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Sundin, Boughner fight to the finish

Tuesday, 14.01.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Sundin, Boughner fight to the finish
by John McCauley

TORONTO -- The days of paying the price for your actions are long gone in the NHL.

Liberties are being taken on star players and there's not much you can do anymore, just ask Leafs' benchboss Pat Quinn.

Bad blood has been boiling between the Blue and White and the Calgary Flames since Bob Boughner crunched Mats Sundin into the boards during the Leafs' 4-3 victory on Dec. 27. The Super Swede missed the next six games with a shoulder injury.

It was clear the "The Bogie Man" continued his strategy Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre, but Sundin had the last laugh scoring the game-winner in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

"Obviously I think it's going to get you going a little bit," Sundin said of the physical feud. "But it wasn't like a bad hit or anything (in Calgary), but it gets your attention."

The rekindled battle continued most of the evening and it looked early on that Boughner and his Flames were going to get the upper hand. Sundin was even coaxed into second period roughing penalties and continued jawing with the veteran defenceman all the way to the box.

Mats Sundin had the last laugh on Bob Boughner in this one.
Graig Abel Photography.
Sticking up for his captain, Shayne Corson wanted to drop the gloves and settle the issue a little later in the period. Boughner thought better of the challenge and Corson was forced to leave his gloves and stick on the ice after his invitation was declined.

Tie Domi gave Boughner a rough ride as the second period ended and tried to convince him that claiming pacifist wasn't going to be tolerated. Most players who delve into the fisticuffs know that turning down an offer and making a veteran look silly is cheap play.

Not matter how his teammates tried intimdate Boughner, he still kept coming to his credit. Quinn doesn't think there is much you can do about it in today's game.

"If you wanted to make all the calls on Mats Sundin, we'd be on the power play 35 minutes a night," Quinn said. "Mats is big guy so he doesn't get them."

BAD START

The first period was close to the worst Toronto's played all season, but still managed to come out of the frame with a 1-0 lead. Nik Antropov finished off the 3-on-2 rush he started after Sundin feathered a perfect pass through the slot to his sprawling stick.

Calgary was forechecking on every shift and managed 15 shots on Ed Belfour, who turned away every offering. Penalty trouble helped the Flames maintain their torrid pace. Four separate infractions, including one each by Travis Green and Jyrki Lumme in the final two minutes of the period, killed any offensive momentum the Leafs could muster.

Green lined up with Corson, who made his first appearance in 16 games because of groin problem, and Darcy Tucker. Corson started the Leafs off with a penalty just 1:21 into the game. Not exactly the beginning he was hoping for.

NOTES:

  • Tomas Kaberle was forced to take a faceoff late in the first period during a 5-on-3 Calgary power play and won it.
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