Daniel Alfredsson’s return to Ottawa was a good one. As expected the Senators paid tribute to their longtime captain and he was given a standing ovation from a packed Canadian Tire Centre (Watch Video HERE). Alfie played 16:33 and assisted on the games opening goal 8:22 into the second period. He capped the night off by scoring an empty netter as the Red Wings won 4-2. He was awarded the games Third Star finishing the night with a goal, assist, a plus-2 rating and two shots on goal. All-in-all it was a great night for Alfredsson and the Wings, who have now won four straight and sit second in the Atlantic Division at 14-7-7, just three points behind the Bruins for the division lead.
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After spending 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, former captain Daniel Alfredsson will make his return to Ottawa this afternoon as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
Alfie played in his 1,200th career regular season game on Friday, but number 1,201 will likely be more memorable. The 41-year-old signed a one-year, $5.5 million dollar deal with the Red Wings this offseason, and has enjoyed a strong start to season. After a sub-par 2012-13 where he scored 10 goals and added 16 assists (26 points) in 47 games, he has recorded 19 points (6G / 13A) in 22 games in Detroit.
Following practice on Saturday, Alfreddson was mobbed by reporters where he he shared how he feels about being back in Ottawa.
“I’m anxious to play the game,” Alfredsson said. “What happens is going to happen. It’s a very different situation from anything I’ve ever gone through before so I don’t know what to expect or what’s going to happen, but hopefully it will be a good night.”
The main question has been what kind of reception will he receive? He played a franchise leading 1,778 regular season games and the Senators will honour him pre-game, but he left for what he felt was a better chance to win a Stanley Cup. So will he be booed? Will they cheer? Only time will tell, but I expect it to be mostly cheers.
“There’s always emotion when there’s change and change in pro sports is sometimes inevitable and sometimes it isn’t,” said Senators new captain Jason Spezza. “I think it’s important that they recognize him for what he’s done and not just for him leaving. I think it’s a good move by the team to recognize him. I think it’s the right thing to do and something he deserves.”
Alfredsson said that he is anxious for the game and why wouldn’t he be? He has 1,127 career points and a ton of them have come in that building. After the so-so 2012-13, Alfie has become a legitimate fantasy option again this season and he should absolutely be activated for this afternoon’s game. Since returning from a groin injury he has three goals and two assists in three games on a line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. He will continue to see top-6 minutes and tons of power-play minutes on a highly-talented Red Wings team. He is on pace for 21 goals and 46 assists (67 points) which is fantastic value for a player who was drafted in the 11th round (136.8 ADP on ESPN) on average.
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Jonas Gustavsson should make for a solid Sunday spot-start. The Red Wings dominated the Senators last Saturday, but Robin Lehner stood on his head. Should the same Red Wings team show up, “The Monster” should walk away with the W. He is 6-0-1 with a 2.17 GAA and a .927 SV% so if you need Sunday goalie numbers to make a come back he is a great option.