Silver Nuggets: Alfredsson a game-time decision

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: U MAD, BRO? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Twitter was blowing up today that Daniel Alfredsson was feeling better and could potentially suit up for the Ottawa Senators in tonight's game against the New York Rangers.

Rangers fans were upset about this news--not because Alfredsson may be healthier than initially thought (they're not completely heartless, after all), but mostly because they felt that Carl Hagelin's three-game suspension was based heavily on the result of the hit rather than the hit itself. The rest of us, though, are hoping that Alfie's healthy enough to play, and not risking his health unduly rushing back.

Criticisms immediately followed these reports, suggesting that the Senators were milking the injury or engaging in despicable gamesmanship in order to increase a potential suspension for Hagelin. This is folly for two reasons. First, at the time of the injury, the team was down 1-0, and the game later went in to overtime; ergo, the Senators would have benefited more from Alfredsson's return than any potential suspension (if as suspension were to be handed down, which was far from guaranteed) to Hagelin. Second of -ly, Alfredsson wouldn't accept instruction to sit out if he didn't believe it was a good idea; this is the same competitive player who played through ligament tears, jaw fractures, and all sorts of other injuries (all of which, it should be noted, are significantly different in nature than a brain injury); if he was able to return to the game, he would have.

They also forget the nature of injury disclosure in the NHL playoffs. The terms "upper-body injury" and "lower-body injury" were invented for the playoffs, because teams don't want to reveal what's bothering their players. Although i hope it's not the case and that Alfie is indeed close to returning, it's entirely possible that the Senators are overstating Alfredsson's proximity to a return in order to keep the Rangers guessing. It happened throughout the playoffs last season with Sidney Crosby.

We'll find out what the real story is a little before 7 p.m. tonight for game three of the series.

New York Rangers (1) vs. Ottawa Senators (8)

Boston Bruins (2) vs. Washington Capitals (7)

  • Series tied 1-1
  • Game three tonight, 7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS
  • Bruins fans are wondering if and when the Capitals scorers will break out--and if Boston can keep up with the offence, if it starts coming. (Stanley Cup of Chowder)

Florida Panthers (3) vs. New Jersey Devils (6)

  • Series tied 1-1
  • Game three tomorrow, 7 p.m., TSN, RDS

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5)

  • Flyers lead series 3-0
  • Game three Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS
  • Pens forwards Arron Asham and James Neal have hearings with the league today. (Pensburgh)

Western Conference

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8)

  • Kings lead series 3-0
  • Game three Wednesday, 10 p.m., CBC, RDS
  • The Canucks are in trouble. (Nucks Misconduct)

St. Louis Blues (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (7)

  • Series tied 1-1
  • Game three tonight, 10 p.m., TSN, RDS
  • Nothing is ever boring when Brian Elliott is around. With Jaroslav Halak out, Elliott's the go-to guy in St. Louis. (St. Louis Game Time)

Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6)

  • Series tied 1-1
  • Game three tomorrow, 9 p.m., TSN, RDS

Nashville Predators (4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)

  • Predators lead series 2-1
  • Game four tomorrow, 7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS
  • Wings need to work smarter, not (necessarily) harder. (Winging it in Motown)
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