It's a telling sign when your play catches the eye of a national legend. That's exactly the boat Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad find themselves in as Daniel Alfredsson was quick to heap praise upon the Sens' Swedish youngsters.
With Zibanejad bumped up to the top line alongside Alfie and Kyle Turris on Tuesday night, the rookie added some speed and flair to the first unit while playing opposite the captain. The two hooked up on Alfredsson's goal when Zibanejad forced a Cody Hodgson turnover in Buffalo territory, setting up Alfredsson to do the rest.
Needless to say, Alfredsson enjoyed his first game alongside the newcomer.
"It's fun. I think Mika has been playing really well since he got called up and he's been skating well, making plays, using his size to win battles. I thought our line played really well yesterday and hopefully we can keep it going."
Many were concerned over the well-being of Silfverberg after he took a puck to the chest late in Tuesday's game after going down to block a shot. While it generally takes with many rookies to learn what is necessary to win games late, Alfredsson says that selfless play is just part of Silfverberg's game.
"He's a guy that plays well in all situations, knows the defensive side and the offensive side of the game, and knows what it takes to win. He's done that a couple of times now," said Alfredsson. "I remember in Florida, same thing in the third period he goes down, blocks a shot and we get a breakaway out of it. He's a really smart player to go along with his offensive instincts."
Not only that, but Alfredsson thinks young Sens fans who play the game could stand to learn a lot from Silfverberg.
"I think he's probably got one of the best shots in the league and if I was a kid, I'd definitely study the way he shoots the puck."