MONTREAL - Hockey fans around the league are not exactly setting the example for decent behavior.

After the Flyers defeated the Capitals in Game 7 Tuesday on a power-play goal by Joffrey Lupul, fans in Washington threw trash and bottles at the Flyers as they left the ice.

One bottle hit center Jeff Carter as he was doing a live interview on Comcast SportsNet.

The night before, fans in Montreal staged a small riot in the streets and trashed police cars after the Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins in their Game 7. It's not exactly the image the sport needs.

"I'm not sure why they did that," Flyers coach John Stevens said of the incident in Washington. "It may have been in reaction to the penalty, but I don't think there is any place in the game for that. It's disrespecting the game itself, disrespecting the players.

"The great thing about sports is it teaches us life lessons that we can take with us outside the sports arena. You're going to have a call in a game, and it's what you do with those calls. There is no question in anyone's mind that it was a penalty.

"But after the events that happened [in Montreal], it's great to see passion for sports and it's great to see the excitement in the game, but you have to be able to handle those situations and continue on with honor in what you're doing."

Fans II

Mike Green is a Canadian, but he lives in Wayne and roots for the Flyers. He is the managing director of Cerberus Capital Management, whose firm is an investor in Air Canada, and he is a member of the airline's board of directors. He bet Air Canada CEO Montie Brewer that the Flyers would make the playoffs, and coaxed him into a bet in which he won four seats in the Air Canada suite in the Bell Centre.

"I called him," Green said, "and bet that the Flyers would make the playoffs the [day] they did."

What he was saying was he already knew the Flyers were in, and apparently the Canadian living in Canada wasn't paying attention.

All in good fun. Green called Brewer on the flight up yesterday and informed him that there were members of the Philadelphia media on the same flight.

In a gesture of sportsmanship, Brewer had representatives of the airline meet the reporters as they deplaned and handed them trinkets and passes to the Air Canada lounge, and escorted them through customs. *