by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators centreman Mike Fisher has always been a player on whom head coach Bryan Murray could rely to provide a solid effort at both ends of the ice. This pre-season, the Peterborough, Ont., native is giving Murray even more support than usual in the offensive end of the ice.
After a four-point game in a 5-3 victory over rival Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre last night, Fisher sits second in NHL pre-season scoring with eight points. Last night the seven-year veteran gelled well on a line with captain Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Schaefer.
"It's exciting for me and a great opportunity," Fisher said of playing with the pair. "As a player you want to play with top guys, but at the same time we have four lines here that can really play. You always want to improve, and I want to be in more offensive situations, but I don't want to change my game too much."
Fisher says both of his wingers from last night complement his game.
"(Alfredsson) has the puck a lot, and you just try to get open for him. He's great at creating out there. Schaef is easy to play with as well. He makes some great plays, too."
Alfredsson enjoys observing Fisher's energy level.
"You know what you're going to get from him. Everyday the guy gives 100 per cent, whether it's in practice or in games. He gives everything he has all the time. He's a key guy for us."
Murray says the trio could cause fits to opposing defencemen.
"With the good speed that they have, they could be a good checking line for us because of their ability to get in on the defence and forecheck. There's a real possibility (the line could stick together). I hope it works out."
Remembering world junior championship
Senators defenceman Wade Redden had the opportunity to win two gold medals at the 1995 and 1996 world junior hockey championships. He'll never forget those experiences.
"The first one was close to home for me in Red Deer, Alta. It was exciting to see how the people gave unbelievable support and it was great to have all my family there."
Redden knows hockey fans in Ottawa will enjoy the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, which takes place at Scotiabank Place and Ottawa Civic Centre.
"It's going to be a big event. It's such an exciting tournament. For the kids at that age, every game is like the gold-medal game. It's so exciting, and everyone takes pride in putting on that jersey. The fans really get behind that."
Season-ticket holders of the Ottawa Senators and Ottawa 67s have until Oct. 1, 2006, to reserve their ticket packages for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. Click here for ticket prices and other information.