After a true All-Star Game with players skating half-speed, no hitting taking place (although there was one) and zero defense being played, it was a hat trick for Marian Gaborik that was enough to get him the honor of All-Star Game MVP and a brand new car.
But he had some serious competition on the night. I don't mean from the other team's defensemen, of course he didn't have that. Instead, it came from the captain of the losing team, Daniel Alfredsson.
Playing on his home ice in Ottawa, Alfie helped bring his team back in the second period when he scored a pair of goals to give his team the lead for a brief time in the game. As you'd expect, the fans relished the moment.
All three Senators forwards in the game scored for Team Alfredsson (Jason Spezza in the first, then Milan Michalek in the third) but there was no doubt which goal the hometown crowd enjoyed the most. Just take a look at how they responded in what could be their captain's final All-Star game.
"It's unbelievable," Alfredsson said to Pierre McGuire in a midgame interview. "I'm not sure I deserve it, but it's been incredible."
Humility. That's just part of what makes Alfredsson so beloved.
Throughout the third period, it was the mission of Team Alfredsson to get Alfie one more goal, to match Gaborik and pick up the hat trick in the All-Star Game. Everybody seemed to be on board with it, continuing to pass it back to Alfredsson who even fired a slap shot.
Everybody was for it except for Tim Thomas, of course. The Bruins goalie doesn't like to get beat, ever. He denied Alfie on his last-minute attempts, preserving his own bit of All-Star glory. Thomas was the goalie on record for Team Chara and with the 12-9 win, he was the winning goalie for the fourth consecutive All-Star Game, a remarkable feat in a game with so much scoring.
"I've never been so happy losing a game," Alfredsson said afterward.
One of the many conversations in Ottawa this weekend was the future of Alfredsson. Nobody wanted to take away too much from the spotlight he was enjoying as captain in his home city but it's a natural question for a guy who has been in Ottawa since 1995-96.
He's said of late that he's open to playing again next season depending on how he feels. With the Senators' success this season, he said he's been having fun.
As of now, the best Alfredsson will commit to playing another season is 50/50 and the decision isn't just his. His wife will have the answer in the other 50 percent, he said.
There is obviously a second half of the season left to play and his Sens are in the thick of the Eastern playoff race. So there are a lot more memories he can make this season. But this night, combined with his 400th career goal earlier this season, have to be unforgettable for Alfie, even if this was a meaningless, watered down hockey game.
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