Head shot leaves Stajan bloody

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

There was blood oozing from Matt Stajan's face and steam coming out of John Ferguson's ears.

All thanks to Philadelphia Flyers forward Ben Eager.

A livid Ferguson needed all his composure to keep from publicly ripping referees Bill McCreary and Greg Kimmerly for allowing Eager's head shot on Stajan late in the third period to go unpunished.

"At some point I'm just going to have to open my mouth and pay the (bleepin') fine," the Maple Leafs general manager said, referring to the potential financial consequence of criticizing officials.

"It's ridiculous."

Like many of his players, Ferguson remembers Eager's hit on Mats Sundin on Nov. 6, a blow that left the Leafs captain with a slight ligament tear in the right elbow.

In any event, Stajan, like his GM, could not believe Eager was not penalized in the final period of the Leafs' 3-2 overtime victory last night.

"I don't know if it was an elbow or a shoulder but it definitely was a head shot and should have been a penalty," said Stajan, who was crumpled on the ice for a couple of minutes before being helped back to the Toronto bench.

"I got it right in the face. I got my bell rung. I'm a bit dazed. But we got the two points, so I guess it doesn't matter."

Asked about the incident, Leafs coach Paul Maurice noted the puck had been off Stajan's stick for "about 14 minutes" when Eager made contact.

Eager, the former Oshawa Generals pepperpot who has carved a nice niche for himself with the Flyers, merely shrugged his shoulders when it was suggested the play might be reviewed by the league.

"That's fine," he said. "I just try to finish my checks.

"Look at the tapes of my hits this year. I'm not a headhunter and I'm not going out there looking to hurt anyone. I just hope (Stajan) is okay."

When informed the Leafs also questioned his hit on Sundin earlier in the season, Eager said he "could care less."

"I just finished my check on Sundin," he said. "It's not my fault he hurt his elbow."


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