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Forsberg fuming over officiating, Flyers' poor start

11/3/2006

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Peter Forsberg wasn't going to let his
temper get him in trouble twice in one night.

The Philadelphia Flyers captain says he was so angry after
Thursday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay that he left the arena without
talking to the media to avoid a possible fine for criticizing
officials.

With 4:10 left in the third period and the Flyers trailing 3-2,
Forsberg was whistled for a high-sticking penalty. When he argued
the call, he was assessed a double minor for high-sticking and
unsportsmanlike conduct, plus a 10-minute misconduct, knocking him
out of the game for the final minutes.

"I was just so mad, I knew I was going to get fined if I said
anything," Forsberg said Friday after practice.

Forsberg says he was frustrated because the referees didn't
call a penalty on a Tampa player for hooking him just before he
was whistled for high-sticking.

"You want to win the game; you're so close," Forsberg said.
"We battled back and it could have been a huge win. It's pretty
frustrating.

"I don't usually criticize the refs, but it's tough when you
try to do your best and you don't get a fair chance."

The Flyers are off to a disappointing 3-8-1 start and Forsberg
admits that might have played a role in the outburst.

"I don't think it's a good thing that I took the penalties,"
he said. "But at least we showed emotion in the third period. We
tried to come back."

The Flyers again struggled early. They have been outscored 34-15
in the first two periods this season.

"It seems like we win one game and the next game we come back
and we don't play as hard as we should," he said. "If we're going
to make some progress in the standings, we have put some good games
together. We're putting ourselves in deep holes before the third
periods. We have to make sure we have better starts so we're not
that deep in the hole."

Flyers coach John Stevens didn't approve of Forsberg taking the
late penalties, but he admitted the show of emotion might have been
a good thing.

"The frustration kind of gathered there," Stevens said. "You
don't want to put your team in that situation, but he did show
emotion, that he cared. He just didn't go away quietly.

"I do think there are some positives in that. But there's a
fine line between the passion and discipline. We need to find that
fine line."