Scoring drought hits Alfie hard

DON BRENNAN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson has never run so cold.

The Senators captain had his goal-less stretch extended to 12 games Monday night -- the longest of his 15-year career.

“How long is it?” he asked when the funk was brought up. “Twelve games? I didn’t know how many games, but obviously I know I haven’t scored in a while. I’ve had a few chances here and there, but I feel I can do a better job of creating more chances and better chances.

“Especially for us now, when we have some guys out. I’m one of the guys who has to produce and get some goals.”

Alfredsson had three of Ottawa’s 29 shots vs. the Bruins, and was robbed by Tim Thomas eight minutes into the first when he redirected a feed from Jesse Winchester.

As the best evaluator of his own performance, Alfredsson was asked if he’s satisfied with his overall game of late.

“There’s not too many nights I’m totally happy,” he said. “But away from the puck, I’m pretty happy ... But offensively, there’s more to be had, no question.”

With 31 points, he’s still the Senators’ leading scorer. That should tell you there’s more to it than just the Tim Thomas mystique for Ottawa getting blanked by a division rival.

Starts and stops

Another squeaky-clean performance by a team playing the Senators. Ottawa went without a power play for the third game this season. That, folks, is unbelievable ... Watching and evaluating Mike Fisher and Patrice Bergeron from afar, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman would have likely been unimpressed with Bergeron’s cough-up that left Jarkko Ruutu all alone in front of Thomas with a great short-handed chance, but would have to take the B’s centre over Fisher if his decision was based on this game ... Thomas is at a loss for words when explaining his dominance of the Senators, whom he beat for the 10th consecutive game. “I don’t think there is a reason,” he said. “Or if there is a reason, I can’t tell you what it is.” ... A first-period drilling into the end boards by Zdeno Chara was the hardest Alex Kovalev has been hit all season. Might have had something to do with him turning sour enough to start swinging with former teammate Steve Begin in the third ... Shean Donovan is now expected to be back in 7-10 days. The secret to his quick rebab from a knee injury once feared to be season-ending? “I’ve been going hard on the outdoor rink,” joked Donovan. Maybe not, but the injury has given him time to have his backyard ODR up and running already.

Things I think I think

That the Senators did not give a videoboard acknowledgement to Fisher and Carrie Underwood for their engagement is disgraceful. The fans would have welcomed the opportunity to say congratulations ... Bergeron’s goal was the result of weak defensive zone play by Josh Hennessy and Erik Karlsson ... During the second intermission, a little girl attending her first NHL game was asked by in-house hostess Kimberly the best part of the night. “Singing O Canada,” she said. From the mouths of babes ... The B’s remain a good draw. The 19,865 in attendance marked the Senators’ fourth sellout of the season ... Chris Neil is sporting a neatly trimmed red beard these days. “I told my wife I wasn’t going to shave until I get back,” said the winger, who has missed the last 15 games with a knee injury. The razor could come out today, as Neil expects to be back in the lineup tomorrow in Pittsburgh or Boxing Day in Buffalo ... Filip Kuba must have picked up some nice bruises in the second period, as he was twice hit by hard Chara point shots.

Between periods

Ruutu tied last season’s goal total when he scored his seventh (and second in two games) against Minnesota last Saturday. His next target? “I’d say the next goal is my target,” Ruutu said. “It’s a boring answer, but that’s the way it is.” ... Ruutu’s next stall neighbour, on the engagement of Fisher and Underwood. “It’s good news,” said Chris Kelly. “Obviously it’s a happy day for both of them. I wish them all the luck.” The sharp-witted Kelly was asked if he had anything funny to add. “No, it’s a cherished thing,” he said. “Spending the rest of your life with someone is not a joking matter.” Tell me about it ... Thomas is preparing to play in the annual winter classic — this one a Fenway Park showdown between the B’s and Flyers on Jan. 1. “I haven’t talked to other goalies (but) I asked (Chicago’s) Patrick Kane about it, and his basic advice was don’t overdress,” Thomas said. “You think it’s going to be freezing cold, but once you get playing it’s just going to be normal. Having said that, he’s not a goalie who’s standing there. Forwards, I think they even have heaters on the bench. There will be no heaters in my net.”

Just sayin'

When Senators fans boo Chara they’re probably really booing the decision makers (hello John Muckler) who opted to show Wade Redden the money when both players were free agents. Redden was back in the Rangers lineup last night after being a healthy scratch the last two games ... Chris Campoli is anxious for the arrival of Christmas. “I’m looking forward to seeing my family,” said the Mississauga native. “It’s my favourite time of year.” Humbug.

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don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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