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Leafs burning over Game 6 loss to Senators

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2002

TORONTO -- Toronto's Alyn McCauley would like to have some payback against Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson.

McCauley will settle for a win in Game 6 at Ottawa on Sunday.

The Maple Leafs were livid following Friday's 4-2 loss, which gave the Senators a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

At issue was Alfredsson scoring the game-winning goal seconds after he hit Toronto's Darcy Tucker from behind, sending him crashing into the boards.

Tucker, who is likely to miss Sunday's game, was writhing in pain, favoring his shoulder, when Alfredsson scored with 2:01 left.

''Immediately, you'd like to go out and break somebody's leg, I think,'' McCauley said. ''But that's not going to do any good, so we have to go out and try to win Game 6 in Ottawa. That's the best thing we can do for Darcy and for ourselves.''

Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said that the extent of Tucker's injury was not known.

''I'm quite frankly full of anger,'' Quinn said.

Tucker skated off the ice on his own and headed straight for the Maple Leafs dressing room. He was not made available for comment afterward.

''It's totally unfair,'' Maple Leafs president Ken Dryden said.

Added Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi: ''I'm still in shock that nothing was called. ... It's a bad break. You can't do much about it. Now it is up to the league.''

Alfredsson considered his hit on Tucker to be clean.

''I wasn't trying to finish him at all. I was just trying to make sure the puck got to the point,'' Alfredsson said. ''I didn't see anything wrong. I don't know if he turned. But I didn't see anything wrong with it.''

Dave Newell, the officiating supervisor agreed, saying: ''Neither of them (the referees) thought it was a penalty. (Tucker) didn't get hit on the numbers, he got hit on the shoulder and spun into the boards.''

What's clear is that an already heated series between two Ontario provincial rivals isn't cooling.

Toronto fans littered the Air Canada Center ice immediately after Alfredsson's goal was put up on the board.

It was reminiscent of how Game 4 of the series ended, when Ottawa fans reacted similarly after a Senators goal was disallowed.

Both teams have had their share of complaints.

The Senators have been unhappy, accusing Toronto players of pushing their own goal off its posts on a number of occasions.

The Maple Leafs were livid about Alfredsson's eventual game-winning goal in Game 3 and accused Ottawa's Benoit Brunet of interfering with Joseph on the play.

''It just seems it's one thing after another every game for us,'' Toronto's Wade Belak said. ''We've got to battle Ottawa and the refs at the same time.''

Tucker had a controversial hit of his own in Toronto's first-round victory over the New York Islanders, hitting Michael Peca with a low check that knocked the Islanders forward out of the playoffs with a torn knee ligament.

Newell insisted officials don't make calls based on the identity of the offender or victim.

He called it ''ludicrous'' to suggest the referees swallowed their whistles because the hit was on Tucker, who has a reputation for being a habitual on-ice complainer.

The Maple Leafs weren't sure of that.

''I'd just like to see if it was Alfredsson taking a hit from Tucker,'' Travis Green said. ''I'm sure there would be a different outcome on that call.''



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