Monday, April 24, 2006

Alfie where art thou?

Yes, there are some easy things to point out about yesterday's loss. Volchenkov made a beautiful feed to Prospal who in turn set up the midget's first goal and yes Chara looked like a member of the Canadian women's figure skating team being on his rear when Richard's scored his nice goal.

But in my opinion, the biggest reason this series is now tied is that Alfredsson has not been the player Ottawa needs him to be. He has been losing one on one battles. He had 0 shots on net. He had 1 hit and one takeaway according to the stats and had one giveaway and was called for hooking Sydor in the offensive zone. These are not Alfredsson numbers for 22 shifts.

And quoting from Don Brennan's column (he can't mess up simple stats can he?):
Often is the case that, as Alfredsson goes, so goes the Senators.
The opposite is also true.
Alfredsson had no shots on goal all night -- or 14 less than Daniel Briere had for the Sabres on Saturday night vs. Philly -- only the fifth time that has happened all season.
The Senators have now lost four of those five games.
I said in my post on Saturday that he needed to be moved to a different line if his production from Friday continued. Murray finally made some adjustments in the third but it was too late - perhaps more from necessity when Kelly went down.

I hope they start Tuesday's game with Alfredsson lining up beside Heatley and Spezza (who combined for only 3 shots themselves compared to Richards and Lecavalier's 10 shots).

So, while I could probably have gone with the 'your best players have to be your best players' line, it's Alfredsson who has been the catalyst all year. He needs to be that guy on Tuesday.

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