Eagle's efforts award-worthy

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Ed Belfour lay on the ice as if he had been shot, courtesy of a check from former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk.

Some would suggest Belfour should have been awarded an Oscar for the way he flopped after the contact.

But on this night, Belfour's best theatrics came when he did what he normally does best -- stopping the puck.

He has had trouble doing that the past month. There have been bad goals and, as coach Pat Quinn pointed out, too many undisciplined penalties taken by the veteran goalie.

"Sometimes, when you're a competitor like him, you try to do too much," Quinn said after his Maple Leafs had downed the Florida Panthers 4-2. "But he was back on his game (against Florida)."

Yanked two games ago, then forced to sit on the bench in favour of Mikael Tellqvist on Saturday for a game against Montreal, Belfour was in top form.

"It's been a frustrating time for me," he said. "Some of those games we've been right there, had a good start, then a bad bounce kills us.

"I've always worked out of these things before. I tried to go back to the fundamental basics. It's a great feeling to be in a groove again. I hope it continues."

As for Nieuwendyk, he apologized to Belfour after slightly bumping the Toronto goaltender.

"I didn't even know it was Joe," Belfour said, referring to the third-period incident.


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