Sens waiting on Heatley

The Ottawa Senators have the most-feared line in the NHL at their disposal, but sometimes that can be both a blessing and a curse.<br /><br /><br />The Senators top unit of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley has been the best line in the league since the start of last year’s playoffs. However, the line is so important to the team’s success that if one piece of the puzzle gets hurt it has a negative effect on the club.

The Ottawa Senators have the most-feared line in the NHL at their disposal, but sometimes that can be both a blessing and a curse.


The Senators top unit of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley has been the best line in the league since the start of last year’s playoffs. However, the line is so important to the team’s success that if one piece of the puzzle gets hurt it has a negative effect on the club.


For example, Heatley went down with a separated right shoulder on Jan. 12 and the Senators are just 2-5-0 without him in the lineup. With Heatley out, Ottawa loses a huge chunk of its offensive firepower as the winger is second on the team in goals (25) and third in points (56).


Heatley’s absence has created a domino effect for the Senators where moves need to be made to each line in order to compensate for the loss. Ottawa’s task is to find a balance that will work for the top unit and keep the other lines from suffering too much. After all, Heatley will be sidelined with the injury until at least the middle of February.


Alfredsson certainly did his part in Ottawa’s final game before the All-Star break, as the Sens’ captain posted a hat trick and a career-high seven points in an 8-4 blowout of Tampa. Ottawa hopes that offensive explosion is a sign that the team is learning to play without Heatley.


To make matters worse for Ottawa, the Montreal Canadiens are making a run at the Senators’ first-place spot in both the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference. Ottawa currently holds both spots with 66 points, but the Habs are just six points behind.


The Senators need to weather the storm without Heatley in the lineup or else they will go from the best team in the East to just another club scrambling for playoff position.

 
 
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