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Sens won't soon forget 'extremely special' weekend

Home all-star game filled with memories for Ottawa quartet, fans who embraced it all

Sunday, 29.01.2012 / 8:58 PM / 2012 NHL All-Star Game
By Rob Brodie  -
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Sens won\'t soon forget \'extremely special\' weekend
They tried as a group to sum up this unforgettable weekend and perhaps that was so entirely fitting.

Ask any of the four Senators players who took part in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game on Sunday before a full house at Scotiabank Place — and all the festivities that surrounded it during this historic hockey weekend in Ottawa — and they'll tell you being able to share it together made it the spectacular occasion that it turned out to be.

No matter what happens in the rest of their careers, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek will always have the memories of this weekend together — good times that no doubt will stay with this quartet for a lifetime. That the very fans whose massive support in all-star balloting ensured all four of them would be there were a part of it all, too ... well, that was mere icing on the cake.

"For us to have this weekend at home was extremely special," said Spezza, who notched a goal and an assist in his second all-star appearance. "Our fans have really stuck behind us and they’ve been phenomenal this year. The city, the way it’s embraced it … just talking to guys in the dressing room, everyone’s had such a good time, everyone’s had such a warm welcome and the fans are just generally thrilled just to have everybody around.

"Just having all the great players in the league here is a great thank you to a great hockey city. For us to be able to do this at home — and the four of us to do it together — we’re never going to get that opportunity again, no matter how long we play."

Michalek isn't likely to forget his first all-star game, given that it came in front of his home fans and it included a third-period goal for Team Alfredsson, which fell to Team Chara 12-9 in the latest edition of the National Hockey League's mid-season showcase event.

"It was a great experience for me," said the Czech winger. "It was my first time in the all-star game and the city put on a great show and everything was great. The guys loved it and everybody loved it. I enjoyed it and I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed being here and I had lots of fun."

While Alfredsson basked in the glow of the fans' adulation throughout all-star weekend, he spoke with emotion of having three teammates alongside him who have greatly helped make his 16th NHL season a renaissance affair for the league's current longest-serving captain.

"What makes it special is being here with these three guys, who you go through everything with day in and day out," said Alfredsson. "I’ve been fortunate to play for a long time and what these guys do every day … they’ve helped me get a second wind here this late in my career. That’s what makes it fun, to share it with other people.

"We have a lot of fun together in the locker room and when we travel. We play games and we put a lot of effort into this and we try to suck it all in as much as we can. It wouldn’t have been as much fun without these guys with me (this weekend), that’s for sure."

Karlsson applauded the efforts of everyone who helped Ottawa put on a top-notch all-star weekend.

"Everything around it has been really successful," he said. "I've been downtown and seen everything down there and it's really nice to see how much effort the city has put into it to make this happen and make it work."




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06