The Ottawa Senators earned an important victory over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs 8-2 last night but they may have paid a terrible price in the process. Late in the first period Daniel Alfredsson carried the puck into the offensive zone and then committed the cardinal sin of hockey. He admired his play, lowered his head and didn’t watch where his body was moving. Mark Bell took a few strides and then glided in to lay a textbook, yet brutal, hit on the Senators’ Captain sending him spinning through the air and down to the ice in a heap. A small melee ensued while Alfredsson lay on the ice with the trainer at his side. Eventually, he was able to stand up and skate off the ice but the extent, or existence, of the injury is unknown at this time.
Bryan Murray, head coach of the Senators, was angry after the game, “I didn't like the hit, I thought he was blind-sighted. The knee came out, and it was a hit to the head.'' This is in stark contrast to his defense of Chris Neil when he laid a nearly identical hit on the captain of the Buffalo Sabres at that time, Chris Drury. After losing Patrick Eaves to a monster hit from Colby Armstrong in last year’s playoffs, Murray replied “I feel bad with [Eaves] getting hurt the way he did and I know you’ll write extensive articles about how tough Armstrong was and how that shouldn’t be allowed,” Murray continued, “but we felt the same way when Neil hit Drury. It was a fair hit, a hockey hit and we live with it accordingly.”