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You can't get some Senators off the ice

by John McGourty

Your best players are the ones who should get the most ice time, and the Northeast Division leaders reflect that theory. Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson led Northeast forwards with 22:17 minutes of average ice time, No. 6 among NHL forwards.

Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators -- The captain continues to do it all for the Senators. He was second on the team with 40 goals, 49 assists and 89 points and third among forwards with a plus-15 rating. Alfredsson had 9 power-play goals, 7 shorthanded goals and 5 game-winners. He was third among Senators forwards with 15:09 of average even-strength time and 4:18 of average power-play time and fourth with 2:48 minutes of shorthanded time. Alfredsson was tied for second in the NHL with nine shorthanded assists.

Dany Heatley, Ottawa Senators -- The Senators were firmly ensconced in first place in the Northeast Division when Heatley, a 50-goal scorer and 100-point producer the previous two seasons, suffered a separated shoulder that cost him 11 games. It's likely that shoulder bothered him for the rest of the season, resulting in 41 goals and 41 assists for 82 points, a 23-point decline. But there was no loss of faith in Heatley who was second among Ottawa forwards with 21:44 minutes of average ice time, ninth-best among NHL forwards. Heatley led with 16:48 average even-strength time and a Northeast Division-high 4:27 average power-play time. He led the Senators with 13 power-play goals, eight game winners and a plus-33 rating.

Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres -- Roy centered the Sabres' first line, led the team with 81 points and was second with a plus-13 rating. He finished second on the team in even-strength time and power-play time.  He had 3:50 of average power-play time, second to Tim Connolly, and 14:29 of even-strength time, second to Jochen Hecht. Displaying great versatility, Roy was third on the Sabres with 2:37 seconds of penalty-killing time per game, just eight seconds less, on average, than team leader Hecht. Roy served as alternate captain in March and April.

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators -- Spezza had the best of his five NHL seasons last year, leading the Senators with 58 assists, 92 points and 11 power-play goals. He had six game-winning goals and was third among Ottawa forwards with 20:40 minutes of average ice time. Spezza was second with 15:59 average minutes of even-strength play and 4:20 of power-play time. He averaged only 19 seconds a game of penalty killing.

Marc Savard, Boston Bruins -- Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk led the League in goals when Savard was their center. Savard's 63 assists were third-best in the NHL last season and he did it without a 30-goal scorer or even regular linemates. Savard led the Bruins with 78 points, had four power-play goals and two game winners. He topped Bruins forwards with an average of 20:31 minutes per game, 15:24 of even-strength time and 4:11 of power-play time. Savard killed almost a minute's worth of penalties every game.
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