REST IRKS HITCHCOCK
No one is happier to see the number of off-days between games evaporate than Ken Hitchcock.
Because there were two days between both Games 1 and 2, and Games 2 and 3, the Philadelphia coach feels his Flyers have not been able to find any consistency on the ice. Don't forget that the Flyers also had four days off after eliminating the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.
Tonight will mark just the third outing in 11 days for the Flyers.
"We feel like we've been playing (Toronto) for about a month and it has only been two games," Hitchcock said yesterday. "We're 2-0 and it doesn't even feel like the series has even started yet.
"After Game 3 (tonight) we play every other day. That's when it should start feeling like a series."
Hitchcock said his team will be prepared for a big push by the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
"Our experience of being up there in last year's series is going to help us. I'll be more ready myself. Their play was much more reckless and physical in their own building. We'll be ready (for that)."
Eddie Belfour's complaints concerning Philly's crease-crashing tendencies may have fallen on deaf ears in the Flyers dressing room, but the team's legion of faithful fans is outraged at the Eagle's claims.
Dozens of Flyers supporters flooded the Toronto Sun with e-mails in the wake of Belfour's statements. Here's a sampling.
- "Belfour deserves the Oscar for whining (and diving). Print that in your next column. I dare you." -- Sam Sawhney
- "A team with punks like Tucker, Marchment and Domi shouldn't be crying about other teams tactics." -- Paul Billitto
- "Two words for Eddie -- boo and hoo." -- Samantha Bloch.
- "Belfour knew exactly what he was getting into facing his former coach. If he can be rattled, rattle away. I am surprised that Belfour whines as much as he does. And Darcy Tucker is the biggest flopper I have ever seen -- unbelievable!" -- Bill Leonard.
You get the picture.
Arm, out for season
Hand, Game-time decision
MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun
, Last Updated: 2:39 PM ET