Despite suffering a concussion on Saturday night, Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators was a game-time decision for Game 3 against the New York Rangers on Monday evening. His return for the Senators remains in question.
UPDATE: Monday, April 23 at 12:25 p.m. ET
After participating in skate-around this morning, Daniel Alfredsson is now expected to return to the lineup tonight against the New York Rangers, according to Senators Extra's Allen Panzeri.
"Daniel Alfredsson will be in the lineup when the Ottawa Senators face the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Place Monday night.
Daniel Alfredsson will make his return to the Ottawa lineup after missing three games with a concussion."
UPDATE: Monday, April 23 at 11:10 a.m. ET
Alfredsson looks like a good possibility for Game 6 in Ottawa tonight. From Andrew Gross of The Record:
Daniel Alfredsson skating at Senators morning optional. Have to believe he'll be in the Game 6 lineup tonight. Should find out soon.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) April 23, 2012
It would certainly provide a big boost to an Ottawa team looking to eliminate the Rangers this evening. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Friday, April 20 at 12:47 p.m. ET
Darren Dreger covers the hockey world for TSN, and he tweeted the latest news on Alfredsson's health status.
Daniel Alfredsson will not be making the trip to NYC. Obviously, lingering concussion issues. #TSN— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 20, 2012
Ottawa picked up a much-needed victory over the Rangers on Wednesday, and playing in New York without Alfredsson is a crushing blow.
Depth is extremely important in hockey, especially during the playoffs. Not having Alfredsson's experience and leadership as the Senators hit the road is very unfortunate.
UPDATE: Tuesday, April 17 at 1:48 p.m. ET
According to ESPN's Katie Strang, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has suffered a setback in his concussion recovery.
Alfredsson's Game 4 status doesn't look good, and it would be foolish to rush him back just so he can play in front of the hometown fans one final time.
Ottawa lost to the Rangers on Monday night and now trail the series 2-1, and have to win on Wednesday night or they will travel to New York facing elimination.
Update: Monday, April 16th at 6:00 p.m. ET
Daniel Alfredsson is unlikely to play on Monday night, according to TSN.com:
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson confirmed to reporters on Monday morning that he suffered a concussion after being hit by New York's Carl Hagelin on Saturday and is not expected to play Game 3 this evening.
Alfredsson, who also passed the baseline test, was on the ice for the pre-game skate on a line with Kyle Turris and Nick Foligno.
If you ask Dr. Charles Tator, a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, his possible return this soon is far too hasty. From Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post:
“It’s not what we recommend,” he said. “We recommend that there should be a six-step process that you go through after a concussion to determine whether you’re ready to return to play.”
That process requires one day in between levels to assess whether the player is healthy enough to return to play. The first level is complete physical and mental rest, and the final step is return to play.
“So if you have 24 hours between steps, it really means a week off,” Tator said. “So, in our view, to try to give the brain enough opportunity to recover, we recommend a week.”
Alongside being a highly respected neurosurgeon in Canada, Tator also volunteers for ThinkFirst, a non-profit that focuses on brain and spinal cord injury prevention.
Alfredsson would be wise to heed Tator's advice, especially given that the Senators' star player suffered a concussion earlier this season. But with the player apparently passing the baseline test and a crucial Game 3 to be played, don't be surprised to see him on the ice.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean would not reveal his lineup but said Alfredsson has passed the required baseline test. Alfredsson skated with his Senators teammates on Monday morning at Scotiabank Place and said he is a game-time decision for Game 3 (7:30 p.m., MSG) with the series knotted at 1-1.
"Yesterday was better than Saturday night," Alfredsson said here at his locker Monday morning. "I did a bike ride yesterday and felt pretty good throughout the day, was active at home with the kids, felt pretty good this morning, so the next step obviously was to skate today, this morning, and see how I feel after."
If you haven't seen the hit by Carl Hagelin that caused the concussion (and earned Hagelin a three-game suspension), here you go.
Concussions are not to be taken lightly, and if Alfredsson has any doubt in the least about playing tonight, he should sit. I know it's unrealistic that he would sit out a week as Tator suggested, but returning tonight is pushing it.
Some things are more important than one playoff game. Erring on the side of caution when it regards your brain is the wise move.
Keep it here for future Alfredsson updates as they become available.
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