Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daniel Alfredsson - My Kind of Captain!

Ottawa's Stuntman Stu is thinking of running for mayor in the nation's capital but judging from the recent Senators games, he may face some stiff competition from Daniel Alfredsson. No, the Senators Captain has not decided to run for mayor too, but if he did, all the candidates would be in trouble.

After missing 11 games due to a separated shoulder, Alfredsson returned to the line up weeks ahead of schedule and helped rally the Sens past the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins on the weekend. Losers of five games in a row, the Senators won a 2-0 game over the New York Rangers on the strength of Mike Brodeur's play to start their current three game winning streak, but it was Alfredsson's return that has really sparked the club.

Against Montreal, Alfredsson set up Zack Smith for his first NHL goal, shorthanded against the league's number one power play and added a goal of his own and another assist in the 4-2 win. Against Boston Monday afternoon, the Senators Captain scored the natural hat trick, lifting the Sens to a 5-1 victory and bringing the two teams into a tie in the standings with 54 points each. Proving once again, he is the heart and soul of the Senators and the importance of having a Captain on your team - I'm looking at you Montreal and Toronto.

A native of Gothenburg Sweden, the 37-year-old Alfredsson was a sixth round pick (133 overall) by the Senators in the 1994 entry draft. After honing his skills playing for Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, Alfredsson came to North America in the 1995-96 season. In his rookie year, he demonstrated his talents and versatility, picking up 61 points while playing in all 82 games and earning the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year in the NHL.

This season, barring another injury, Alfredsson will play his 1,000th game in the NHL. In 971 career games, he has 368 goals, including 112 goals on the power play and he has added 590 assists for 958 career points. Incredible numbers for a sixth round pick. Besides his impressive offensive numbers, Alfredsson is always on the ice for important penalty kills and as Captain, he is the face of the franchise. Whether it is dealing with the media during losing streaks or discussing uncomfortable situations, like Dany Heatley’s trade request during the summer, he has never avoided his role as leader of the Senators.

With a gold medal on his resume from the 2008 Olympics Games, Alfredsson still has one main goal - to bring a Stanley Cup to Ottawa. The Senators will have to battle through a tough Eastern Conference if they hope to qualify for the playoffs this season, but if one man in the NHL can carry his team on his shoulders, it is the man known in Ottawa as Alfie. Have a great sports day everyone.

Photo from Senators.com

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