Don't be like Tiger

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 3:51 PM ET


 Would anyone on the Philadelphia Flyers dare say the Maple Leafs are done like dinner?

 Don't bet on them making the same error that Broad St. Bully oldtimers claim Tiger Williams uttered in 1977 when the skate was on the other foot.

 Toronto had gone into the lion's den that was the Spectrum and won two hard-fought games that year, bringing the series back to Maple Gardens with hopes of ending two years of Philly playoff dominance.

 "Yeah, the Tiger helped us there," said ex-Flyer Don Saleski, chortling on the phone. "He told people something about we should break out our golf equipment. Don't think we didn't hear about it. When Joe Watson made a speech before the next game, I think they heard him in the Toronto dressing room."

 Williams had introduced his famous "done like dinner" phrase to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the deciding game of the previous series and it's possible he followed it after the Leafs shocked the Flyers at home.

 But the Flyers, who were also motivated by the news that ailing defenceman Barry Ashbee would not be rejoining them, won both games at the Gardens and took the series in six.

 This year's Flyers are saying all the right things as they prepare for tomorrow's Game 3 in Toronto. Coach Ken Hitchcock gave a stern lecture yesterday at a team meeting in Voorhees, N.J.

 "I said you won't get second periods like that (recording just one shot in Game 2) on the road and win,'' Hitchcock said. "Won't happen. You might get away with it at home, but never on the road. Their best chances were all because of us. We allowed them to have chances off our poor puck play."

 Because both clubs are stacked with veterans, Hitchcock expects a drawn-out series.

 "Older players realize that this is a once in a lifetime experience," he said. "That's why both teams are pouring so much into this. All of us know these teams won't be the same (forever). Players retire, players get traded.

 "I'm seeing (Leafs) Ron Francis, Gary Roberts and Bryan Marchment put everything into it and Joe Nieuwendyk play with a bad back. I can see it in their eyes, they won't go away easily and it's the same with our team."


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