The image of captain Daniel Alfredsson smashing his stick on the bench and crushing a water bottle in Game 6 left him with a lot of explaining to do.
The Ottawa Senators elected not to go on the ice today after their 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers Monday night at home, but that just left Alfredsson stickhandling around questions about why he blew up at the bench.
The 39-year-old Alfredsson, the NHL's longest-serving captain and a respected leader, has been frustrated before, however, not to the extent witnessed by those watching across the country on Hockey Night in Canada.
"It was bad," said Alfredsson today.
Alfredsson said he he wasn't pleased with coach Paul MacLean's decision to keep the No. 1 power play unit off the ice and wasn't pleased he put himself in a position to take a hit from New York's John Mitchell.
"That made me lose it pretty much," said Alfredsson. "I was mad at myself not being able to see him earlier and he put a clean hit on me."
MacLean said the two discussed the matter and they're going to let it go because the Senators have bigger concerns as they head to Manhattan tomorrow.
"We did have a real good conversation about frustration, about how it limits your focus and how it can be a distraction," said MacLean.
The focus for the Senators has to be on winning this series. They have to let go the frustration that plagued them in the loss and try to get back to the kind of hockey that has allowed them to be tied 3-3.
The Senators now have to go into Madison Square Garden and win Game 7. They are trying to stick with the role of being the underdog and not trying to accept any pressure.
"We have to stick with the structure and try to work the right way," said Ottawa centre Jason Spezza. "Maybe that desperation they had last night, and we should have had last game, maybe we'll learn from it.
"I think you're going to see a pretty determined group. It's one game. Anybody can beat anybody. We've got one game and anybody can move on. We're just looking forward to go going in and playing a strong Game 7."
There was concern the Senators may have to go into Game 7 without winger Milan Michalek. He reportedly kicked New York defenceman Dan Girardi during an incident in front of the net when Spezza brought the club to within a goal late.
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's VP of safety, took a look at the raw feed sent to him by the Rangers and decided not to hold a hearing with Michalek. MacLean said he hadn't see anything and wasn't sure about any action.
"I just heard about it and I didn't see any more about it than that," said MacLean. "I don't know really what it's all about."
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