OTTAWA — Daniel Alfredsson believes his outburst in Game 6 hurt the Ottawa Senators chances of eliminating the New York Rangers.
“It was bad,” Alfredsson said Tuesday. “I’m definitely not proud of it and I think it’s detrimental for the whole team.”
The captain’s return to the lineup after sitting out three games to a concussion was supposed to spark the Sens, but instead it became marked by an uncharacterisitc outburst of emotion. Alfredsson was held off a power play early in the third period and took a hit from Rangers forward John Mitchell during his first shift back out, prompting him to return to the bench and smash his stick over the boards.
“I had pretty good control of everything until I got hit (by Mitchell) and then I just lost it,” said Alfredsson. “I can’t explain it in any other way.”
He later stomped on a water bottle and exchanged some words with coach Paul MacLean.
The two men sat down together at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday to discuss the incident, which MacLean called a “real good conversation.” The coach understands why Alfredsson lost his cool.
“He’s just coming back from an injury he had and I think that was part of the frustration — that he got hit in that vulnerable position again,” said MacLean. “I think that kind of led to it.”
The Rangers won the game 3-2 to force a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Many of the Senators seemed amused by Alfredsson’s outburst — and teammate Colin Greening’s frightened-looking response to it — when they gathered together Tuesday. The team continues to play up the fact it is an underdog in the series and believes it is well-positioned to get one more victory in New York, where it has gone 4-1 this season.
“I think it’s good for us, we’ve been better on the road,” said Alfredsson. “We obviously know that they’re going to come (out hard). I think that they played a more aggressive game than we did yesterday. I think we got up early and we were a little bit passive.
“We’re trying to protect that lead instead of being aggressive, as we’ve had success doing. That’s going to be important for us going forward.”