Silver Nuggets: Paul MacLean is using Daniel Alfredsson very well

Daniel Alfredsson tells Paul MacLean that he is happy with his offensive zone start percentage. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.

As of Sunday afternoon, those are the only players in the NHL (with 40+ games) with a higher Corsi Relative than the +17.9 by Daniel Alfredsson. In 5-on-5 situations with Alfredsson on the ice, the Senators have outscored the opposition 3.00 to 2.16 per 60 minutes. The Senators have outshot the opposition 31.6 to 25.76 and taking missed and blocked shots into account, Ottawa attempts 63.3 shots on the opposition net while allowing 46.4 shot attempts. Anyway you look at it, the Senators control the puck a lot more than the opposition with Alfredsson on the ice.

Last year, only Milan Michalek had worse possession numbers than Daniel Alfredsson on the Senators. So what is the reason for this drastic improvement? Alfredsson is healthy for one, but he is also being used a lot more intelligently by Paul MacLean. Under Cory Clouston, Daniel Alfredsson played 1:55 a game on the penalty kill, second most among forwards. His offensive zone to defensive zone start ratio was almost even, starting in the offensive zone 51.9% of the time, sixth lowest out of nine regular forwards. His total ice time of 19:16 per game was also second only to Jason Spezza. Alfredsson didn't only play a lot of minutes, they were tough minutes.

This year, Alfredsson is playing 18:31 a game, 45 seconds less per game. He is also only playing 1:09 per game on the penalty kill, the sixth most among forwards. Lastly, he has the highest offensive zone start percentage on the team at 59.9%. Cory Clouston was riding Alfredsson in tough situations while he wasn't fully healthy and it led to a disappointing season. Paul MacLean didn't make the same mistake.

Before the links, if you haven't contacted AlfieGirl for tickets to our Silver Seven game night...well, why not? It's approximately $50 for the lower 300 levels on 10 March. Email her at the address on the link I provided. Today is probably the last call!

Here are today's links:

  • The fathers of the Senators players are coming along for the road trip to Florida. (Senators Extra)
  • The Binghamton Senators are going no where. Robin Lehner stopped 44 of 48 shots in a 4-3 loss on Saturday before Mike McKenna allowed 5 goals on 34 shots in a 6-3 loss. Binghamton is now 12 points back of a playoff spot and has played two extra games. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)
  • A few days old but Andre Petersson spoke to Swedish media and isn't exactly thrilled with the quality of life in Binghamton. The article's picture is Petersson and Robin Lehner in a cemetery. The reporter asks Petersson how he likes the city, Petersson asks the reporter if he has been there. After the reporter says no, Petersson says "Do not go there." Petersson says he would have returned to Sweden three months ago if the team didn't have another Swede. (Sport Bladet)
  • Everyone's favourite Swedish Sens fan on twitter, @steffeG, writes the case for drafting signing Swedish goaltender Viktor Fasth. (The 6th Sens)
  • Here is an awesome link that compares the Toronto Maple Leafs players to Star Trek characters. As expected, Dion Phaneuf is Worf with his angry grunts. I can't believe they named Kessel as Data though. Data is the greatest character in TV history. Who would be the TNG characters for the Sens players? Chris Neil is definitely our Worf. (Yakov Mironov)
  • Finally, Daniel Alfredsson confirms something we always suspected. (Ottawa Sun)
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