by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators will have some extra motivation tomorrow afternoon when they host the Montreal Canadiens during Hockey Day in Canada. The game kicks off a series of three NHL matches all featuring Canadian teams.
"Definitely, it's a special day," said Senators centre Chris Kelly, a Toronto native. "From coast to coast there will be three games with Canadian teams featured back-to-back for people to look forward to."
Edmonton native Mike Comrie, who arrived with the Senators via a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 3, says tomorrow will also be a special day for him.
"It's always a lot of fun to play in Canada, the people are so knowledgeable here," Comrie said. "It'll be a great day to reflect on how much the game means to us."
As part of tomorrow's pre-game ceremonies, the Senators will honour local minor hockey volunteers, including Metcalfe Jets bantam B coach Bev Crepin, Gatineau Aigles atom BB coach Stéphane Girard and the West End novice A Blackhawks, who skated with the Sens after practice today.
Heatley excited about possible all-star selection
Senators forward Dany Heatley, who's fifth in NHL scoring with 58 points, says he would be proud to be selected as an NHL all-star when the rosters are announced tomorrow.
"Any time you get chosen for that, it's great," Heatley said. "I've been there once before. It's a fun weekend. It would be an honour to go."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray strongly supports having Heatley included in the game.
"The way he's playing, I can't imagine there's very many forwards doing more than him," Murray said. "If you're looking at the last 10-20 games, and even before that, Dany has been a prime player for us, and he's only getting better."
Murray also thinks Senators goaltender Ray Emery deserves some consideration as one of the Eastern Conference's three goaltenders.
"(New Jersey Devils goaltender) Martin Brodeur is obviously the odds-on favourite," Murray said. "I think behind him there's two or three goaltenders that really deserve to be considered and Ray is in that category."
Fans voted in Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller as the starter for the Eastern Conference.