Email Hot Stove: Alfie

A Silver Seven staff discussion about their favourite Alfie moment

Q: What is your favourite Alfie moment?

Peter: My favourite Alfie moment is the obvious choice: His series-clinching overtime goal in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Everything about it was so perfect... it's probably my greatest hockey memory.

Sheer Craziness: Peter, that's probably mine too, so I'll try to pick another one. I'm gonna go with his 400th career goal. It was the OT winner at home, after Calgary had taken a 3-0 lead in the first period. On the powerplay, Alfie dished the puck to Karlsson, who passed it right back for the one-timer than he made no mistake on. And then he just raises his hands to the sky, and you can see that he realizes what he's done. And then Karlsson and Spezza skate over, and they just start jumping around in a circle. I love the raw emotion of it.

Peter: Hahahaha, agreed--when Karlsson started jumping up and down after that goal, it was amazing. I'd almost put that more firmly in my Karlsson highlight reel than Alfredsson, though, because that excitement and energy is what I love about EK65. Still, it's definitely a moment worthy of fond remembrance.

B_T: I had some out of town guests that we took to that game, and I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it took me way too long to realize it was his 400th. I was just cheering for it being the OT winner before I realized that Nightbreak was leaning on the horn a little too hard for just that and remembered why.

Adnan: The Buffalo overtime winner was obviously great but the tying goal against Pittsburgh in game 4 in 2012 was very special to me as well because I was at the game. Down 2-0 in the series, 1-0 in the final minute of the game and shorthanded, when he scored to tie the game the moment was not describable. It turned out to be the second last goal he scored for Ottawa. Fun fact: I almost fell over down a row trying to high five Peter in that game.

Ian: I agree with Adnan, that Pittsburgh goal was awesome. When I saw people file out of the arena to beat the parking lot jam when we took that late penalty, I just wanted something to happen to make them regret giving up on the game. As he usually does, Alfie came through in the clutch and tipped it top shelf. I couldn't believe my eyes, it was absolutely incredible.

B_T: Mine comes from his rookie season. It was Toronto's first visit to the newly opened (and soon to be renamed) Palladium, and the capacity crowd was evenly split as usual - though they didn't hate each other yet.

The Senators were still pretty terrible in 95-96. The Leafs weren't great that season, but they were a whole lot better than Ottawa was and it was showing on the ice. It was a whole lot of time in the Ottawa end, with Rhodes standing on his head to keep Ottawa in the game. Still, it wasn't enough and Ottawa was down a goal with time running out. With Rhodes on the bench, and precious little time left, Radek Bonk got the puck deep in to the Toronto zone.

Enter Alfie.

I want to say he was the extra attacker, because I remember him charging down the ice at full speed. Bonk fed him the puck right at the goal mouth, and Alfie slipped it past Felix Potvin to tie the game up with just 9.6 second left.

The game would end in a tie, and it was notable in Senators history for a few reasons. It was the national TV debut for the Palladium. It was the first point for Ottawa in that building, for their new coach Jacques Martin, and for a few of their new players (Rhodes and Redden). It snapped an 11 game losing streak. In hindsight, it was even the first sign of life from a team that was 8-37-1 on the season and had just gone through the changes that would help see them in the playoffs the following season. The thing I remember the most though (and what probably makes that game unique) was that goal, and the whole crowd going nuts - the whole crowd, even the Leafs fans.

Amelia: Mine's definitely the Buffalo OT winner to send the Sens to the final. In some ways it wasn't the most dramatic, it was only game five after all, but it was in OT and the significance of the moment wasn't lost on anyone. It's probably the height of things for this franchise. It's also one of those games I remember for how enjoyable it was to watch. I was watching with a buddy and my sister and there was the stress of it being a playoff game, magnified because of what it might mean if we win, and of course, OT. I remember celebrating on Elgin St but that's where things get a little fuzzy.

Sheer Craziness: It was an afternoon game. I was watching at home with my mom and my sister. That evening, we went to the tulip festival. And the whole area around Dow's Lake was packed, and every other person was wearing a Sens jersey. And every 5 minutes, a car somewhere would just start honking its horn and then every other car would join in. It was the most excited I've ever seen Ottawa. I think that's part of why I love that goal so much.

Michaela: Like many, mine is the OT winner against Buffalo to send the Sens to the Finals in '07. It was one of the biggest moments in franchise history, and it would only make sense that Alfie was a part of it. My only wish is that I could have been in downtown Ottawa to see the celebrations.

Mrs O: My favourite Alfie moment isn't from his on-ice play, but it's one defining moment for me and my love of Alfie. I was reading up on Alfie one day and came across an article about him and his family, written by Ian Mendes. It was the first time I learned that his mother is in a wheelchair. As someone who has worked with people with disabilities and who researches sport for athletes with disabilities, I developed an even deeper respect for Alfredsson because of this paragraph:

"Daniel also has a special place in his heart for persons with disabilities, as his mother has been in a wheelchair for nearly 30 years. A few years ago when Daniel was asked by a reporter about his knee injury, he kept the situation in perspective by recalling the story of his mother needing a wheelchair to move around. When Margareta heard that Daniel had referenced her as a source of inspiration, she nearly burst into tears."

I tend to be a fan of players who demonstrate citizenship and respect for others and Alfredsson was always the model athlete, to me at least. I always believed that Alfredsson was a great human being, as well as an amazing hockey player.

Here's a link to the article.

NKB: My favourite Alfie moment isn't really a moment on its own, but a series of moments. For me, and I think many others, Alfie always seemed like he cared so much. I'm loath to criticize professional athletes when it seems like they're slacking because who knows really, but damnit Alfie always seemed like he was trying. When he carried that good but by no means great '07 team to the finals, never refusing to yield even in the face of a much better Anaheim team, that's when it clicked for virtually everyone. But he'd been bringing it like that every night, for as long as I can remember. So maybe the goal to send the Sens to the Cup final was *the* moment, but it was a product of so many consistently great moments that came before.

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