'We're on the same page'

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Dany Heatley shot down any notion yesterday that he has a problem with coach Cory Clouston.

The Senators winger denied a Sun Media report that he has issues with the system the new bench boss has instituted since taking over last week from the fired Craig Hartsburg.

In fact, both maintained they're on the same page.

While Clouston told reporters he discussed the matter with Heatley, they both claimed the story didn't have legs and that the two-time 50-goal scorer is close to making the necessary adjustments to his game as the club opens a five-game road trip here tonight against the Sabres.

"(The story) was (a surprise) because (Heatley) and I have seen completely eye-to-eye," said Clouston. "I've talked to him several times. I talked to him (Monday) and again (yesterday). There's not that at all. He knows exactly what he needs to do."

SMOOTH THE WATERS

Heatley, who has 22 goals and 24 assists in 51 games this season, hasn't had the kind of year he or the Senators expected. He is on pace for only 36 goals, but says he hasn't lost confidence in the fact he can get the job done.

Heatley was trying to smooth the waters yesterday as the club doesn't need any trouble, especially from an alternate captain who is considered to be one of its leaders.

"I was a little bit disappointed (in the story) because it couldn't be further from the truth because we're on the same page," said Heatley. "The only thing I disagreed maybe was that I'm pressing a little bit too much. As far as everything else, we're on the same page.

LOOKING TO TURN PAGE

"Obviously, there have been stretches where I've played pretty well and there have been stretches where I haven't. Overall, the puck hasn't gone in the net as much as I'd like. But there's 30 games left and I'm looking to have a great finish."

Not only has Heatley struggled to contribute consistently, he has been at odds with the media over their assessment of the way he and the Senators (13th place in the Eastern Conference) have played.

Heatley said he can deal with the pressure he is under to score goals.

"I know (the expectations) and I understand that," said Heatley. "I'd rather have it that way. I like the expectations to be high and that's why I like playing in Ottawa.

"At the same time, when somebody in the media is negative, I don't think it's justified a lot of times and that's not only for myself, but for a lot of guys in the room."

SPEZZA CHIMES IN

Centre Jason Spezza, who is often the lightning rod for criticism from the fans and media, said there are no issues with the changes Clouston has made and everybody is pleased with the progress.

"People sometimes read the media and think it's gospel," said Spezza. "Nobody has got a problem with (Clouston) so far and I've been really impressed with how he's come in and established himself as an authoritative guy and he's run some really good practices."


Videos

Photos