Whether the Ottawa Senators are able to rebound and defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins and advance to the Eastern Conference finals or not, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says the organization has taken tremendous strides this season.
The irony, of course, is that the club’s litany of injuries is the reason why there is so much confidence about the future.
Without star players going down, Senators fans may never have seen the likes of Andre Benoit, Eric Gryba, Mika Zibanejad or Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Now those four – and others – would appear to be a part of the 2013-14 squad.
“We have learned a lot from what we have gone through this year,” Alfredsson said following Sunday’s morning skate, in advance of Game 3 Sunday.
“Going forward, we have much more depth. I think the coaches have confidence in that depth. (Some) guys are not going to have spots that maybe had spots this year, for whatever reason.
The (coaches) also know that (the new players) have played well enough, that if anything happens, they’re going to be called up right away. The coaches believe in them and what they can bring to the table and you can never have too much depth in today’s game.”
FINALLY, SWEDE SUCCESS FOR SEDINS: After Henrik and Daniel Sedin were widely criticized for their role in Vancouver’s four-game sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks in the opening round, it didn’t take them long to dust themselves off and re-emerge.
Sweden is playing Switzerland in the world championship gold medal game in Stockholm.
“It’s awesome,” Alfredsson said before Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. “On home ice. It hadn’t been a great tournament up until the quarter final. They got a huge boost by the Sedins coming in and guiding the team to the last two wins against Canada and Finland. Swedish people haven’t seen too much about the Sedins lately and they’re getting a good treat right now, because they’re tearing it up right now.”
Alfredsson performed some deft stickhandling when asked by Citizen columnist if the Swedish people would see him in the Sochi Olympics.
“I don’t know in what capacity, but they might,” said Alfredsson, once again refusing to broach the “will he or won’t he retire” question.