|Senators forward Dany Heatley poses with the puck used to score his 50th goal last season. Heatley looks to reach the milestone again this year. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Already established as the only player in Ottawa Senators history to record 100 points in back-to-back seasons, forward Dany Heatley looks to also score consecutive 50-goal campaigns during each of his first two seasons in Ottawa. The left-winger enters the final two games of the regular season - against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow and Boston Bruins on Saturday - with 48 goals, and head coach Bryan Murray says it would be a great accomplishment for Heatley to reach the milestone again.
"I think it's a real compliment to the type of player he is," Murray says. "He had a great year last year, and we were very high on the fact that he got 50. To come back and play the way he has this year, to adjust his game to the needs of our club and he still has a chance to get there again, I think it's a tremendous compliment to the player."
Heatley says his main focus is to just keep getting shots on net.
"It's what I do, it's what I've always done," Heatley says. "I've got to keep doing the same thing and keep shooting the puck. We talked when I was at 41 or 42 (goals) and now at 48, we're closer. We're a couple of shots away. Whether goals go in or not, the big thing for us, all of us, is to keep shooting and keep going the way we're going."
Murray says he's impressed with how Heatley has embraced his new role in other areas of the game, while still ranking as one of the top scorers in the league.
"You watch him in practice and he's working as hard as he did in December when we were in desperate need of him. He's become a complete player. He can play defence. He can help in his own end. He's not afraid to kill a penalty, and still, he can score goals."
Heatley is attempting to become the first player in the NHL to reach 50 goals in consecutive seasons since Pavel Bure did so with the Florida Panthers in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
"We're trying to get him to 50," says Heatley's centre, Jason Spezza. "He's opportunistic, and if we can get the power play going, it would probably help."