First off, it's Remembrance Day: Lest we forget.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has a legendary ability to return from injuries in remarkably short times. At the top of my mind is when Alfie broke his jaw in 2009 and missed just one game, returning to the lineup in spite of the fact that the team was miles out of the playoff picture. In 2006, he missed just four games with cracked ribs; I don't even want to think about playing a contact sport like hockey with cracked ribs. He's routinely played through nagging hip and back ailments, and was playing through pain over much of the last two seasons because of those injuries.
But Alfredsson was just diagnosed with the first concussion (or 'concussion-like symptoms') of his career. A concussion isn't something like a back injury, or a hip injury, when your biggest obstacle is your pain threshold; it's a brain injury, and it's one that makes you more vulnerable to future concussions once you've had one. You can't rehab a concussion. Certain exercises will strengthen back muscles, but doing Sudoku and the New York Times crossword won't get you over concussion symptoms faster. You've got to wait it out.
Waiting it out isn't in Alfredsson's DNA. He's usually back in the lineup as soon as he can be, regardless of whether or not he should be. He's seen his team go 0-4 since he left the lineup, three of them by just one goal in that time. That's a difference Alfredsson, when he's playing his best, can make up for. Plus it's 11-11-11, which is too cool a storyline to pass up.
For his part, Alfredsson says he's "very confident" about getting back into the lineup. I hope he's got good reason to.
Ottawa Senators headlines:
- Alfie's back. (Sun)
- His return has the rest of the team excited. (Citizen)
- The prediction panel is a 3-5 split tonight, with three (including yours truly) predicting a Sens victory. (Sens Extra)
- As was mentioned yesterday, Chris Neil is out of the lineup with an ankle injury. (James Gordon)
- Alfie is a legendary Sabres killer: 41G, 81P in 80GP. (Buffalo News)
- Da Costa's da real deal. Look forward to headlines like this, folks: 'Da Man,' 'Da Hero,' 'Da Goat,' and so on. Too much to work with. (Sun)
- The Senators have an interesting dynamic on the team; with so many young players in tow, Wayne Scanlan likens the upcoming road swing to a 'summer camp' getaway-style trip. (Citizen)
- Random column calling on Sens' fans to get over sentimentalism and trade Alfredsson. (Centretown News)
- A less random column entertaining the possibility of trading Jason Spezza. (6th Sens)
- The Binghamton Senators are also expecting a veteran to return from injury tonight, as Tim Conboy gets back from his ankle ailment. (Press & Sun Bulletin)
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have finally made their big move: They traded Kris Russell to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Nikita Nikitin. Expect an immediate turnaround in their fortunes. (The Cannon)
- Ottawa Senators alumnus Kerry Huffman is on Twitter (@Khuffman5). But it looks like all his tweets are just links to his blog: Navigating the World of Hockey.