It's been two years since Mike Fisher last played a playoff game and he's more than a little anxious to return to the postseason.
Fisher and the Ottawa Senators will take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs.
"We know they're the defending champions and they're a great team and a lot of people are picking them," said Fisher. But we're not going to worry about that. We know we are a great team. If we bring our best we feel we can beat this team."
The two teams split the season series this year and as the fourth seed the Penguins will have home-ice advantage, however the Senators don't see it as a downside.
"We know they are the team to beat," head coach Cory Clouston said. "We know that and we know that the oddsmakers I'm sure have them in favour, but we have to have a belief in ourselves and that's how we're looking at it whether they are the defending Stanley Cup champions or not. We knew eventually we were probably going to have to go through them and it happens to be in the first round. Like I said we're excited."
One of the biggest challenges will be containing Pittsburgh's offensive fire power. Shutting down the tandem of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will be key for Ottawa.
"We have had success in the past of shutting him (Crosby) down," said Fisher. "We need to try and contain him a little bit anyways and we just have to make sure we're not giving him time and space and that we're on him as much as we can."
Fisher is talking with a renewed sense of excitement and who can blame him considering he missed the last series against the Penguins due to injury.
"I haven't played since the finals because I was hurt the year before so it's been a while since I have been in the playoffs," Fisher said. "So I'm really excited. Practice today you could tell playoffs are in a couple of days. The way we have played we've shown signs of a great team and we are going to take that confidence into the playoffs."