As great American broadcaster Dan Patrick might say, Daniel Alfredsson is “el fuego.”
Indeed, the Senators captain is on fire. Five goals, two assists in his last four games, bumps his season total to 12 points and puts him on pace to score ... well, you do the math. Guys that are on pace for something never stay on pace, so I’m not going to bother.
Alfredsson is the top-scoring 37-year-old in the NHL and, before Friday’s games, was also tied for fourth among NHLers of all ages. Can he stay among the elite? Can he win a scoring title? Who’s his favourite centre to play with? Does he want to look like Lanny now that he’s scoring like him?
The answers to these questions and more were uncovered during a visit to Alfredsson’s dressing room stall Friday. Keep reading:
With Jason Spezza back, how do you see the line combos shaking out?
“I haven’t decided yet. I’ll let the coach know before I leave.”
Who brings out the best in you, Mike Fisher or Spezza?
“They both do, I think.”
No, you can only pick one.
“I’ll pick (Chris) Kelly then.”
You and Kelly have had some good chemistry together.
“We’ve had some great chemistry.”
You might want to suggest that to the coach.
What have you, Fisher and Milan Michalek done to make you successful as a line?
“In Buffalo, when we started playing together, we had a great game. Cycled the puck really well. Created a lot of chances. I find it easy to play with Fish, as with Spezza. I think we’re a little bit more of a forechecking, cycling line than when I play with Spezza, whereas we’re a little bit more puck control, puck possession ... It’s a little bit different style, but I enjoy both.”
You’re right up there among the NHL scoring leaders. Is this the season you finally win the title?
“I have no idea. I don’t think about it that way.”
What about finishing in the Top 10 or Top 5?
“If our power play can be consistent, I think we’ll have a few guys that can put up the points. If you want to win a scoring title, you need to get those extra points on the power play when you get a chance.
“Quite honestly, unless I’m in the race come February or March, I don’t even bother looking at it.”
Of the other guys who are going to be in contention, who would you put your money on? Steve Stamkos looks like he’s ready to make himself part of that conversation.
“Yeah, Tampa seems they’re clicking offensively. Their power play is good, with the players they have. So definitely the Tampa guys. Same thing with the Sedins, the power play (in Vancouver) is so good, 5-on-5, too. And then I don’t think you can count out Crosby and Ovechkin, either. So I don’t have one guy that I’d put my money on, no.”
You’re one point now from tying Lanny McDonald for 73rd on the all-time scoring list.
Yeah. Is he a guy you looked up to as a kid?
“Well, I am trying to grow my ’stache. He is a guy I met a couple of times. Very nice gentleman. I’ve seen the highlights from him when he was in Calgary, especially. But I never really watched him play much.”
You’re too young.
“I’m too young.”
I notice you’ve got some growth going there ... getting a head start on the Mo-vember thing?
“No, I’m just lazy. And I don’t want to disturb the mojo.”
Oh yeah, as long as you’re winning, you’re not going to shave, right?
You’re not going to attribute it all to your facial hair?
“No, I’m superstitious about not being superstitious.”