There is no timetable for Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson’s return.
The good news is Alfredsson has been cleared to do light exercise after suffering a concussion on a hit from New York Rangers winger Wojtek Wolski Saturday, but he likely won’t play in either of the club’s games this weekend — Friday against Montreal and Saturday against Buffalo, both at home.
“I don’t have anything to make me pessimistic that it’s going to be long-term,” said Senators coach MacLean. “We’ve just got to be patient and wait ... see how he feels every day.
“There’s a team in Pittsburgh that has waited 11 months (for Sidney Crosby). We don’t know so we can’t put our finger on it to say that it is (long-term) or it isn’t. Right now, it’s anticipated (as short-term), but we don’t know.”
Alfredsson was placed on the injured reserve list and has to remain there until Saturday. The league has mandatory testing for concussions and Alfredsson is going to have to pass the tests before he’s allowed to return.
Alfredsson hasn’t spoken to the media since the hit.
“I believe he could play if he passes the protocols. That’s my understanding,” said MacLean. “But he has to be ready to play. He hasn’t skated and if he hasn’t practised before Saturday, then we’re probably not going to play him.”
That means the Senators are going to have to soldier on without Alfredsson.
The onus is going to be on others to step up — like winger Nick Foligno did with a three-point effort in a 5-3 loss in Boston Tuesday.
Foligno, 24, is being counted on to be a big contributor.
“I think they know what to expect of me. I know it’s been a tough couple of years for everybody in the organization with regards to some things that have happened. Now, it’s almost a clean slate,” said Foligno.
“I’m looking forward to showing them the player that I can be and will be.
It starts with the start that I’ve had (six points in 13 games) and I need to continue it. But I feel like I’m a guy that can help the team in an offensive category as well as being really reliable defensively.”
The Senators didn’t go on the ice Wednesday and held an off-ice workout.
Playing four division opponents this week — Toronto, Boston, Montreal and Buffalo — the Senators will get a good idea where they stand.
“We learned we can play 60 minutes, we can play together and get contributions from everyone and it’s important for us to make sure we play the same game every night and get results,” said centre Jason Spezza.