04 June 2007

Not My Team

I am no fan of the Ottawa Senators. I am certainly not buying into the malarkey that they are "Canada's Team" in this Stanley Cup Finals. They are a classless team, they are a classless organization (recall the incident where they showed, on the arena video screen, of their mascot pushing a Canadiens fan into shark-infested water only weeks after the drowning death of GM Bob Gainey's daughter) and they have more than a handful of classless fans--most notoriously the drunken jerk who punched a woman in the face because she happened to be a Sabres fan.

Tonight my dislike for the team has reached another level. Their captain, Daniel Alfredsson, blatantly fired the puck at Ducks captain Scott Neidermayer at the end of the second period. The contrast in levels of class cannot be more stark. Niedermayer is a champion at every level and a true gentleman of the game, and Alfredsson shoots the puck directly at him in what only be construed as an attempt to injure him. I have been watching the game on NBC because Bob Cole and Harry Neale are awful, and the commentators have rightly been calling Alfredsson's action classless and cowardly. They had Don Cherry on during the second intermission, and they repeated that sense there as well. Good on them for calling this dirty captain on the carpet.

The NHL should suspend him for that action.

**Update** I'm not the only one. James Murphy of Inside Hockey had this to say:

I regret cheering for and enjoying what I now see as (with the exception of a few players), a team of underachieving players... and at times, one that is capable of very cowardly acts, exemplified by their captain, Daniel Alfredsson. It’s no wonder Canada didn’t get behind this team as they did the Flames and Oilers.
What kind of captain does what Alfredsson did last night, when he (and there is no debate here, he had plenty of options where to rifle that puck), blasted a shot at the always-classy Ducks captain, Scott Niedermayer? Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, as a scrum ensued around the "Krusty the Clown" look-alike, Alfredsson sucker-punched Travis Moen, who was being held back by a linesman. And somehow, he escaped all of this without a single penalty?

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