Refs bow to Leafs: Clarke

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET


 Bob Clarke has never met a war of words he didn't like.

 And now that this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final has turned a bit nasty both on and off the ice, the Philadelphia Flyers general manager is doing his part to further spice up the festivities.

 The normally outspoken Clarke -- unusually tight-lipped through the first two games of the series -- yesterday ended his silence by suggesting the constant complaining by Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn influenced the officiating in Toronto's 4-1 victory at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

 "Pat is on the refs after every game," Clarke said. "(The officials) know they will get it if they don't call it properly.

 "Pat accomplished what he set out to accomplish. He is a smart man. He knows exactly how (the referees) are going to react. And they did."

 The Flyers were upset that Alexander Mogilny was not penalized for smearing Danny Markov into the boards in the third period. They also questioned why Leafs goalie Ed Belfour, in their opinion, continuously cried to the officials whenever a Flyer came close to his crease.

 "They hit. They are a big club. No big deal," Clarke said. "What Pat has done after every game is cry and whine about the officiating, and Belfour is the same. It paid off for them."

 Quinn, who was unaware of Clarke's comments, said the former Flyers captain was influencial in his own right.

 The Maple Leafs coach compared Ragnarsson's much-publicized hack to the back of Mogilny's leg Wednesday to Clarke's famous slash on Soviet great Valery Kharlamov during the 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series.

 "(Clarke) must be teaching them something judging by the chop their kid gave Mogilny," Quinn said.


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