Alfie won't stay stationary

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Daniel Alfredsson has taken a baby step on the road to recovery.

The Senators captain is supposed to miss the first-round playoff series against the Penguins with back and neck injuries, but he was able to ride a stationary bike yesterday.

That was the first physical activity Alfredsson has been able to endure since he suffered the injuries on a vicious hit from Maple Leafs winger Mark Bell last week.

"I wouldn't think (the chances of Alfredsson playing) are very good," Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray said yesterday. "He rode the bike, but he's a ways away."

The Senators aren't counting on Alfredsson playing against the Penguins, but they won't completely rule it out, either. Team officials know if the going gets tough for the Senators, Alfredsson will push to come back earlier no matter what doctors say.

"I'd say 'No' he won't play, but I also think with Alfie, you never know," said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "The one thing we're not going to do is wait for him. We just have to move forward and be prepared to play without him."

The Senators played their 100th playoff game in team history last night against the Penguins and it was the first one Alfredsson has missed.

"I don't think there's any secret or question that he's our leader and was the best player -- certainly in the playoffs last year and for the majority of time this year," said Murray. "When you lose a player of that stature, it's a psychological thing, just as much as a performance item. So, we're going to miss him."

Besides their captain, the Senators will also have to make do without centres Mike Fisher (knee) and Chris Kelly (foot). There's a chance Kelly could play later in the series, but he has yet to resume skating.

"Our players are all aware of the injuries, but they have to go out and do what they can do," said Murray.

MAKING A COACHING LIST

Don't rule out a return of Pat Quinn to the Battle of Ontario. The former Maple Leafs coach, who hasn't been behind an NHL bench since he was fired by Toronto at the end of the 2005-06 season, is going to get consideration for the job in Ottawa. Quinn, 68, who accepted an assignment as the coach of Team Canada's under-18 entry in Russia, would like to return to the NHL and it's believed he has shown interest in the post. Murray has no intention of returning as coach, but that could change if the Senators have a long playoff run. Murray does have a good relationship with Quinn and will likely speak with him. Other possible candidates include former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley and former Devils coach Pat Burns. Hartley and Burns both have Stanley Cup rings to their names.

OFF THE GLASS

Penguins LW Gary Roberts didn't like the accusations by Murray that Pittsburgh threw its final game of the year against the Flyers to face the Senators in the playoffs. "You can be sure that I wasn't trying to tank the game the other day," said Roberts with a laugh. "I've seen enough of Ottawa over the years." Coupled with three series against the Senators while playing for the Leafs and last year's first-round loss with the Penguins, this is the fifth time that Roberts has faced Ottawa in the post-season ... The Penguins are all wearing T-shirts with the Stanley Cup on the front and the word "Sacrifice" written in five languages (Russian, Czech, Slovak, French and English) on the back ... The talk is the Hurricanes are going to give coach Peter Laviolette his walking papers. If they do, Laviolette could end up with Atlanta.


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