TORONTO (AP) _ Teemu Selanne has seen enough. The NHL must do something
about on-ice violence.
Selanne's Avalanche teammate, Ossi Vaananen, was shaken up but unhurt after
being slashed in the head by Toronto's Wade Belak in Colorado's 5-2 loss to the
Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Belak was jostling with Vaananen in front of the Avalanche net when he
whipped around and violently hit the Colorado defender in the side of the head
and neck with his stick.
Belak was ejected, given a match penalty for attempting to injure _ an
infraction that carries an automatic review by NHL disciplinarian Colin
``That has got to stop. I think every team has to have a meeting and talk
about this stuff because we can't let this happen,'' Selanne said. ``The guys
are so strong these days. I know the intensity level is high every game, and
the coaches tell us to play hard and finish your checks, be tough, but there is
a line between stupidity and playing hard.''
Toronto defenseman Bryan McCabe said Belak didn't mean to strike Vaananen.
``He was off-balance. The guy tried to kick his knee out and he tried to
brace himself and the stick hit him,'' McCabe said. ``Stuff like that happens.
Luckily, the guy had a shield on. That saved him from any injury.''
Vaananen said he was stunned more than anything.
``I didn't see it coming. We were just battling down low,'' Vaananen said.
Belak wasn't immediately available for comment.
It is the second time this month that an Avalanche player absorbed a violent
hit from an opponent.
On March 8, Vancouver forward Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punched Colorado rookie
Steve Moore _ leaving him hospitalized with broken vertebrae and a concussion.
Campbell suspended Bertuzzi for the rest of the regular season and playoffs
and said he would have to be reinstated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before
he will be able to play next season.
The Maple Leafs led 3-0 after the first period, but Colorado scored two
quick goals in the second after Belak was ejected.
Colorado's John-Michael Liles then scored on the power play, and Joe Sakic
made it 3-2 after Toronto goalie Ed Belfour received a slashing penalty, giving
the Avalanche a two-man advantage.
Mats Sundin gave Toronto a 4-2 lead by scoring on a one-timer from in front
of the net with 10 seconds left in the second.
Adam Foote appeared to cut Toronto's lead to 4-3 late in the third, but the
officials ruled no goal because Riku Hall interfered with Belfour.
Belfour turned the puck over in the final two minutes, but made a
spectacular glove save on Colorado's Chris Gratton.
Owen Nolan scored Toronto's first goal of the game, and added an
empty-netter in the final minute.
Colorado went 0-3 on their road trip to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Belfour made 32 saves for the Maple Leafs, who remained one point behind
Boston for first place in the Northeast Division. Boston beat Tampa Bay earlier
After a Colorado turnover, Nolan scored at 7:43 of the first.
Just under a minute later, Robert Reichel put a backhanded shot past goalie
Nik Antropov's slap shot from the circle beat Aebischer at 10:15 of the