Habs' coach: sand issue 'complete fabrication;' Flyers focused

Flyers' goalie Michael Leighton arrives at the Wachovia Center for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

   Montreal coach Jacques Martin called the Great Sand Issue "a complete fabrication" after his team's skate on Monday morning and said he was concerned with other things.

   Such as staving off elimination in the team's third straight series.

   Injured Montreal center Tom Pyatt will be a game-time decision, Martin said.

   The Flyers have a 3-1 series lead in the conference finals and can earn a trip to the Stanley Ciup Finals with a win at the Wachovia Center Monday.


Was the sand-like substance outside the Flyers' locker room a sabotage attempt?

    "I expect the crowd to be pretty wild tonight, knowing the situation that we're in," said center Danny Briere, who leads the Flyers with nine playoff goals. "I mean, it's been a while since they the Flyers have been in this position, so I expect the fans to help us in that department, definitely.

     The Flyers are focused, Briere said.

    "It's funny how I look at our team now, and it just feels like this is business," he said. "This is what we've been preparing this whole season for. It just feels like there've been a lot of obstacles. There've been injury situations during the year that have put us in all kinds of different emotions at times, and playing well, and not playing well, and the coaching change, and there's been so much distractions."

    Not now. Now the Flyers are as healthy as they have been all season as they try to end Montreal's remarkable run.

     The Flyers scored a 3-0 win in Montreal on Saturday _ Michael Leighton's third series shutout _ during a game in which a few of their players complained that a sand-like substance on their locker-room runway gave them skate problems. GM Paul Holmgren dismissed the issue and did not file a complaint with the league. 

    A victory would put the Flyers into the Finals for the first time since 1997. Chicago, Cup-less since 1961, awaits the Flyers-Canadiens winner.

   The dates for the Finals will be announced when the Eastern Conference finals end. The Finals are expected to start on Memorial Day weekend.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

    For Flyers updates, follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull

Continue Reading