Mats Sundin vs. Daniel Alfredsson
I spent eight hours yesterday putting up drywall in a basement with my brother Ryan. Eight hours in the same room with him is guaranteed to result in a series of arguments / debates. One that's still upsetting me was our debate about Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson.
Ryan arrogantly stated that Daniel Alfredsson was better than Mats Sundin. When the two careers are over, he feels that Alfy will be viewed as the better Swede. In fact, Ryan believes everyone already thinks Alfy is better than Sundin because when I told him I thought Sundin was better and it wasn't even that close, Ryan told me I'm the only one who thinks that and I'd be hard pressed to find someone to agree with me.
For the record, I think this is as crazy as his bold statement that Mark Bell would score 40 goals this season. We eventually put $50 on the line with him saying Bell would score at least 20 goals and me saying he wouldn't. I'm going to win that bet easily.
If I remove my inherent Leafs bias and look at Mats Sundin vs. Daniel Alfredsson objectively, I still believe the vast majority of people will agree Mats is the better hockey player. When all is said and done, Mats will have accumulated more points having played with mediocre players like Jonus Hoglund and Nik Antropov. Alfy plays with stellar all-stars like Heatley and Spezza. Mats not only secures more points, he captained Sweden's gold medal winning team. Sundin is always called to captain Swedish teams that include Alfedsson, because Sundin is considered the better captain. Love him or hate him, everyone agrees Sundin is a class act and his abundance of overtime goals suggests he scores in the clutch.
At this moment, neither player has won a Stanley Cup, although Alfredsson's team is currently a contender. I'm not doubting Alfredsson is a great player, I'm merely confidently stating that Mats Sundin is a better player. Great evidence is this season. At 27-10-4, Ottawa is leading the Northeast division. At 16-18-8, Toronto is last in that same division. 37-year old Mats Sundin is Toronto's offensive juggernaut with 48 points, a full 13 points ahead of our 2nd leading scorer and 21 points ahead of #3. 35-year old Alfy, with 55 points, is tied with Dany Heatley for the Senators lead in points, only 3 points ahead of Jason Spezza. On an awesome team with plenty of awesome support, the younger Alfredsson is only 7 points ahead of Sundin.
In my humble opinion, Mats Sundin is the second best Swede to play our game. Pound for pound, I believe Peter Forsberg is the best, but I sincerely believe Sundin is definitely better than Daniel Alfredsson. Is my brother right when he says nobody would agree with me or am I right when I say he's completely out to lunch?
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