Rambler's Top100

12 2007 . 
Theres no masking Volchenkovs toughness. // Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov sports a helmet cage at practice today after breaking his nose on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

by Todd Anderson

Ottawa Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov is one tough hockey player. Despite having his nose broken after a collision with a Toronto player in the first period on Saturday and going through the necessary medical procedure that followed yesterday Volchenkov was back on the ice today at practice sporting a helmet cage. It appears hell be in the lineup tomorrow, too, when the Senators visit the New York Rangers.

I think hes going to play, Senators head coach Bryan Murray said after practice today. Hes ready. He had a headache (after the collision on Saturday). There was quite a hit to the nose and it went straight back I guess. He had to have some work done yesterday by the doctors to get one of the air passages fixed up so he could breath a little bit (better).

Volchenkov said hell wear the protective mask for two weeks but doesnt expect to struggle with it because he wore one while playing hockey in Russia before coming to North America to play with the Senators in 2002.

If youre not used to it, I think its a little different, Murray said of the mask. Hell adjust fairly quickly I would assume. Guys play in college with them all the time, so I imagine he can handle that.

Murray says losing Volchenkov was a key reason for Saturdays 4-3 loss to Toronto.

Anton was a big loss for us on Saturday night. He was a huge loss. (The Leafs) got their forecheck on us, and we didnt have the matchup quite the same way.

Volchenkov not only leads the NHL with 237 blocked shots, he is also 13th with 175 hits. Paired with Chris Phillips, the duo is regularly called upon to shut down the top offensive stars in the NHL.

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