Eagle's feathers ruffled

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:06 PM ET


 Eddie Belfour was a time bomb on skates.

 And Jeremy Roenick knew it.

 Roenick's Philadelphia Flyers had just taken a 3-1 lead late in the game and the crowd was going bonkers.

 Chants of "Eddie, Eddie" rocked the house as fans mocked the Maple Leafs goaltender.

 The clock was ticking. Roenick could sense his former Chicago Blackhawks teammate was about to snap.

 Sure enough, after jostling with a Flyers forward along the boards, Belfour gave Branko Radivojevic a major-league hack and was assessed a slashing minor with just 3:29 remaining.

 Once again, the Flyers looked like they had somehow got into the Eagle's head.

 "It's exactly what we wanted, it's exactly what our game plan was," Roenick said. "You just had the feeling he was going to react. He's an emotional guy, a very competitive guy, and he wasn't about to go away quietly.

 "He'll come back calm, cool, and collected for Game 2. We know he will."

 That won't stop the Flyers from keeping up their tactics. A nudge here, a bump there, anything to get Belfour off his game.

 Exactly one year earlier, the Flyers used the same blue print to badger Belfour into losing his cool in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference final. He was penalized for attacking a Philadelphia player during the 6-1 loss, an embarrassing defeat that eliminated the Leafs from post-season play.

 "It was their plan last year and it is again," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He's a competitive guy and there was lots of infringement on him.

 "They jostled him earlier in the game and there was no call. One of the officials came by and told me they would have waved off the goal had the Flyers scored. Either way it's still a bloody penalty.

 "Still, we have to hold our cool better. We can't retaliate."

 While much of the post-game talk centred on Belfour, the Flyers' Robert Esche was solid in stopping 22 Toronto shots.

 "They're not going to give up," Esche said. "They're going to try and get traffic in front of me like all teams do."


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