A Tale Of Two Teams
Sorry Ottawa fans… but Daniel Alfredsson‘s decision to leave the nation’s capital for the motor city was the right call. Yet, it was a move that initially had many hockey people questioning his decision making skills.
Skeptics asked: why Alfredsson would leave a team on the rise to join a team on the decline? Hell, the Senators have arguably the best young defender in the game in Erik Karlsson, and a solid group of young talent up front with the likes of: Kyle Turris, Zach Smith, Colin Greening, and Mika Zibanejad.
Whereas, the Red Wings were viewed as a team whose best hockey was in the rear-view-mirror. Although still supremely skilled, it was said that Detroit’s best players were past their prime.
In a sense, the skeptics were correct that 2013-2014 could be an off year for Datsyuk and Zetterberg (only due to injuries of course). However, their assumption that the Detroit Red Wings were on the decline couldn’t have been more wrong.
Meanwhile, aside from Turris and Karlsson, Ottawa’s youngsters have had very pedestrian like seasons. Bobby Ryan was a good addition, but it’s clear Alfredsson’s absence has left a hole in the heart of Ottawa’s lineup.
Conversely, in the absence of Datsyuk and Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, and Riley Sheahan have been revelations for the Red Wings. Detroit could never have imagined these young players would step up in this kind of fashion.
Maybe, Daniel Alfredsson knew something the rest of us didn’t when he signed with the Red Wings; because it’s pretty ironic that Ottawa was once seen as having more young talent than Detroit.
Eugene Melnyk Eats His Words
“The Detroit Red Wings will finish behind the Ottawa Senators.” -Eugene Melnyk (August 9th, 2013)
Eugene might like a mulligan on that one. Last time I checked the standings the Red Wings were 7th in the Eastern Conference, ten points ahead of Melnyk’s 13th placed Senators.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that Alfredsson has had a great year with his new team. Alfie is second in scoring on the Wings with 18 goals, 29 assists, and 47 points.
In Ottawa, new captain Jason Spezza is a team worse minus 26, and there has been speculation that the Senators have even considered moving him. Not exactly the season Eugene envisioned when he made his bold prediction.
April 5th marks ten months to the day that Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings. And, as painful as it might be for Senators’ fans to admit, it has become very obvious that Alfie’s decision had less to do with money and more to do with winning.