Heatley sticking it out

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Superstitious, Dany Heatley is not.

At least when it comes to his stick and his health, anyway.

The Senators sniper conferred with those who would know before reporting yesterday he goes through "16 dozen" Stealths in a single season.

That's a total of 192 Synergy sticks -- and a retail value of approximately $57,600 to spare you the arithmetic.

Does one ever get to play two games in succession?

"Very rarely," said Heatley.

Not even if it is coming off a hat trick? Why not?

"It has its chance," one of the NHL's most prolific scorers shrugged matter-of-fact like.

Heatley himself, on the other hand, never misses a beat.

Last night, he extended his ironman run as a Senator to 150 games. In 2005-06, his first campaign in Ottawa, he was one of four Senators to play all 82 games, along with Chris Kelly, Peter Schaefer and Antoine Vermette.

This season, Heatley, Kelly, Chris Neil, Andrej Meszaros and Chris Phillips are the only Senators to have perfect attendance records.

While others might be skittish about discussing such streaks, Heatley didn't even look for any wood to knock talking about having never missed a night of work since the trade that brought him to the capital.

"There's a little luck involved, for sure," said Heatley, who also played the full 82-game schedule his rookie season (2001-02). "But a lot of it also has to do with being here. I really enjoy the off-ice stuff we do before practice and after games. It's helped, for sure."

That would be the goal scorer crediting the strength and conditioning coach with an assist for helping him be the man he is.

Take a bow, Randy Lee.

STARTS AND STOPS: Anton Volchenkov was throwing his weight around pretty good last night. He responded to an Alex Ponikarovsky hit on Antoine Vermette by decking Ponikarovsky later in the same period. And when Mats Sundin was doing some pushing in a scrum in the second, Volchenkov put him on his butt. That one received the loud cheer you imagine it would ... Say this for the Leafs, they do what they can to fuel the support they get at Scotiabank Place. Just as Sundin did here on their last visit, Alex Steen acknowledged a section of fans wearing Toronto jerseys after scoring a spectacular second period goal ... Always nice to see hard work rewarded. In between banging Leafs left and right, Mike Fisher was presented an empty net by Peter Schaefer and was helped to a second goal by Carlo Colaiacovo's skate.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: The most entertaining moment at yesterday's morning skate was the Brian Kilrea impersonation by Leafs broadcaster (and former 67's goalie) Jim Ralph. He has Killer down, right to the batting of his eyes ... Second highlight at the practice? Listening to Leafs D Hal Gill do some rapping. He's no 50 Cent, but maybe a Dime ... On maternity leave from her real job, pay-per-view host Patricia Boal said her day was different than most reporters. She made her mother/babysitter a birthday cake at 6 a.m., then pumped some breast milk before heading to work. And yup, that made her unique (for reporters), for sure ... The Senators still should have traded for Gary Roberts.

BETWEEN PERIODS: Bryan McCabe thinks ex-67's D-man Brendan Bell will flourish in Phoenix. "Bellie's a great kid," the Leafs defenceman said of his former teammate, who was dealt to the Coyotes for Yanic Perreault at the deadline. "He kind of ran into a numbers game here on the depth chart, but he's a great player. He's going to play in this league for a lot of years. He just needs an opportunity to play." Bell has been getting that with the Wayne Gretzky's team, where his ice time is around the 18-20 minute mark ... McCabe is wearing stitches where his left eyebrow used to be, courtesy of a high-stick by Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek the other night. That's okay, you have another brow, right Bryan? "One of many," he said ... Okay, I don't know what that means either.

BOTTOM SHELF: Why do Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza generally have so much success against the Leafs, coach Paul Maurice was asked yesterday. "They're really, really good," he replied ... Earlier this week a clever colleague was dissecting a Spezza assertion that the Senators would be battling with Buffalo if their shootout record was better. "They're 2-3 in shootouts," said the veteran writer. "That's just three more points, if they win them all. No wonder they call (a community service) Spelling with Spezza and not Math with Spezza." ... Upon Mike Comrie's demotion last night, the math majors in the pressbox were out again. They looked at Comrie, Martin Gerber and Joe Corvo and figure the salaries of the backup goalie, sixth defenceman and fourth-line right winger are now at $9.2 million. Cruel, eh?


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