Win or bust for Alfie

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

The Stanley Cup final is at least a week away, but Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, as he has through this unprecedented Ottawa run, set the tone.

"Now, when you come this far, it would be devastating not to win," said Alfredsson yesterday as the Senators took a day off from the ice, but not from fixing their eyes on the first Stanley Cup in modern history for Canada's capital.

Just getting here for the first time is not good enough in the captain's eyes, though this represents a significant step in the history of the franchise.

There's no "great to be here" rhetoric from the captain.

In today's NHL, how many chances do you get like this?

Ask the Edmonton Oilers, who made it to the Stanley Cup final last year and missed the playoffs this year.

Legions of fervent Senators fans, who have lived and died with this team through more than their share of playoff disappointments, will be happy to hear their captain reinforce for the world -- and especially his teammates -- what winning a Cup would mean to this franchise and this city.

The Senators will face either the Ducks or Red Wings. They could know as early as tonight who they will face as the Ducks go into Game 6 in Anaheim with a chance to close out the Wings and advance to their second Stanley Cup final.

The Ducks, with Senators coach Bryan Murray as their GM, lost to the Devils in seven games in 2003.

Alfredsson knows what this means to him, his team and this city.

"We've been flirting with success before. I think that's why we're getting the response from the fans, too, is because we've always been there and have never really gotten there. Now we're there. They're so excited to come along with us. It felt like we've been due. It would have been tough to come close again and not get there. Just being here and getting a chance to play for it ...there's only one more team to go. It's going to be real exciting."

Alfredsson said the core group of veterans, after overcoming so much through the years, will do everything they can to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them now after they eliminated the Sabres in the Eastern Conference final on Alfredsson's overtime goal.

"We talked a little bit about it on the plane home, but nothing really in depth. It was a great job getting here, but let's keep it going," he said. "We still know there's a lot of work to be done ... we're going to prepare here and do everything we can and approach this one the way we have approached every other series."

Alfredsson will now be presented with the opportunity to become the first European captain to hold aloft the Stanley Cup, but he said his years of being here in Ottawa have made that almost insignificant.

He came close to saying he considers himself more Canadian than European now.

"To me, it doesn't mean anything. I don't feel like I'm a European captain on a Canadian team. I've spent (most) of my adult life in Canada. Pretty much most of my professional hockey career, as well, has been in Canada. I don't feel myself as being a European," he said.

"I'm probably more influenced from being over here than from Europe, so I think if it would happen, it would be a nice stat to have, but it doesn't mean anything to me."


Videos

Photos