A salute to Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson acknowledges the crowd after the NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa,...

Daniel Alfredsson acknowledges the crowd after the NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont., Jan. 29, 2012. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 PM ET

OTTAWA - The only thing missing from Daniel Alfredsson’s magical Sunday at Scotiabank Place was a third goal.

Twice, the Senators captain brought the crowd to its feet and had the 20,510 that jammed the building chanting “Alfie, Alfie, Alfie” after scoring goals in the NHL all-star game in what can only be described as an emotional afternoon.

Team Alfredsson fell 12-9 to Team Chara, but the final score didn’t matter. The fans got what they wanted to see, the Senators captain score twice and the chance to give him a proper salute.

“From a selfish point of view, it’s going to rank really high. It’s just a whole ego weekend, pretty much,’’ said a laughing Alfredsson. “But it’s been great to share this with Jason (Spezza), (Milan Michalek) and Erik (Karlsson), too.

“The way this year has developed for us has been really good … there’s been a lot of positives. Personally, I feel healthy, I’m having fun on the ice again. And then to have a weekend like this is surreal. You can never dream of anything like this.

“You don’t really know how to embrace it, really. I don’t think until (Sunday) when the kids go to bed, you can kind of sit and relax, I’m sure I’ll be dead tired, but take it all in and realize this is something that not everybody gets to experience.

“I don’t know if I deserve it or not, but it’s definitely humbling.”

Alfredsson had his chances to complete the hat trick. He had two good shots at Boston goalie Tim Thomas in the third and hit a post.

He joked: “I wasn’t trying to score in the third,” but everybody knew Alfredsson wanted that third goal.

Even referee Tim Peel, who has taken his knocks for a bad call against Ottawa last week in Anaheim, realized the value of the moment and delayed dropping the puck so Alfredsson could hear the cheers of the fans and acknowledge them.

The rest of the all-stars wanted to salute him as well.

“Hockey is a very respectful game and guys really respect what he has done in his career,” said Spezza. “This was an amazing weekend to be a part of and amazing to see the accolades for what he’s done in the past.

“As a teammate, we appreciate him and we understand what he has done in our locker room, but for him to be on the national stage and for people to give him the recognition he deserves is something we really enjoyed seeing.”

Alfredsson scored twice in a span of 1:30 and even gave his team a brief 6-5 lead over Team Chara. He has scored 400 goals, played more than 1,100 games with the same team and had the goal that sent Ottawa to the Stanley Cup final in 2007.

But Alfredsson isn’t sure where this will stand in the highlights of his career. Not yet.

“I’m still living it. It’s kind of hard to place it,” he said. “It’s almost like I’m walking on Cloud 9. I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t know if this is an accomplishment as much as it’s been a celebration of what I’ve done before.

“I’m really thankful for that. Scoring the 400th goal a month ago at home is more of a special feeling, it decided the game and we won the game at home. I had a lot of family and friends here. That rush that happens that second is unbelievable. This has been more: Everybody thinks I’m great (smiling). It’s been almost overwhelming, to be honest.”

It was overwhelming for those who witnessed it as well.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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