Leafs and Coyotes feeling no love for each other

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:20 AM ET

TORONTO - Maybe it’s too bad the Phoenix Coyotes didn’t move to Hamilton and form a divisional rivalry with the Leafs.

Based on Thursday’s game, there is some bad blood.

Many Coyotes were trying to get at Toronto’s Mike Brown for his second-period head shot on Ed Jovanovski, including the latter when he came around.

“They were saying there was no reason to be hitting him there,” Brown said afterward. “But this is the game of hockey. I play that style, but I obviously don’t mean to hurt anybody or make make any bad hits, elbow or shoulder.

“In the heat of the moment, I went for the hit with my shoulder. If he wasn’t reaching for the puck, his head wouldn’t have gone forward. I was just going for a clean hit. The refs made a good call. They didn’t call it for a reason.”

Keith Yandle of the Coyotes didn’t buy it.

“For a guy like Jovo to get hit like that and for a guy to take a run at him like that was just uncalled for,” Yandle said. “He’ll get a suspension (Brown did get three games). He’s taking out one of our best players and he’s a guy who’s in and out of the lineup (he’s actually a Leafs regular) and it’s not going to hurt them to have him out.”

Meanwhile, Toronto winger Clarke MacArthur wanted a piece of Lauri Korpikoski after he claimed to be the victim of his over-zealous hit. MacArthur and Korpokoski wrestled, with the latter’s skate blade coming near the Leaf’s face. He ended up on top, ready to pummel the Finn.

“He had face-washed me,” MacArthur muttered. “Then his skate caught me in the neck a little bit and that obviously pissed me off. I never hit him, but I could have 10 times.

“If you’re going to battle, things are going to happen. I’m just trying to protect myself, too.”


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