What's the score, Dany?

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- It's not that there's any heat on Dany Heatley.

But if a game against Slovenia serves no other practical purpose, to get Heatley scoring again would make it a worthwhile endeavour.

If it happens, if the Calgary product gets it going, he could have a Team Canada record in reach, possibly even in hand, by the time you have lunch.

Heatley, the MVP of last year's second straight IIHF World Hockey Championship with an eight-goal tournament, is four shy of Marcel Dionne's record of 21 goals at the event. Heatley, in his fourth consecutive tournament, will play his 27th world championship game today. Dionne played 37 games for Canada over here.

Heatley is averaging exactly a point a game, leaving him 13 back of Steve Yzerman's points record for Team Canada in the tournament.

The problem is that Heatley is stalled. He's parked out. He's broken stride. Heatley and linemates Brendan Morrison and Ryan Smyth haven't been able to get it going, in the pre-tournament games nor the lid lifter against Latvia.

"They're a little snake -bit," said coach Marc Habscheid. "The puck doesn't want to go in. They've really had some chances. They're working hard. We think it's a good combination. It's just a matter of time."

In the 6-4 win against Latvia, the trio had 14 shots on goal - three more than the Rick Nash-Joe Thornton-Simon Gagne line which outscored them 4-1.

PULL THE TRIGGER

Morrison was the only one to pull the trigger. Heatley was credited with the assist. Heatley and Daniel Briere were magic together last year in Prague and Heatley admits he's missed his mate.

"Yeah, I miss him. Sure. We played together a lot. I knew him."

Heatley, who had a strange lockout season, suffering a serious eye injury before Christmas in the Swiss League playing with Briere at Bern, returned to the Russian Elite League where he was part of the highest-paid team in hockey this year - AK-Bars Kazan - which made a first round exit in the playoffs.

The eye injury, he says, is no problem now.

"It doesn't affect me on the ice. I'm having no problem with the eye."

WITHIN RANGE

Other, that is, than his aim. He says he wants to end the season with a success than to get the records he swears he was totally oblivious about until I informed him both were within range this year.

Getting the line going would go a long way toward that end. "This should be a real good line. Smytty likes to play down low and I'm having to get used to it. I'm more used to having chances off the rush. But we're getting better together each game."

Canada needs more than one line going if there's going to be a three-peat.

Morrison, who has 111 goals and 231 assists in his NHL career so far, is obviously a first-rate play-maker coming off a solid season in Sweden.

"We've just been off a little bit," he said. "I think we have to start not trying to be too fancy with the shots, just make sure to keep taking them. Smytty is so good down low and behind the net, we have to work on utilizing what he does more. Heater and I are more rush-type guys.

"Heats is a very dynamic player. We have to work on getting him the puck as much as we can and let him do his thing. We have to set some picks for him to do his thing," added the native of Pitt Meadows, B.C..

Smyth says he loves having two talents on the line, something he hasn't had on anything resembling a regular basis playing for the Edmonton Oilers. "Brendan makes great passes. And we know Heats loves to shoot." The prototypical Canadian hockey player says it should be the prototypical Canadian line.

"We have a great passer and a great shooter. I'm the mucker. It should pan out."


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