Dany Heatley is the Sharks' $8 million man. And when San Jose acquired the high-scoring forward before last season, they had hoped he would be the missing ingredient for a Stanley Cup.
Right now, Heatley is just plain missing.
The team's highest-paid player is struggling badly in the Western Conference finals, and that helps explain why the Sharks are facing elimination as they head back to Vancouver for Game 5 on Tuesday.
In Sunday's 4-2 loss at the Shark Tank, Heatley mustered only one shot and -- as Todd McLellan shuffled lines in a desperate attempt to find some offense -- even was dropped down to the third line at times.
Also, it was Heatley's high-sticking penalty that launched the Sharks' parade to the penalty box that resulted in three five-on-three Vancouver goals in the second period.
"I've got to find a way to produce, obviously," said Heatley who has just one assist in this series. "There's just not enough there. I have to find a way to get shots, get chances and score goals. There's no question I've got to play better."
Heatley, who twice has been a 50-goal scorer, was limited to just 26 goals this season. But Sharks coach Todd McLellan repeatedly has praised Heatley for elevating other aspects of his game to compensate for his lack of goal production.
There was no happy talk Sunday from McLellan.
Sharks need more from Dany Heatley
San Jose Mercury News | May 23