Monday, December 2, 2013

Detroit Downs Sens in Alfie's Return to Ottawa

The man who was, and arguably still is, the face of the Ottawa Senators franchise returned for the first time as a visiting player.  Daniel Alfredsson, 17 years a Senator and 13 years an Ottawa captain, made his debut in the nation's capital as a Detroit Red Wing last night.  His new team made sure to do him justice for leaving his old home.

The Wings got out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period and never let go of that lead for the rest of the game, which culminated in Alfredsson scoring on an empty net to drive home the dagger in a 4-2 victory over the Sens.  Drew Miller scored a pair and Johan Franzen also contributed by opening the scoring for Detroit in the win.  Jonas Gustavsson made 30 saves for the win, which puts him remarkably at 7-0-1 on the season.

This was a statement game for Detroit.  We had to win this game.  Ottawa is not a good team and even if they were, they have not been playing like it of late.  Weak teams or good teams playing weakly need to be taken advantage of.  Those are your write-off points, the games you should almost be mailing in for the W.  Teams that don't win those games are the ones hovering in the middle of the pack or worse, fighting (and praying) for a playoff spot come April.  The Sens had taken advantage of us when we weren't playing well and got 4 points out of us.  Now that the tables have turned, it was good to see Detroit return the favor and take some of those points back.

I'm still concerned mostly with our defensive core.  Even when Danny DeKeyser does return, the elephants in the room have got to be Kyle Quincey and--to a lesser extent since returning from injury--Brendan Smith.  Smith has improved his game a lot...the bar, however, had been set fairly low in that regard.  Quincey has just consistently been terrible, with the odd happy accident of him managing to properly block a shot or pass.  I'd seriously like for KH to consider getting a dependable 3rd or 4th D-man if at all possible.  I'm not assuming it's totally possible, I'm just saying I think we still need the help on the back end.  For now though, we work with what we have.

The Wings are off till Wednesday when they face the Flyers.  Still no word yet of whether Pavel Datsyuk is feeling up to returning. I remain vigilant in my wishing for him to come back.