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GOTS: Fishing for the Cup

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GOTS - GGroove on the Sens


Greg Gallagher

Sens Central Fan Moderator

When the Nashville Predators acquired popular Senators forward Mike Fisher on Feb. 10, they knew what they were getting – a gritty, two-way forward whose style of play was particularly suited for the playoffs.

However, the Music City probably did not expect to be singing the praises of Fisher quite to the tune of five points in three playoff games. The Predators currently lead the favoured Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in their Western Conference opening-round series, and Fisher has been the best player.

Not only has he shown up big time on the scoresheet, he even got into a scrap with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, a player Fisher saw a lot of when his Senators faced Getzlaf and the Ducks in a very physical 2007 Stanley Cup Final.

This all-around game is something that Predators general manager David Poile knew his team needed if it had designs on playing into April, months after Matthew Lombardi, who plays a similar style, went down to injury.

“There is not a chance we would have made the playoffs without him,” said Hoile, whose team competed hard for a spot in the tight playoff race in the west. “He has playoff experience, and he’s one of those guys who can take his game to another level in the playoffs,” added Poile.

Though he may be tough as they come, he did make country-music superstar wife Carrie Underwood a little nervous in this video of the fight with Getzlaf.

CAPITAL CONNECTIONS: Other recent former Senators playing prominent roles on other teams in the postseason include Chris Kelly, acquired by the Boston Bruins in February. His playoff experience helped right the teetering Boston ship as it captured Game 3 in Montreal after dropping the first two at home. Former Sens D Zdeno Chara played after missing Game 2 with dehydration.

Ray Emery, who backstopped the Sens to the 2007 final, fully rebounded from months of major hip rehabilitation in March and is currently between the pipes for the Ducks as they battle Fisher’s Predators. Joining him on the Ducks is Jarkko Ruutu, who contributed two points and 38 penalty minutes since joining the team in a Feb. 17 trade from Ottawa. He has also appeared in one playoff game.

Finally, Alex Kovalev contributed a goal in Game 1 of his Penguins’ matchup with the Lightning, while Chris Campoli, Marian Hossa and the Blackhawks face elimination in Game 4 of their series vs. Vancouver on Tuesday night.

TRADING SPACES: Toward the end of both Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series vs. Montreal, a CBC camera captured the requisite reaction shot of Boston Bruins president Cam Neely and general manager (and former Sens assistant GM) Peter Chiarelli in the press box right after a Montreal empty-net goal did their team in. We all know players are often superstitious, but perhaps Neely and Chiarelli were trying to add some front-office karma by switching spots after the Game 1 loss. It didn’t work out for Game 2, but the Bruins did steal the third game in Montreal.

I WILL FOLLOW: Eric Macramalla is an Ottawa lawyer who makes regular appearances as a sports legal expert on Team 1200’s The Sports Ticket, hosted by Matt Kauniisvita and A.J. Jakubec, as well as other Team stations. During Saturday’s show, the subject of Twitter came up. After gently scolding Jakubec for still not having a Twitter account, Macramalla laid out a challenge to Ottawa radio listeners: to even the score with local fitness guru Tony Greco by way of who can get more followers. Greco, who hosts his own Team 1200 show, Grecosize, on Saturday mornings, currently has 612 followers to Macramalla’s 584. Become a follower to help Macramalla not only catch up, but also keep caught up in the world of sports law with his insightful tweets. Those and his blog are must-reads, especially now with the NFL currently mired in a lockout with its players, the Barry Bonds perjury case in the news, and the NBA potentially headed for labour unrest this July.

FORUM UPDATE: Be part of the conversation right here on Sens Central during the playoffs. Current topics of discussion include the playoff matchups, who the next Sens coach will be, and Ryan Shannon as the team’s Masterton Trophy nominee. We recently gave away five pairs of tickets in two contests exclusive to SC members, and plan on doing more of the same next year. Stay on board, sign up if you haven’t already, and you could be rewarded!

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