On Thursday night, Detroit Red Wings winger Daniel Alfredsson scored what just might be the team’s most important goal of the season. Just over a minute into overtime in a tight game against the Calgary Flames, the veteran forward sent a slap shot past Karri Ramo to bring the Red Wings their first win in seven games and their first home win in six games. It was Alfredsson’s second goal of the game, and he continues to be more productive offensively while the Red Wings battle injuries to key offensive players. Pavel Datsyuk set up Alfredsson for the game-winning goal, giving him three assists on the night, while Alfredsson assisted on Joakim Andersson‘s second-period goal for a three-point night as well.
After netting just one goal in the first 12 games of the season, it’s great for the Red Wings to see Alfredsson scoring more regularly. He’s been a steady point-producer all season, and he now has nine goals and 27 points through 32 games. When he was brought in over the summer as a free agent on a $3.5 million contract, the hope was that Alfredsson could provide some secondary scoring for a Detroit team that was lacking on offensive threats beyond Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. With a point in five of Detroit’s 10 games in December, he has been one of the bright spots for a team that managed only seven goals during a six-game losing skid. Alfredsson may be 40 years old and isn’t the dynamic scoring threat he was for years for the Ottawa Senators, but he’s on pace to exceed his scoring totals from 47 games last season (10 goals, 26 points) by quite a bit. Fellow free agent additions Stephen Weiss (2013), Mikael Samuelsson (2012) and Jordin Tootoo (2012) haven’t worked out as expected in Detroit, which makes Alfredsson’s recent play even more important.