Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daniel Alfredsson Trying to Pass along Playoff Experience to Youthful Teammates: Alfie Trying to Pass on Playoff Experience

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daniel Alfredsson Trying to Pass along Playoff Experience to Youthful Teammates: Alfie Trying to Pass on Playoff Experience

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson has been here before. Many of his teammates haven't.

The Senators captain will look to pass his playoff experience on to a youthful Ottawa locker-room before the team opens its Eastern Conference quarter-final with the Rangers in New York on Thursday.

But Alfredsson says there's nothing that can really prepare a player for his NHL playoff debut.

"It's like going to Vegas for the first time," the 39-year-old said Wednesday. "People can tell you how incredible it is to see these buildings in the middle of the desert, but until you go there it doesn't do it justice.

"The playoffs are the same way."

Ottawa, the eighth seed in the East, will dress no fewer than six players with zero NHL playoff experience at Madison Square Garden against the heavily-favoured Rangers.

Alfredsson, who has 107 playoff games to his credit, believes preparation will be key for the Senators' young players.

"It's just making them aware of how things are on such a bigger scale. If you say the wrong thing it's going to be in every paper and you're going to have to answer for it," he said. "It's about handling your emotions because you're so pumped up and you have to be able to direct them in the right way. They'll learn a lot right from that first game."

One of those young players is rookie defenceman Jared Cowen.

"We've been talking about playoffs for a while now, especially since we clinched," he said. "It's exciting to actually get into it now and actually experience it for the first time and get the game started."

Cowen says he feels both excited and nervous but adds the experience of players like Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar (118 playoff games) is reassuring.

"It's nice to have those guys here to know I can ask them about anything," said the 21-year-old Cowen. "They always have things to say in the locker-room or just in general about how things are going to work because the playoffs are different and they help to calm me down."

The success of the AHL's Binghamton Senators, who won last season's Calder Cup, also helps.

"I think we're going to rely on that experience a lot simply because we don't have NHL playoff experience," said winger Colin Greening. …

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