December 4, 2008
Dany delivers for Pizza Line
By DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA
The "Dominator" was back at the wheel and steering the Senators to victory.
Not Dominik Hasek, but, as Jason Spezza calls his left winger, "the new Dominator."
Dominant Dany Heatley.
That's the title of the new autobiography (written primarily for kids) by the Senators' two-time 50-goal scorer (and Lorna Schultz Nicholson), a book that was launched at a lavish Chateau Laurier affair Tuesday night.
Less than 24 hours later, Heatley was doing what he does best. Putting up numbers for the Senators.
Heatley opened the scoring early with his team-leading 13th of the season, then set up goals by Pizza Line linemates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson before the first intermission. The move he made before teeing up Spezza's eighth was especially sweet.
It was the first time in more than three years (Oct. 10, 2005 vs. the Maple Leafs) that the three Ottawa stars scored in the same period.
Earlier, Spezza spoke of the book penned by his friend.
"I just looked at the pictures (Tuesday) night, and breezed through it," he said. "There are some classic shots of him as a kid. I'll probably knock it in the next day or two, maybe, just to give it a quick read.
"I think it's a great idea to do a children's book, instead of doing a serious book. Kids are the people you want to be fans anyway, the people who really appreciate players. When we were kids, to have somebody write a sports book is what you were looking for."
STARTS AND STOPS
A couple of former 67's helped the Senators get off to a quick start. Playing on a new line with Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette, Shean Donovan had three shots by the 41-second mark. Then, Brendan Bell picked up his first point as a Senator when he hit "Dominant" Dany with a sweet feed at the 78-second mark ... Was "Chummy" chomping at the bit to get back from a one-game injury hiatus? Donovan had five shots in the first. He entered the game with 18 all season ... Donovan deked the jock off Garnet Exelby to score his fourth ... Turning in a feisty effort was Jesse Winchester, who ran Thrashers tough guy Eric Boulton, then engaged in not one, but two fights, with Jim Slater and Nathan Oystrick. They were Winchester's first two fights of his NHL career. "I wasn't really set on going out and scrapping," said Winchester, who figures he hasn't fought in at least six years. "I guess they took offence to a few hits. The coach wants me to be more physical. For sure (getting in a fight was a rush). Good to get that first one under your belt. Now I know what to expect."
The number of Toronto-area, John Anderson Charcoal Broiled Hamburgers joints is down from nine to two, and the Thrashers coach no longer is involved in ownership. But the place bearing his name still makes a great (you guessed it) pork souvlaki. You may have seen this particular burger joint without even realizing it. Filmed there were scenes from the 1986 movie The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. "You know what's scary?" asked Anderson, who had 631 points in 814 NHL games. "I'm known for that (restaurant) and not hockey." ... Spezza met Sen. Frank Mahovlich at Heatley's book launch. "It was pretty neat," he said. "Frank's known as one of the best hockey players and one of the best people ever. My dad was a huge fan of his ... it's fun to meet the older guys. I really enjoy that part of the game, listening to their stories." ... Also dropping the gloves was Cody Bass, who gave up about seven inches and 35 lbs. to Boris Valabik ... Ryan Shannon was back in the lineup, and picking up his first point as a Senator, after missing six games with a concussion. "It was kind of like an ice cream headache," he said. "You know when you eat too much, and you get brain freeze?" Asked if he had any trepidation about returning, Shannon smiled: "That's a big word for a hockey player," he said. "I've been able to go through practice, and I don't feel there's a hesitation ... I'll let you know after the first period." He must have been okay. On one busy shift, Shannon was bumping with Valabik, who's only about a foot taller than him.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMM....
The Senators had the league's fourth-best penalty kill before the game, and they improved with exceptional work (led by Antoine Vermette, Anton Volchenkov, Mike Fisher, Chris Phillips) in the second. Surviving a 5-on-3 earned them a standing ovation ... Asked about the need for the Senators to take advantage of "sloppy seconds" (a.k.a. rebounds) Alfredsson said: "The seconds are definitely going to be important. The goals that are scored, you've got to get people in front of the net and get the rebounds. The second, maybe even third chances." Did you say sloppy thirds? "No," he said, "that's you." ... Chris Kelly said Martin Gerber is first star for Senators' moustaches. "By far," he said. "The Super Mario look. Nicky (Foligno) is under cover too. For a 21-year-old, that thing is coming thick. Third star is Philly, tied with (Jason Smith) Smitty. His is pretty good too. And the worst? "Dono. I don't know when Donovan is going to get on board here, growing his. He said he's been growing it, but I haven't seen any progress." Said Donovan: "Whatever. It's coming. I'm a late bloomer."