Daniel Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson will undergo back surgery on Friday, could take 4-6 weeks to recover

Much like the team he leads, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson fought through a rough campaign 2010-11 season. Injuries were a big reason he had such a tough year, as lower back issues contributed to a short 54-game season that ended in February.

Even when he was on the ice, he wasn’t his typically effective self. Alfredsson scored 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in those 54 games, with a career-worst -19 rating. That last figure was the most troubling; even if the team around him was often weak, “Alf” is known for being a player who is almost as defensively responsible as he is offensively potent.

Injuries and old age seem to be creeping up on the standout Swede. TSN reports that Alfredsson will undergo surgery on his back on Friday, with the recovery process expected to take about four to six weeks.

If that timetable is accurate, Alfredsson should probably be able to rehab in time for training camp. The Senators probably hope that their captain can play until his contract expires after the 2012-13 season. He’ll register a $4.875 million annual salary cap hit for the next two seasons, but will receive just $4.5 million in salary in 2011-12 and $1 million in ’12-13.

We’ll keep an eye on any announcements about the surgery and his recovery process. Sometimes these things take more time to heal than expected, especially with aging players such as Alfredsson.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: