I'm not sure why Bryan Murray felt he needed to make a statement regarding Daniel Alfredsson playing in the Olympics.
By doing so, he seemed to imply that the captain could be hurting his own team by suiting up for Team Sweden.
But so is every other player taking part in the Olympics. Injuries will certainly occur in the tournament, just like what happened to the Senators with Dominik Hasek in 2006.
So why is Murray singling out Alfredsson when he already knows that the captain would not risk going into the tournament already injured?
Alfredsson has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches throughout his career and it should be taken for granted that he will do what's right in this situation.
By going to the media, Murray is making it look like he doesn't trust the captain to do what's in the best interests of the Ottawa Senators. It's a pointless exercise and all it does is create a perception problem and add unnecessary pressure on Alfredsson. All Murray had to do was have a private chat with the captain that would have resolved the situation in two minutes.
Instead he went straight to the media and put the spotlight on Alfie.
And for what?
Murray can sometimes be commended for his honesty, but he all too often opens the cupboard door to the media and they can't help but feast.
What if Alfredsson fully heals his shoulder and then goes into the Olympics and injures his knee?
A freak injury that could happen to any player will now be analysed in the context of Murray's recent statement and the captain will be made to look selfish for wanting to play for his own country, something that every player should have the right to do and not be questioned about.
It's bad enough the captain gets booed in his own building. He doesn't need to get the gears from his own GM.
I just don't see why Murray had to say a damn thing at all.
Ottawa 4 Montreal 2
Freaking huge win by Ottawa in a loud and rowdy building in Kanata tonight. The guts and gumption that these Senators are showing is unrivaled in recent team history and coach Cory Clouston has his club playing their hearts out almost every night despite having a plethora of injury excuses ready for them.
Coming back from a 2-0 deficit with a large vocal majority of the fans cheering on the Canadiens is the stuff that playoff teams are made of.
Pascal Leclaire struggled off the bat but then shut the door and made some incredible saves to keep the Senators on life support until they got going late in the 1st on Peter Regin's goal.
There was almost a major let-down in this game when it appeared that Mike Fisher scored the go-ahead goal with Chris Neil parked in the crease. Unfortunately for Ottawa, referee Kerry Fraser made a brutal call, claiming that Neil made contact with Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak (which he didn't) but then changed his interpretation to Neil being "too deep in the crease". It seems they make this stuff up as they go but the Senators managed to keep their cool (despite their recent valid gripes about officiating) and Neil actually got the goal back a few minutes later by going right back to the crease to bang in a floating puck past Halak. Even that goal went to review but the Senators were not going to be denied on this one.
Had that second goal been called back, bedlam would have broken out on the Senators bench and in the 50/50 stands.
Alexei Kovalev continued his resurgence as of late and was the best player on the ice tonight even though it didn't translate into any points. It finally looks as though Kovalev is finding his form after a very tough first half of the season.
Black Aces Senators 3 Stars
1. Alex Kovalev
2. Chris Neil
3. Pascal Leclaire
Honourable mentions: Ryan Shannon, Peter Regin and Chris Campoli (it seems as though his recent benching and stint as a forward has sharpened Campoli's determination and he has been much better of late).
It's tough for Senators fans to complain about the vocal Montreal fans sounding like a majority and turning a home game into a road game at Scotiabank Place. If Sens fans aren't buying the tickets, there's tens of thousands of Habs and Leafs fans who are willing to pony up for them......
Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson wasn't happy with being left off the Swedish Olympic team:
"I pretty much have one comment and maybe I'll regret it," Samuelsson told the Vancouver Sun. "But they can go [expletive] themselves. That's what I really think."
It seemed inevitable that the Caps would trade their captain Chris Clark. The core of that team is centred on some highly skilled guys and Clark was simply not on the ice enough to be that go-to guy that the captain needs to be. In effect, this trade finally allows this to be Alex Ovechkin's team, whether he gets the "C" or not.