Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/2/13
Not once but twice Chris Phillips sends Kyle Turris crashing to the ice during one-on-one practice battles. These are net-drive drills with the forwards demanding space in the crease and the defencemen yielding none. Now Turris is no slouch as a player. As the Senators No. 2 centre Turris and his new linemates Clarke MacArthur and Cory Conacher could cash in big time if top centre Jason Spezza can stay healthy and occupy rival checkers. But Turris is not the biggest guy sub-200 pounds and he knows when he’s licked smiling as he rises to his feet the second time Phillips knocks him down. “He’s so strong he’s got that old man strength” Turris says in the dressing room afterwards. “He has so much experience he doesn’t get out of position very often” Turris adds. “To go up against him is a good challenge it helps prepare me for the games.” It’s been 16 years since Phillips arrived from Lethbridge Alberta to play his first full season with the Senators as a fresh-faced 19-year-old the Senators first overall pick from the 1996 draft. The wavy dark hair we saw on draft day 1996 is a little thinner today the cherubic face more mature but the Big Rig still stands tall and true on the Senators blueline even as the highly touted youth pass him on the depth chart. These days when the top four Ottawa defencemen are listed on charts or twitter feeds it’s like Kids’ Day at the Fair. Marc Methot the elder is 28. His partner Erik Karlsson 23 already has a Norris Trophy. Jared Cowen is 22. Patrick Wiercioch 22. Phillips the longest-serving active Senator with Daniel Alfredsson gone is 35. Only second-time-around Joe Corvo at 36 is older Phillips partner at the moment in the third pairing. Eric Gryba another youngster with promise is 25. No one talks much any more about Phillips as the “shutdown guy” a role he relished when he played alongside Anton Volchenkov all those years and yet when I ask head coach Paul MacLean point blank if Phillips remains the best pure defender on the blue line MacLean doesn’t hesitate. “At this point in time yeah.” So as the focus shifts to Karlsson Methot and the new Cowen-Wiercioch tandem does Phillips feel like a bit of a forgotten man? He laughs out loud at the question. “You know? What do you do – go out and play the game” Phillips says. “I look at what my role has been the last couple of years; often when we have injuries playing with a guy who’s been called up to fill in and whatever. Help guys out. That’s my role.” Meet the Big Rig aka the main mentor on the back end. With Sergei Gonchar gone Phillips has even more on his plate as far as guiding young defencemen. “I accept it and I’m going to do the best job I can” he says. “I’m past that point of worrying about what number I am how much ice time I’m going to get and all that stuff.”
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yordano Ventura killed in car accident

Falcons benefit from questionable call after turnover

Report: Tomlin, Steelers fined Antonio Brown $10,000

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Championship Sunday

Luke Walton rips Lakers after 'embarrassing' 49-point loss

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Oregon firing OC David Reaves after DUI arrest

Report: Colts hired psychologists for Pagano-Grigson relationship

Report: Kelly a candidate to replace Shanahan as Falcons OC

Baron Davis blames Russia for Westbrook All-Star snub

Reason Jabari Parker was benched revealed

Sanders, Ware think Romo would be good fit for Broncos

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker