Fisher goes in right direction, regularly winds up in scoring column

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 11:54pm

It’s not Mike Fisher’s aim that has improved. It’s his sense of direction.

His current seven-game point streak is not the product of passes that find the tape more frequently or shots that are a little more precise. It has to do with where the veteran Nashville Predators center goes when he is on the ice.

“I’ve just tried to be consistent and be in front of the net, get there for rebounds and try to be in the right spots,” Fisher said. “The puck is just kind of finding me right now. I think it’s just [being at] the right place at the right time. Hopefully I can keep going and battling in those areas.”

Following Monday’s victory over Edmonton, in which he had an assist, he is second on the team in goals with nine, one behind Gabriel Bourque, and fourth with 18 points, two behind leader and linemate Martin Erat.

Nearly half of those points (eight) have come during the past seven games. The streak started with a goal March 14 at Vancouver, in the second of a five-game road trip, and has continued with five goals and three assists total.

“I think early Fish wasn’t getting to the net,” coach Barry Trotz said. “He didn’t have that focus. I don’t know if that was the lockout. … He’s made a conscious effort to get to the net, get to the middle of the ice and you’re seeing that he’s getting a lot of opportunities.

“You see him have a lot more confidence with the puck right now. That’s been his focus.”

His current run of consecutive games with at least a point already is one shy of his longest in 2011-12, his first full season with the Predators, and two shy of his career-best set early in 2007-08 with Ottawa.

Those ultimately two of the best offensive seasons of is career, He had 24 goals and 51 points — both the second-highest totals of his career — last season. He finished 2007-08 with 23 goals and 47 points.

In this lockout-shortened 48-game season he will not approach those numbers. All anyone asks is that he keeps going in the same direction.

“I was talking with him on the plane and I said, ‘You started scoring again when on the power play I put you right in front of the net and you got more familiar with the front of the net,’ ” Trotz said. “Even five-on-five, he’s thinking consciously [he has] to get to the net.

“That’s where the goals are.”

• Briefly: Predators officials, including Trotz, were in Toronto on Tuesday to make their pitch to Danny DeKeyser, a junior defenseman out of Western Michigan who — for the second straight year — is a highly sought after free agent. According to reports, all 30 teams inquired about him after last season but he elected to return to school for one more year.

DeKeyser is 6-foot-3, 198 pounds and is considered a quality two-way player with an exceptional first pass. He had two goals and 13 assists this season.

1 Comment on this post:

By: gid on 3/27/13 at 6:23

Go Preds. I care