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Proteau's Blog: Canada's capital captain carries club's cachet

• The Ottawa Senators won eight of the 10 games Daniel Alfredsson played until he injured his hip Dec. 5. Since and was sidelined, they've lost three straight and been outscored 15-5 in the process. Let no one ever again question what that captain brings to that team.

• I was really looking forward to Saturday's Penguins/Thrashers game going to the shootout. That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the team-based solution that eventually took place in overtime, but you've got to admit, the prospect of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa streaking up and down the ice sounds like a mini-All-Star game competition.

• Comedy highlight of the weekend: In a scrum in front of the Bruins' net, 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara holding on to the chinstrap of Brian Gionta while the 5-foot-7 Devils forward tried (and failed) to get away.

• If there ever was doubt before, there shouldn't be any longer: the Flyers are toast. After Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Capitals, Philadelphia is without Geoff Sanderson and Mike Richards (both suffered serious abdominal injuries), Sami Kapanen (back spasms) Joni Pitkanen (abdominal strain), Denis Gauthier (shoulder) Mike Rathje (leg/back pain) Jeff Carter (fractured ankle) and, of course, Peter Forsberg (ankle). Even a miracle can only go so far.

• Don Cherry is right, the league let Alex Ovechkin off far too easily for running Buffalo's Daniel Briere into the boards from behind. But in comparing Ovechkin's incident to the vicious hit Dallas Drake laid on Detroit's Brett Lebda, Cherry half-forgave the Canadian-born Blues forward because he was a good guy. The young Russian star's character traits, however, got no such defense from Grapes. A total coincidence, I'm sure.


FEEDBACK:

Why are you so concerned with what Don Cherry has to say. You are getting so annoying, you whine like a little girl who just got her Sunday dress dirty! I don't mind the rest of your garb but come on.

- Steve

Don't listen to these Cherry supporters, supporters, Proteau, and carry on lambasting the man Martin O'Malley once correctly referred to as a "xenophobic clown." Cherry is a racist, incoherent fool and needs to be driven out to pasture.

- Sean McAlister

Steve, he's making a point. Ovechkin got off easy, but you can't double standard the same infraction based on Nationality. If Cherry is going to want the hits that the star players sometimes gets away with, then he has to call it down the middle when someone like Drake or Torres makes that same dirty hit.

- Eric

Hello THN! Alfie needs someone to play with. He had fantastic numbers last year playing with a skilled centre in Jason Spezza. Poor guy's linemates are very "under skilled" compared to Alfie. We need a highly skilled second line centre. Everyone knows now Ottawa is a ONE LINE team. I am getting tired of seeing Ottawa lose with average players and pluggers. Pull the trigger on a deal. Points are slipping away very fast and we have to make the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is super tight. Toronto loses 7 in a row and we are still tied with Toronto.

- Todd Foley

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