Alfie feels 'responsibility to get things going'

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:53 PM ET

From Scotiabank Place atmosphere that has all the excitement of a library, we step back to type you part of a Thursday morning chat with New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqivst.

The subject: Daniel Alfredsson.

“This summer we skated and he left a big picture in my stall of him scoring on me here in a shootout,”

Lundqvist said of his fellow Swede, laughing. “Just as a gift for me. So every time you can deny him on a big scoring chance, it’s a good showing.”

Okay, so maybe not as much these days. The Senators captain tied another ‘personal worst’ against the Rangers, extending his assist-less streak to nine games. He looked like he was going to pick up his first helper since Nov. 24 in the second period, when he backhanded a feed to Mike Fisher, who whipped a shot that hit the crossbar, then post before being ruled ‘no goal’ after a replay review. But even with his centre scoring two that actually did go in, Alfredsson couldn’t get on the scoresheet.

Nearing his 38th birthday (Saturday), Alfredsson has now gone nine games without a point for the worst drought of his exceptional career.

Typically, the weight he feels on his shoulders is more of a team thing.

“I don’t think it would be any different if we lose seven out of nine and I had two hat tricks in the two wins,” he said after the morning skate. “I don’t think I would feel a whole lot better anyway. It’s just a matter of us consistently putting ourselves in a position to win games, and that’s what’s most frustrating — that we’re not.

“Definitely I feel a lot of responsibility to get things going,” he added. “I’ve been around long enough to know I can’t just go out there and do it myself. I’ve got to work with my linemates. I definitely have to produce more than I have for us to win consistently.”

Until he does, he’ll keep being reminded he’s not.

“Until we produce and get things going, that’s the way it is,” Alfredsson said when asked if the best thing about the day he ends his slump will be that the questions about it from the media will cease and desist. “Same thing if you do really well. You’re going to hear all the good stuff. You take the good with the bad.”

Like a pro.

n Josh Koscheck may talk like he’s going to do a number on Georges St. Pierre Saturday night at Bell Centre (“I can’t wait to hear the sound of 23,000 French Canadians in total silence,” said Koscheck), but the NHL’s reigning heavy-weight champ isn’t buying it. “I think St. Pierre (wins),” Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard said. “He’s done it for a while, he’s been on the top for a long time. He’s just one of those guys who’s fun to watch. Always interesting when he’s fighting.”

n Rangers Sean Avery and Lundqvist both made the top 15 on Forbes.com’s list of best dressed athletes. “He’s got good style, I have to give him that,” Lundqvist said of Avery.  As for himself? “Maybe I’m a little bit more European in my style,” said Lundqvist. “More tight-fitted jeans and shirts and boots. I get some stuff sent from Sweden every once in a while, and I buy some stuff in New York. But I can’t say I have more clothes than anybody else here. I don’t really walk around in sweatpants and T-shirts like a bunch of guys do. That’s why they’re commenting all the time, like ‘Where ya going? To a nice dinner?’ .. no no, I’m just going to practice. We have some fun with it.”

Things I think I think

The Matt Carkner-Derek Boogaard fight in the first period? Huge right landed by Boogaard, but it looked like Carkner got him with a pretty good one at that same time ... Worst thing about losing Carkner for 15 minutes? Less Carkner meant more Sergei Gonchar. Old Sergei had a rough one ... Nick Foligno was enjoying a great first period until he sent a backhand pass that he should be able to make in his sleep into a defender’s skates. The would-be recipient streaking toward the goal on the other side was Milan Michalek, and he would have had a great chance ... All in all, it was Foligno’s best game of the season. Has the corner been turned? ... Remember the 1970 Dustin Hoffman classic Little Big Man? Starring in a remake could be Filip Kuba. The Senators’ gentle giant entered Thursday night’s game with just five hits in 13 games — the same number as Alex Kovalev in 29 and Jason Spezza in 24. But Kuba is a defenceman who really needs to get in somebody’s way — not give you the urge to go home, start a campfire in the backyard and find a stick with which to pierce something white and puffy. 

C’est what?

Of all the franchise-record number of penalty minutes Chris Neil has gathered in his career, the two he took for charging Ryan Callahan deep into the third period against the Rangers have to be among the dumbest. Neil was five seconds from getting out of the box when Mike Sauer made up for his own early gaffe that led to Mike Fisher’s initial marker by scoring the first goal of his career. The winner, as it turned out ... The Senators and the lowly Devils? What could you possibly rather do on a Friday night?

C’mon, man!

There would be no talking to Sean Avery. “Not doing any,” the Rangers pest said to reporters looking for an interview Thursday morning. Not even with print guys? “Definitely not print guys,” he said. Ouch.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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