Leetch a man with a plan

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET


 When the Philadelphia Flyers plant their big bodies in front of goalie Ed Belfour, pushing them out of harm's way is about as easy as body slamming a sumo wrestler.

 With that in mind, Maple Leafs defenceman Brian Leetch has developed a solution to prevent the Flyers from driving Belfour bonkers.

 "You've got to get body position, try to get sticks and try to eliminate ice before they get position," Leetch said. "Even the big guys can't move them. Once they are planted in front, it doesn't really matter. Trying to get position beforehand is important."

 The Flyers have made no secret of their desire to create traffic around Belfour's crease. It's also obvious that Belfour doesn't take kindly to opponents interfering with him.

 Late in Game 1, Belfour became tangled up in the corner with Branko Radivojevic and took a two-handed chop at the Flyers winger. Radivojevic's response Friday -- "Why would I take a whack at him? (Belfour) should be in the crease, not in the corner," -- didn't make much sense to Leafs forward Clarke Wilm.

 "(Belfour's) record in the playoffs speaks for itself," Wilm said. "He knows how to play the game and to try to tell him what to do is senseless."

 Besides, Belfour acts like a third defenceman when he plays the puck. Positionally, Belfour has a knack for getting himself square to the shooter, which gives Leafs defencemen all that much more motivation to execute Leetch's plan.

 "We've got to clean up some of the rebound type goals in front," defenceman Ken Klee said. "We know Eddie is going to make the first save for us. We've just got to be there to help him out on the rebounds."


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