Lost in all the talk about Daniel Alfredsson's shoulder injury is the possibility he might not play in his 1,000th career game this season.
With 969 games played, Alfredsson would have to return from his shoulder injury by Jan. 21 against the Blues and stay healthy to play No. 1,000 in the club’s final regular-season game against Buffalo at home April 10.
If Alfredsson had been able to stay injury-free, he would have hit the milestone on March 11 in Calgary. Plus, with 31 points in 37 games this season, Ottawa’s captain also had the chance to reach 1,000 points in his career. He currently sits at 952 (364 goals and 588 assists).
If Alfredsson returns in four weeks (the diagnosis was 4-6 weeks), he would be back Jan. 21.
Foligno ready to return
The Senators returned W Ryan Keller to AHL Binghamton, which means W Nick Foligno is ready to come back from arthroscopic knee surgery he had on Dec. 18. He skated with the Senators for the first time yesterday and told reporters he felt “good” afterward. Don’t be surprised if he plays a limited role to begin with because the recovery was quicker than expected. “I definitely feel pretty good. I want to come back and help the team. It’s tough watching,” said Foligno, who has missed seven games. “I just did what the training staff told me to do, I just tried to be diligent and made sure I gave myself the best chance to come back as soon as possible.”
Another player watching the Olympic roster announcements today will be Ottawa W Milan Michalek. Like Canada, the Czech Republic will also announce its Olympic roster. Michalek has a good chance to play with brother Zbynek, a blueliner with Phoenix. “It would be unbelievable,” Michalek said. “It would be something great for me. It would be something special, especially if my brother makes the team, too.”
Shaking it off
W Chris Neil shook hands with referee Kerry Fraser following Monday’s 4-2 win over the Habs because he isn’t sure he is going to see the retiring official again. Neil wasn’t happy Fraser waved off C Mike Fisher’s goal in the second period because of a claim that Neil was interfering with Montreal G Jaroslav Halak, but the incident was forgotten by the end of the game. “It was (Fraser’s) last game in Ottawa and I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” said Neil. “I came into the league and he has always treated me like a guy who has played 1,000 games. Both (Fraser and Bill McCreary). You’re able to talk to them.”
The Avs could have D Kyle Cumiskey (foot) and RW Marek Svatos (groin) back in the lineup tonight. Both made the trip to Ottawa and a decision will be made after today’s skate whether they will play. “They’ve both been cleared to play,” said Colorado coach Joe Sacco. Cumiskey is likely to play, but Svatos might get one more game off.
This ’n’ that
The Avs won’t be taking the Senators lightly despite the absence of captain Daniel Alfredsson and C Jason Spezza. “I think a lot of times it can make a team more dangerous when they’re missing their top guys,” said Colorado D John-Michael Liles. “In those cases, everybody seems to kind of pick up the slack. They’ve done a great job with some of their guys out of the lineup. I think it speaks to how deep they are as a team.” ... LW Jarkko Ruutu didn’t practise yesterday, but he will be in the lineup against the Avs.