Bruising defenceman Danny Markov has no hard feelings toward Alexander Mogilny for the dangerous hit his fellow Russian laid on him on Wednesday night.
But he is a bit peeved at the referees.
"It's 100% penalty," the Philadelphia Flyers' Markov said yesterday in his thick Russian accent. "For me to hit him like that, it's a two-minute penalty."
The Maple Leafs' Mogilny nailed Markov, seemingly from behind, against the boards in the third period. For some reason, the officials did not deem the dangerous encounter penalty-worthy.
Markov believes that if the shoe was on the other foot, he would have been given at least a minor, and possibly five.
But the good-natured Moscow native took it all in stride yesterday. Markov seems to be relishing the playoff atmosphere, and can hardly wait for Game 4 to begin tonight.
"I like it ... it's like war," he said. "It's very exciting."
Markov played four seasons with the Leafs from 1997-2001 and became a fan favourite with his reckless and hard-hitting style.
He was traded in a highly controversial deal in 2001 to Phoenix for Robert Reichel, Travis Green and Craig Mills.
Many a Leaf fan has mentioned Markov's name as the type of player the blue and white could use in the playoffs now. He enjoys physical games, but shot down suggestions yesterday that Mogilny's hit could be considered payback for all the nasty hits he has dished out over the years.
"I always play hard and I always like to hit people and always take the hits, but one thing I never to do is the dirty hits," Markov said.
"I never hit people dirty."
One thing he will not do tonight is go out of his way to nail Mogilny.
"I didn't see who hit me because it's from behind, so I didn't see the number," he said.
Markov not out to get Mogilny
STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET