|Fisher charging the net in the Senators home season-opener against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 8. (Freestyle Photographer/OSHC) |
Fisher returning to form
Senators head coach Bryan Murray has noticed a spike in the performance from Mike Fisher of late.
After some line juggling from the coach, the six-year veteran is fitting in well on a line with Bryan Smolinski and Chris Neil.
"I like him on the wing," Murray said of Fisher.
"He's a very determined guy. He tries to beat defencemen on the outside and he takes the puck to the net well. It's hard for goalies to stay in there because he's not scared to drive the net."
Typically, the third line on a hockey club is employed as a checking unit. Murray is hesitant to describe Fisher's, or any of his lines for that matter, as having that role, however.
"I have told all the guys I just want them to play as best as they can against any line they go up against."
After an impressive training camp, Murray was ready for a big year out of Fisher. Things didn't start off according to plan in the regular season, though.
"Why did he have his slump, I wish I could tell you," Murray said.
"Nothing was happening for him."
Making things worse was the fact Fisher missed four games due to a shoulder injury in October.
"Maybe the time away helped him regain some of the confidence he showed in training camp," Murray said.
"He's back to where he was. His speed and drive to the net will pay dividends for him."