ANAHEIM -- Dany Heatley played through a pulmonary contusion and bruised ribs since Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, a source told Sun Media last night.
That bit of news -- which goes against the direct "no" he answered when asked if he was injured immediately after Wednesday's dream-destroying 6-2 loss in Anaheim -- should serve as a small dose of consolation to Senators fan today.
Heatley, the most prolific sniper in Senators history, was awful in the do-or-die Game 5 loss to the Ducks, just as he was in Games 1, 2 and 3.
Once again he failed to register a single shot on goal. He appeared to steer clear of battles. Played almost like he was more concerned about making it to the end of the game rather than winning it.
If he was dealing with painful lung and rib injuries, it's easier to understand.
You'd really wonder about the character of such a talented player if he didn't have a legitimate excuse for going through the motions in a game with such meaning.
"ALFIE, ALFIE": The best and/or most valuable player in the NHL playoffs this spring was not Scott Niedermayer or Sammy Pahlsson or Andy McDonald or J.S. Giguere or Rob Niedermayer or any other Duck that received even passing consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy. The best and/or most valuable player in the NHL playoffs was Daniel Alfredsson. Without question. Alfredsson finished tied atop the scoring race, with Heatley and Jason Spezza, at 22 points. Alfredsson led all scorers with 14 goals, while the only other man to reach double digits was McDonald, who had 10. Alfredsson led all players in game-winning goals with four. Alfredsson failed to register a point in just four of 20 post-season games. Alfredsson showed up when most others didn't, scoring four of the Senators' nine goals in the final, including the only two in Game 5, including a short-handed effort that only came with speed, strength, skill and raw desire. Only. "It seems like whatever line you put him on, he's the guy that gets points for you," coach Bryan Murray, who mercifully released Alfredsson from Heatley and Spezza, said after the elimination loss. "He's a driving force, I think he showed it again (Wednesday). Short-handed, guys draped over him, gets to the net and makes it a 3-2 game at that moment, gave us a chance to get back into the game after a dreadful start, and we couldn't support him well enough." Just five times in the 42 years of the award's existence has the Conn Smythe gone to a player from the losing team in the Cup final. This year should have been the sixth.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM....: Instead of a parade, the Ducks will host an "official fan celebration" in the parking lot of the Honda Center tomorrow night. Free hot dogs will be served. Wieners will be courtesy of Oscar Mayer rather than Niedermayer ... GM John Muckler's most recent additions to this season's roster didn't play a whole lot in the franchise's biggest game. Joe Corvo saw 7:41 of ice time. Tom Preissing played 8:11. Mike Comrie played 8:20. Oleg Saprykin played 10:50. And Martin Gerber played backup, as he did for seven months ... Comrie is the only one of the above that had a known injury. His shoulder has been bothering him since Round 1. While being interviewed after the game, his ballcap was low, his eyes were red and watery, and he was talking about a different kind of pain. "It's difficult to lose like that ... no one likes to lose," said the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. "At the same time, we accomplished a lot this year, and we played a very good team. But we're disappointed. It hurts."
BETWEEN PERIODS: One of the few Senators forwards to play decently in the final, Antoine Vermette, separated Chris Pronger's shoulder with a first-period hit in Game 5.