Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson brings 989 career points (375 goals) into BankAtlantic center this evening in his 50th all-time match against Florida. He joins Panthers Radek Dvorak and Bryan McCabe and Calgary's Jarome Iginla who hit their thousand-game mark earlier in the year.
For the fourth time this season, the Panthers will host a player appearing in his 1,000th NHL game. For the second time, it ain't a Cat.
Somewhat remarkably, the 1994 6th-rounder collected 61 points (26 goals) in his rookie campaign, his first career goal bouncing off his backside and into the Florida net at Miami Arena in October, 1995.
His 22g-25a-47 points in 49 games versus the Cats make him one of the more dangerous of opponents the franchise has faced in all but the first two seasons of its existence. Question is, where does Alfie rank all-time against Florida? Numbers are of course a great indicator, but not the only measure when emotion and experience are involved, purely from a fan's perspective.
He's so quiet and unobtrusive in his craft that he's terribly easy to overlook among great scorers who have played the Panthers with success throughout the years. We're not in Jagr, Sid, Ovie, or Mario territory, but is Alfredsson one of the great Panther-killers? And where does he fall in terms of "fear factor", i.e. does he make you nervous in the way an Eric Staal or Vinny Lecavalier tend to when sharing Florida ice?
Lots more on this understated veteran's Big Night over at Silver Sens, so check it out.
Live Game Forum up around 6:30, and NO local TV, so get creative.
(NOTE: thanks to those who called me out on the earlier Iginla omission. My apologies to the big guy.)