Time to drop puck and lawsuits

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET


 TORONTO -- Well, I guess it's not really a Toronto-Ottawa playoff series until the first lawsuit is thrown out.

 Or a newspaper (this one) hires an airplane to buzz the CN Tower to deliver an aerial insult to fans of the Maple Leafs.

 ("Look, up in the sky! It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's a plane flipping the bird!")

 Or another newspaper (that one) dresses up a photo of one team's captain to make him look like a clown.

 Are we in the right place?

 Must be.

 Game 1 of the Maple Leafs-Senators Eastern Conference quarter-final doesn't happen until tonight, but don't get caught up in details.

 Nobody else is at this point.

 Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson had his photo doctored up in the Toronto Sun yesterday to make him look like Crusty the Clown of Simpsons fame.

 Alfredsson, of course, is the favourite target of Leafs fans even though he trails Leafs captain Mats Sundin in acts of recklessness which endanger Leafs fans, 1-0.

 "I like to be their enemy," enthused Alfredsson to TSN in a sitdown interview after practice in Ottawa yesterday.

 "I don't think I've done anything crazy to deserve it ... I'm going in there and try to be a pest. I'm going to get in people's faces. Hopefully, we'll shut them up by winning this series."

 Toronto tough guy Tie Domi is making noise about suing The Dandyman of the Team 1200 afternoon show after some comments The Dandyman made about Domi and spousal abuse.

 Domi, as you might expect, didn't find it funny, though his lawyer no doubt has visions of his platinum seats at the ACC being paid for as a result.

 The upturn in noise in the series is no doubt the product of the four days between the end of the regular season and the start of the fourth post-season meeting between the clubs.

 Until yesterday, the lead-up to the Battle of Ontario IV had been pretty quiet, especially when it came to outpourings of support for the Senators from their faithful.

 Senators fans have been rather muted in their support of their club.

 'DISAPPOINTED'

 There aren't many picking the Senators to beat the Leafs.

 "Surprised? No. Disappointed? Certainly," said Senators veteran defenceman Curtis Leshyshyn. "When you have a team like ours that's a successful team, you would hope to have the backing and support of all your fans at home. There are some people who you can consider doubters at this time.

 "We feel we're capable of winning the Stanley Cup. Now we have to go out and prove it. That's the way to erase all the doubt and concern that surrounds this team right now."

 Senators GM John Muckler sat up in the stands at the Corel Centre yesterday morning, as he usually does, and watched his club go through its paces in preparation for tonight.

 "If we want people to start believing in us, we have to go out there and (win). Right now we're standing by ourselves as far as belief goes," he said. "It's a seven-game series, is the way I look at it. One team had 103 points, the other had 102. They are two pretty equal teams. Each is stronger in certain areas, but equal overall.

 "It's going to come down to performance and the willingness to do the things it takes to win. It's not going to come down to skill level. X's and O's are out the window. They've been doing X's and O's for 82 games. It's going to come down to who is willing to block shots. Who is willing to do something out of the ordinary for his team to win?"


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