Flyers expect Eagle to rebound

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:57 PM ET


 If Ed Belfour dies on the vine tonight to follow up his poor performance in Game 5 on Sunday, Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock might be the most surprised person in the Air Canada Centre.

 Hitchcock coached Belfour with the Dallas Stars and celebrated with the sometimes-cranky netminder when the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999. Not only did Hitchcock witness first-hand Belfour's devotion to his craft, but also saw Belfour's resolve and ability to recover from bad outings.

 'HE'S A FIGHTER'

 "He's a fighter," Hitchcock said. "Dealing with Belfour is like dealing with Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur. They don't allow a blip to effect them and when you play against them, you need to understand that right off the bat."

 So how do the Flyers seep into Belfour's head tonight?

 "You have to attack and you have to be aggressive," Hitchcock said.

 One example of Belfour's determination came during the Stars' Cup run. Dallas was waxed 7-5 by the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of the Western Conference final.

 Trailing 3-2 in games, Belfour, Hitchcock said, was "excellent in the first five shifts" of Game 6 and helped propel the Stars to a 4-1 win.

 Dallas took Game 7 by the same score and then beat the Buffalo Sabres in six games to capture the Cup.

 Mark Recchi was asked, if he was in the shoes of the Leafs, whether it would be difficult to leave the 7-2 loss behind.

 "They have a veteran lineup and they have already forgotten about it," Recchi said.


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