Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hot Hand Heatley saves the day

Dany Heatley is purging any disappointment from missing the Stanley Cup playoffs with a remarkable tournament at the World Championships.

Once again Canada found that the transplanted Ottawa Senator still has a scoring touch, which while Missing in Action in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs has resurfaced in time for the world Championships and it’s a good thing as Canada seems to be depending more and more on Heatley.

Tuesday Canada was lucky to come out of their match with the Americans with a victory, despite an early three goal lead, Canada never seemed to be in control of the game, instead they stood around and watched the Americans work, quickly eliminating Canada’s lead through the second period and taking charge of the play into the third.

Canada found themselves outshot and out skated during the course of the game, with only Cam Ward as their last line of defense that saved the day. Bad habits and slow feet seemed to plague the Canadian in the final two periods an issue that head coach Ken Hitchcock will be sure to address over the next 24 hours as the qualification round gets set to go.

USA coach John Tortorella felt that the result wasn’t worthy of the American effort, which certainly had given indications that they were close to putting some distance between themselves and the Canadians in the third.

After some initial jitters, the US played a faster paced game than Canada seemed able to adjust to, guided by Tim Thomas in the nets who recovered from those three early Canadian goals the Americans seemed to be taking the game in hand when Thomas was injured in the late stages of the second and was unable to return to the ice in the third.

His backup, Craig Anderson did well enough, but had troubles in the third when Canada pressed for a go ahead goal which the Americans again countered and then once again scored the winning goal when the Nash, Getzlaf, Heatley line finally combined for the winning goal with but less than a minute to play.

It was a typically hard hitting Canada/US match up, as the two teams seemed quite familiar with each other, occasionally to the point of too much distraction.

As they say in the end it’s the score on the board that really matters and for Canada that was at least a positive trend, that and the continued success of Dany Heatley who is quickly turning the competition into his own personal stats machine…

Globe and Mail-- Heatley rescues Canada
Halifax Chronicle-Herald-- Heatley scores winner for Canada
Winnipeg Sun-- Carrying on legacy

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