A year ago, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley were put together on a line with high hopes.
Now, there appears to be no limit to what the two young Ottawa Senators can accomplish together.
"It should be pretty magical," TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire said after the morning skates yesterday at the Air Canada Centre.
"That twosome is tough to handle. Because of their size and skill level, and Dany's ability to shoot the puck and Jason's vision, it should be one of the lethal combinations in the league."
Spezza and Heatley help represent the fairly wide gulf that exists between the Maple Leafs and Senators. The Leafs' young hopes lie in Kyle Wellwood, Alex Steen and Matt Stajan, all fine players in their own right, but not on the same level as Spezza and Heatley.
The two worked well together last season. Spezza was hurt for some games but still had 90 points in 68 matches, and Heatley broke out with 50 goals and 103 points.
Spezza figures 100 points is attainable if he does not get hurt.
"Definitely," the 23-year-old said. "I should be able to do that, and hope I can, but personal stuff comes with winning games."
Spezza wants himself and Heatley to be the focal points in the Senators' offence. The third member of their line to begin the regular season last night was sophomore Patrick Eaves, who is coming off a 20-goal season.
"I think we have to be," Spezza said. "We like the pressure and we want to make sure we are go-to guys. A lot on how the team does relies on us.
"We know that and we have to make sure we bring it again."
Heatley, who had 41 goals for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2002-03, has 50 in his sights again but wants to go a few better.
"I would like to score more than 50 because you want to improve every season, Heatley, 25, said. "Jason and I read off each other very well. We're the same age and have played together before at the world junior.
"Sometimes it just clicks on the ice and it has happened for us."
A Toronto native, Spezza naturally had to dip into his pockets for tickets for last night's game.
"I don't know how many it was," Spezza said with a laugh. "All I know is I'm playing for free (last night)."