Sens enjoy shot of luck

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Dany Heatley claims he is the best shooter in the Senators' dressing room.

Jason Spezza takes exception to the remark.

"I've got great long range," Spezza said yesterday. ''He's got a much easier shot than me. I've usually got to go over media guys around the logo.

"He's got the clean land lane."

Of course, Spezza's also only looking at about a 15-footer when he's tossing his practice jersey and socks into the laundry bin located in the middle of the team's dressing quarters. Heatley appears to be about 20 feet from it, which may explain why he often comes up short.

Cotton doesn't float far in the hot air that enters the room with the media each day.

"I'd say I'm about 40," Heatley estimated when asked about his jump-shot percentage from the field, or carpeted floor, as it were. "I was 2-for-2 (Monday)."

Interestingly, he was down as 3-for-3 in Monday's Game 3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. That is, the official stats sheet has him hitting the net with three pucks, and zero missed shots.

Seem to remember him wide with one .... oh yes, that's right. The only goal of the game. A smooth pull up and pass by Spezza and an empty-net tap-in by Daniel Alfredsson were bridged by a rocket Heatley launched off the end boards and then off scrambling Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

Wanting nothing but net, the only thing Heatley didn't miss was a Chevy logo. That, he hit Like A Rock.

"It was supposed to go in," said Heatley, who confirmed he got good "graphite" with the big slapper.

"Usually when it goes in on that angle, it's coming out the other side. It was a good bounce for us."

The Senators are getting a few of them this spring.

As of yesterday morning, Spezza and Heatley led all playoff scorers with 18 points each, three more than Alfredsson and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom.

With one goal in each of his last five games, Alfredsson was the post-season's top goal scorer at nine.

Heatley, who admits he likes the ring of The CASH Line as a nickname, says he's never before been on a unit that's going like this one.

"Not on this stage," he said. "When you're going up, there's always games and weeks when you're clicking pretty good ... and with these two guys, we've always clicked. Even when we're not scoring, we're generating chances, getting shots on net. That's been our goal."

Apparently, missing the target isn't always bad, either.

Just so long as there continues to be someone to pick up after them when they do.

ICE CHIPS

As impressive as the Senators have been this playoff season on the road (no regulation time losses in seven games), consider their recent Scotiabank Place trend. They have posted shutouts in three of their last four home games, allowing the opposition an average of 20 shots per game in the process. Not only has there been a blanket of red in the stands, but also one between the boards ... Alfredsson admitted having 4-year-old son Hugo on the podium with him after Game 3 was special. "It was kind of neat," said Alfredsson. "I still think he doesn't really understand what dad does. He's been here on a few days off, but usually he just wants to go in the hot tub. It's kind of nice for me to be able to take him to the rink and show him off ... even though he probably won't remember when he's 20, I feel good about it." ... In town yesterday to talk to players on behalf of the NHL Players' Association was former NHL tough guy Stu Grimson. Seeing the Grim Reaper hovering couldn't have been considered a good omen for Sabres fighting to stay alive ... Senators coach Bryan Murray was asked yesterday to compare Anton Volchenkov to another young defenceman he once coached, future Hall of Famer Scott Stevens. Said Murray: "At 18, (Stevens) was an emotional guy and one of the reasons early on we (the Washington Capitals) were close but not close ... because he was 18, 19 when we played the Islanders in some of the big games and they knew how to get him off track. But he certainly became a superstar defenceman. Great with the puck, great leader, had an outstanding career. Anton won't have the puck skills probably that Scott had. He won't be a power-play guy in all likelihood because I don't think Alfie will let him out there on the power play. But he will be an impact player. His career is going to go on from here. I think he's not only going to get recognition, but he's going to get great confidence from this run. We know defensively there's not many guys now in the league that play better than he does. So I think he's going to have a chance to be a champion several times over, without a doubt."


Videos

Photos