Alfredsson almost slaps Spezza down

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson celebrates a goal against the Bruins at Scotiabank Place in...

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson celebrates a goal against the Bruins at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont., Feb. 25, 2012. (JANA CHYTILOVA/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images/AFP)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:33 PM ET

OTTAWA - During a break with 9:49 left in the second period, Senators coach Paul MacLean leaned over and talked into the ear of his No. 1 centre.

Exactly 46 ticks of the scoreboard clock later, Jason Spezza was hit on the knee by a Daniel Alfredsson slap shot. It didn’t look good. Spezza left his stick on the ice and limped to the bench, then hopped down the corridor to the dressing room.

Senators fans had to be thinking the sky was falling in on their world. First the team loses No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson to injury. Now the top scorer?

Spezza wasn’t optimistic, either

“I honestly felt like my leg was broken,” he said. “It was unbelieveable pain. After about a minute in here, it just went away. Now I’ve got a big welt. I’m sure it will feel wonderful (Monday). It’s alright though. Dodged one.”

Not only that, on Spezza’s first shift back he crushed a slapper himself to give the Senators a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

“Pretty funny, you come back and score right away, on the first shot,” he said. “Definitely felt good.”

The Senators weren’t thinking that Spezza would be gone for long.

“The fact he got up right away left me pretty positive he was going to be able to come back,” said MacLean.

Said Alfredsson: “I know it was a pretty good shot. I wasn’t sure where it hit him. The way he went down, I didn’t think anything would be broken, but he would be sore. and he probably will be tomorrow.

“I think it would have gone in,” he added of his shot, with a laugh. “I was mad at him for being in the way.”

Oh, so what did MacLean say to Spezza before he was hit? Go stand in front of the net and try to deflect an Alfredsson one-timer in off the knee? Not quite.

“It was just about holding the middle a little more,” Spezza said. “He’s big on me staying through the middle of the ice, because I get the puck a lot more when I’m going through the middle. He was just reminding me. I was getting on the wall a little too much.”

The wall is a safer place to be when Alfredsson’s unloading.

STARTS AND STOPS

At the conclusion of the game, the Senators had two of the NHL’s top seven scorers. Spezza was in fourth with 70 points and Erik Karlsson was tied with Phil Kessel for sixth, at the 65 mark ... With 12 points in his last four games, Karlsson is climbing up the the ladder fast. Half-seriously he was asked if he thought he had any chance of winning the scoring title.

“Probably not, no,” he said. What, because Evgeni Malkin, (78 points) is having a good season? “And a couple of other guys, too.” ...“We have 18 games left...who knows, maybe I don’t have a single point anymore, for the rest of the season. It can happen,” said Karlsson, who obviously doesn’t think it will. “If we keep playing the way we are, there’s a good chance you’re going to pick up a couple of points.”

STUFF I THINK I THUNK

How much did Evgeni Nabokov’s stock drop on NHL trade deadline eve when the New York Islanders veteran goalie allowed Jim O’Brien’s wrist shot from the left wing faceoff circle go right through his trapper? ... Near the 11 minute mark, Milan Michalek was credited with the Senators first shot on goal of the game, even though I know actually saw it. More likely, the guy in charge was feeling sorry for the home team ... Murray was probably joking when he told reporters to “stick around” for Monday’s trade deadline because “there’s a big one coming”. Isn’t the 6-foot-7 Ben Bishop a big one? Or is there a mammoth right winger on the way?

BETWEEN PERIODS

Kyle Turris was “very prepared” for the hearing he had with NHL VP of discipline Brendan Shanahan Sunday afternoon, according to Bryan Murray. Ultimately, Shanahan ruled the hit on Joe “Uh Oh” Corvo the night before started shoulder to shoulder and was one of those “hockey plays.” No fine or suspension was given to Corvo for rolling around and holding his head before a miraculous recovery to play on the ensuing power play, either ... Somewhere out there must be a genious who knows how to get the Scotiabank Place’s Internet working at full speed again, no? ... Bodog’s over/under for the number of trades made Monday is 22.5 ...First it was the crowd, then referee Francis Charron, that called P.A. Parenteau for tripping Daniel Alfredsson in the second period. Either way, it wasn’t much of a trip.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...

According to the press box list, there was only one scout at the game. He works for Colorado ... Heard somebody say the Senators are now 12-0-1 in the last 13 games Brian Lee has played ... As well as being the Senators top point-getter, Spezza is now tied with Milan Michalek for the team goal scoring lead. They have 28.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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