Hey ref, hold it!

TERRY KOSHAN, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET


  MAPLE LEAFS goalie Ed Belfour is not an overly verbose man at the best of times but last night he had seen enough and couldn't hold his tongue.

Belfour was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 32.7 seconds left in the third period of the Ottawa Senators' 4-2 win after he chirped at referee Dan Marouelli.

"I asked him what his thoughts were on all the obstruction hooking that was going on," Belfour said. "When our guys were trying to get the forecheck going, it seemed like the obstruction hooking was there and the refs weren't calling it. I watched a couple of games (on Wednesday night) and they were calling it all night long. I was just curious why they weren't calling it (last night)."

During a Leafs timeout, Belfour skated to the penalty box area to talk to Marouelli, and then followed him to centre ice, where the penalty was called. It capped an evening in which the Leafs were short-handed eight times against the Senators, who had the most efficient power play in the NHL during the season.

The Leafs had three power plays granted them by Marouelli and Marc Joannette.

The Sens scored twice on power plays, with the tying and winning goals coming 38 seconds apart with the man advantage in the second period. Mikael Renberg was in the box for the only obstruction-hooking penalty called in the game and Bryan McCabe joined him nine seconds later. McCabe was whistled for slashing when his chop broke Marian Hossa's stick, and the Sens struck quickly.

"It was a little iffy," McCabe said of the call. "All you want is some consistency."

Gary Roberts was one Leaf who thought the stick was already broken when McCabe slashed it. Roberts said obstruction "is always a factor," and also wondered why it was not called.

"They say they are going to call it," Roberts said. "You expect it would be called every night."


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