere yesterday. "I've scored 30 goals a couple of times ... you might have to finish your checks more in the playoffs, but I don't have to reinvent the wheel here."


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