DETROIT – The Ottawa Senators waltz into Detroit and romp to a 6-1 victory over Daniel Alfredsson and company? Who would have guessed?
Certainly none of those involved, from the old captain Alfredsson to the new captain Jason Spezza to Bobby Ryan
HOLLOW FEELING FOR ALFREDSSON
The disappointment was written all over Daniel Alfredsson’s face, moments after his Detroit Red Wings were embarrassed on home ice by the Ottawa Senators.
The highly competitive game he wanted – and expected – against his old team never happened. He had barely blinked at seeing the colours of his old team coming at him and the Red Wings were down 3-0.
“We didn’t get off to the start we would like,” he said. “They make the most of two power plays and us turning the puck over and that really dug us a big hole.”
When the game began, Alfredsson says he didn’t feel all that much differently from any other game.
“It didn’t feel too crazy. Warm-up was what it was and once the game got going, you’re really into it, but it was unfortunate the way the game was, it didn’t turn into a good battle, which I expected.”
SPEZZA VS. DATSYUK, NOT SPEZZA VS. ALFREDSSON
Jason Spezza understands the way the game was built up, a sort of new captain versus old captain scenario, but that’s not the way he looked at it.
His challenge was a number one centre versus number one centre match-up — as in Spezza going head to head against Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk.
“We knew there was more into the game, that more people would probably be watching the game tonight, but you try to separate yourself from the personal. But I can understand where the fans come from. It’s important to them.”
Spezza’s focus was on the guy he lined up against in the faceoff circle most of the night.
“Keep an eye on Pavel Datsyuk,” he said, when asked about his approach. “I had to make sure I was hard on him. He’s one of the best, if not the best, player in the league. It’s a challenge for me. He’s elite. He’s a special player and it’s a lot of work to play against him and if you slip up once or twice, he’s going to get chances.”
RYAN FINALLY TASTES COMPLETE GAME
Bobby Ryan has been waiting, waiting and waiting some more to be part of an all-around display by the Senators and it finally arrived Wednesday.
He did his part, scoring twice, while spoiling the party for Alfredsson and company.
“We finally played a full 60 minute game,” he said. “We had put parts of it together in the past and got away from it, but tonight we didn’t. Even when we got up a few, we kept the pedal down essentially and that’s important.”
Ryan doesn’t like the suggestions that he’s the de facto replacement for Alfredsson, but he knows he can’t do anything about the story lines people choose to take.
“At the end of the day, that’s for you guys (media) more than anybody else in the rink. He’s probably not thinking about it and I certainly try not to, but any time you can get a performance like that for us, as a line, as a team, to get two points against a divisional rival in their building, it’s huge.”
31: Saves by Craig Anderson
5: Saves by Jimmy Howard
17: Saves by Jonas Gustavsson
2: Goals by Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan
25:55: Erik Karlsson ice time
16:12: Daniel Alfredsson ice time