|Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray will look for a total team effort to make up for the recent losses of centres Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators will be without two of their top centres for an indefinite period of time.
While Jason Spezza, who injured his knee on Dec. 21 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, was working out this morning with strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee, Mike Fisher was speaking with the media shortly afterwards about the knee injury he suffered last night during a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders.
"(It happened) late in the third period. I took the body and hit the boards," Fisher said. "It's pretty sore and swollen today. It's an injury you can't control. A lot of these injuries look harmless but something goes out. I've just got to worry about getting back and having a good attitude. I've got to do my best at getting back as soon as possible. Hopefully, it's not too long."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray will now give other players opportunities to help the club get through the injuries.
"(Chris) Kelly is with the top line and (Dean) McAmmond will be put into a regular rotation. These guys have a chance. When you lose Spezza and Fish, these are quality guys and they're hard to come by. Now everybody has to do their job. If mistakes are made, they're going to be magnified."
Murray says certain areas of the game will be of high importance now.
"We know we're not going to be as productive scoring goals, so we're going to have to be productive in playing defence, working hard and keeping the (opponent's) shots from the perimeter. The biggest part will not be turning the puck over."
Dressed for success
Hockey Country has come up big for a visiting minor peewee A hockey team from Russia that is competing in the Bell Capital Cup.
When the Moscow North Stars arrived in Toronto they realized their hockey equipment was left behind on the tarmac in Europe. The team will play hockey this afternoon, however, thanks to more than $6,000 in monetary and equipment donations from Ottawa-area businesses.
Among the businesses responsible for getting the club back on the ice are the Ottawa Senators, Bell Canada, Rogers Television, Play It Again Sports, M&M Fournel's Corp. Ltd. (Rock Fournel) and Gowling Lafleur and Henderson L.L.P.
"This goes to show the warmth of the city, the tournament and the people who have come together," said Bell Capital Cup general manager Aaron Robinson. "It's another demonstration of why we have been able to grow in eight short years and set a Guinness World Record with 510 teams playing this year."
World junior report
The Ottawa Senators have four prospects competing at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championships. Defencemen Brian Lee, Tomas Kudelka and Vitali Anikeyenko are representing the United States, Czech Republic and Russia, respectively. Centre Ilya Zubov is one of Anikeyenko's teammates on Team Russia.
Click here to visit the tournament's official website.