Crashing burns Belfour

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 4:45 PM ET


 A frustrated Eagle took another pounding from the Philadelphia Eagles last night.

 Check that. Given all the physical contact he absorbed, it only seemed like the opposing team was the NFL Eagles, who play across the parking lot from the Wachovia Center at Lincoln Financial Field.

 Either way, Ed Belfour is sick and tired of the bumps and hacks he has been receiving from the Philadelphia Flyers, who continue to get in his face.

 And after his latest bout with Keith Primeau, Donald Brashear and the rest of Ken Hitchcock's band of crease-crashers, the Maple Leafs goalie finally fired back after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss last night.

 He accused the Flyers of using dirty tactics to get him off his game.

 He said it was part of the master plan orchestrated by Hitchcock, his former coach with the Dallas Stars.

 And he alleged that the league's front office, for the most part, is turning a blind eye to goaltender interference in order to increase offence in the post-season.

 "That's what (the Flyers') game plan is, crash the net, bump the goalie, get you off your balance, give you pokes at the back of the leg, lift your stick up when you are not looking," he said. "Then they throw the puck at the front of the net from the sides, and it has been working for them.

 "(The Flyers) probably play that way a little bit more than most teams," Belfour said. "I played for Ken in the past. He has always preached a crash-the-net style."

 So what can be done? While referees Kerry Fraser and Michael McGeough did call Brashear for goaltenders interference in the third period, they also allowed a liberal amount of contact in both creases.

 "I don't know (what's going on)," Belfour said. "They have to address it right from the top. I don't think it has been addressed and I don't think they are too worried about addressing it.

 "They're trying to create more goals and that's probably one way they think it might happen," he said.


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