Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winchester guns down Gill while finding his game

Anyone else notice a newfound physical aspect to Jesse Winchester's game recently? Not just because he had his first two fights of his NHL career three games ago, or because he's now inflicted a 2-4-week shoulder injury on Penguins' Hal Gill two games ago. Just in general, though, Winch has been a lot harder on the forecheck and has probably been the Sens' most consistent bodycheck-finisher over the last five games or so. In that span, he's hovered around the 10-11 minute mark, has a combined eight shots on goal, 12 penalty minutes, and a whooping 17 hits. He may only have one assist and be -1 over that span, but at least he's bringing something to the table.

Coming into the season, high expectations had Winchester pencilled in to one of our top two lines. Although he's still got plenty of time to get used to the NHL pace, it's nice to see him play with an edge and perhaps establish a different-then-expected but still effective role for himself. With his ability to set a player up, there might be an opening on Mike Fisher's wing coming up soon, and Winchester could fit in well.
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