Alfie scores NHL's weekly honour

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

The good times keep rolling for Daniel Alfredsson.

For the first time in his career, the Senators captain was named the NHL's offensive player of the week yesterday by finishing with seven goals and four assists for 11 points in three games.

"It's a nice honour," said Alfredsson, who was tied with Carolina's Eric Staal for the league scoring lead with 26 points entering last night's action. "You just try to play as well as you can play every night and right now things are going the right way for us. I'm just trying to play as well as I can."

Getting a chance to play with centre Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley has helped Alfredsson, whose week included a four-goal night in a 10-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres last Wednesday. The trio has combined for 75 points through 13 games.

"He's definitely been leading by example," Spezza said of Alfredsson. "I think the way he's playing is going to rub off on everybody else.

"He gets us excited to play and we get him excited to play because we're a couple of younger guys who just want to get the job done."

Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff earned defensive honours following a pair of shutouts.

SPEZZA IN TOUGH: Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky told reporters in Toronto it could be difficult to find a spot for Spezza and Staal at the Winter Olympics in Turin next February. "They are playing exceptionally well," Gretzky said in an interview on Sportsnet.ca. "I always say to people when people are suggesting that a certain player be on the team ... and Spezza and Staal are great examples because they both deserve all the attention and accolades they are getting ... but I always say it is one thing to put a name on the list, but you have to realize I only have four centremen and who do you want to remove there? (Joe) Sakic, (Joe) Thornton and (Vincent) Lecavalier, Mario Lemieux ... where do you go from there?" Spezza said he knows it will be tough to crack Canada's lineup, but he hasn't given up hope. "They always take a few extra players and I could always move to the wing," he said. "Getting there is a goal of mine and you want to make it difficult on them. You just have to do the best you can." Team Canada's staff met on the weekend in Toronto during the Hockey Hall of Fame festivities.

DOWN TO THE HALL: Senators president Roy Mlakar and GM John Muckler both attended the Hall of Fame ceremonies last night in Toronto. Mlakar wanted to be there to toast Ottawa's Murray Costello, who was inducted in the Builders Category.


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