After his dramatic goal in Game 3 with 28.6 seconds left on the clock and the ensuing announcement that he was a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, all eyes and ears have been turned to Daniel Alfredsson in the last 48 hours.
Today he hopped on the Jim Rome Show after practice to talk about Game 3, the series with the Penguins and his career as a Senator. He had lots to say that Sens fans will want to read and appreciate.
Take a look...
On where that goal ranks in his career:
It's up there, there's no question. I'm at the end of my career as well and it's was almost as I could see the season ending before my eyes there, getting a penalty with a minute and a half left and being down by one. There's something about this team that we've been able to overcome tough situations all year long and we were able to come up with a couple of big plays with 30 seconds left to tie it up and give ourselves a chance.
On how the play came about:
It happened so quick. I started the play, carrying it up, dropped it to Gonchar and then I kind of disappeared on the far side seeing what was going to happen. Gonchar made a great play to Michalek on the far side and I was able to come through and I think both their forward and defenceman kind of forgot about me and he throws a great pass to me and I was able to re-direct it up high over the goalie. You don't see that too often, scoring a shorthanded goal down by one.
On the mood on the bench going shorthanded down a goal:
It was sombre, there's no question. But we know we have nothing to lose. If we lose 2-0 or 3-0 it doesn't matter, we had to go for it. In Pittsburgh's case they know that so they don't really try to push forward on their power play, they try to play cautious with the puck and that ended up working to our advantage. We were able to take advantage of them being boxed up in the neutral zone, not a lot of speed and we were able to carry it up without too much trouble and get a play at the net and fortunately for us it worked out.
On what it's like to play in OT playoff games:
It was way better when I was 20 than now when I'm 40. It's intense and usually we always talk about how the first three or four minutes of each overtime is usually the most important time. Most goals are scored at the time or the end of the periods so that's crucial time. You always try to start well and hang on and don't give anything easy to the other team. Usually it's a bounce or tip-in, like in our case a rebound that we pounce on, that decides overtime games.
On gaining momentum from an OT win:
It gives the team a huge boost, especially doing it at home. The crowd was really into it obviously when we tied it up and winning in overtime they went crazy. A lot of emotions went through out team and you're on a high for a few hours and fortunately we had two days in between games here which gives us time to regroup and mentally recharge. We won one game and it felt great but we're still down in the series and tomorrow's game will be huge for us to get us back in the series.
On if dropping the first two games hurt the Sens confidence:
It did a little bit but we knew how to correct it because we kind of gave Pittsburgh too much respect. We've been a team that's kind of making our own luck. We don't rely on the other team to make mistakes, we want to force mistakes and be aggressive. I don't find that we were that in the first two games. We gave them a little bit too much time with the puck and they have so much skill from Crosby, Malkin, Iginla, to name a few that they're going to make you pay. We did a much better job in Game 3 and going forward they're going to be a dangerous team tomorrow and we're going to have to do an even better job.
On the lift Jason Spezza gave the team:
It gave us a lift in two different ways. Huge lift emotionally just to have him back, he's the go-to guy for us offensively over the last 10 years pretty much and then on the ice I think he takes pressure off the other centres -- Turris, Pageau and Zack Smith. He's great in the faceoff circle where we improved our stats from the previous two games so overall a big boost for us. He's not 100 per cent yet but definitely a needed boost for us any way he can get on the ice.
On playing his whole career in Ottawa:
I believe I've been very fortunate. Not only to be with one team but to come to a city like Ottawa which, I'm originally from Gothenburg, Sweden and it's very similar in size and people's mentality is very much the same so I felt very comfortable from the beginning. Also, I was with the team when we were struggling, I won the rookie of the year and got a lot of attention and been the guy that's been here 17 years and guys have been coming and going and I've been the mainstay and it's been a great ride, both on and off the ice. The support we get from the people in the city has been amazing as well. I count myself as very fortunate.
On if he ever considered leaving:
Of course I have, I've thought about it. Like you said, my career is like anybody else's. There's ups and downs but I'm looking back and still very happy I haven't gone anywhere and been able to stay here my whole career. It's always tempting at times. Four or five years ago I could have become a free agent and you think about what ifs and what could happen but if I win a Cup I want to do it here. The relationship I have with the city and the fans and it didn't really feel right so I'm happy I've made that decision as well.
On what it would be like to win a Cup in Ottawa:
I would love to, there's no question. That's the reason I'm still playing. To give myself a chance here in the last few years I've had at the end of my career. This team, we were in a tough spot two or three years ago, we turned it around and made the playoffs two years in a row and going to the second round this year. We keep believing here. We know we're in tough against a great Pittsburgh team but we believe we can do it. To do that we have to start by winning tomorrow night.
On favourite teammates to play with over the years:
There's a few. Zdeno Chara who's now the captain of the Bruins, I admire him. He's a guy that works extremely hard. Marian Hossa same thing in Chicago, great work ethic. If you go back to Chara I can't really say I enjoy going to battle with him but I admire him. Those are two guys. Dany Heatley was here for a while, we had some great success with me, him and Spezza as well. There's quite a few guys that have been here that you look back and it's fun to have been part of their careers. I've learned a lot from them and hopefully I've been able to help them out as well. You mentioned Roy (Mlakar) as well. To go back, I think one of the things I'm liked for in this city is for the charity work I do and Roy was one of those guys who taught me how I can give back to the community and he was instrumental to that. If he listens to this, thanks Roy.
Those of you who want to listen to the full interview you can do so here.
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