Some of the hardest shots were then traded after the game.
Friday night's game between Toronto and Atlanta devolved into several third-period brawls between the teams.
O'Neill posted his second hat trick against the Thrashers in two
seasons and paced the Maple Leafs to a 9-1 win Friday night. But
all of the postgame talk and barbs revolved around two third-period
brawls that led to 109 penalty minutes being called.
"They obviously didn't know how to handle it," Toronto coach
Pat Quinn said of the officials.
Quinn also accused the Thrashers of "cowardice" and said
Atlanta coach Bob Hartley "has a reputation of sending his guys
out head hunting."
"That one kid Boulton took a run at one of our guys," Quinn
said. "That's trying to hurt people and there should be no place
in the game for that. This was a disgrace."
Boulton drew three penalties totaling 17 minutes following the
"That kind of stuff is garbage," O'Neill said.
Hartley said Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi helped turn the fight
into a brawl.
"I'm going to say that Pat Quinn can say what he wants,"
Hartley said. "I don't care."
Toronto general manager John Ferguson was listening to Hartley's
postgame news conference and was annoyed when Hartley said that the
Maple Leafs "are always whining, and this is no different."
Ferguson then interrupted to say "That's bull, Bob."
There were three misconduct penalties and a total of 46 penalty
minutes whistled against Toronto.
Atlanta's Andy Sutton was ejected for attempting to cause
deliberate injury, and two of his teammates drew misconduct
penalties as the Thrashers were given 63 penalty minutes from the
The first fight involved Lindros and Atlanta's Niclas Havelid,
among others. When play resumed, another brawl was touched off
after Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker, who had a goal and three
assists, was knocked to the ice behind the Thrashers' net by
Tucker needed 20 stitches on his forehead after the game.
"That was bush league," said Domi, who drew one of the
O'Neill scored his 200th career goal to give the Maple Leafs a
1-0 lead in the first period. His second goal was the first of
three for Toronto in the middle period, and he added a third when
the Maple Leafs blew the game open with four goals in the final
"It was a good game for the team, and for me," O'Neill said.
"It was one of those games where we did some good things
O'Neill picked up where he left off against the Thrashers before
the lockout. He had a hat trick in a 4-3 win over Atlanta on Jan.
16, 2004, while playing with Carolina.
The Maple Leafs scored seven goals in 16 power-play
opportunities to take advantage of Thrashers rookie goalie Michael
Garnett, who was making his first start.
Tucker and Jason Allison also scored in the second period as
Toronto pulled away for its first road win.
The game matched Toronto's 40-year-old goalie Ed Belfour against
the 22-year-old Garnett, who made his first appearance Wednesday
night in a 2-0 loss to Montreal after Mike Dunham injured his
The Thrashers were also without No. 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen, who
is on the injured list with a more serious groin injury. Lehtonen
has missed four games.
Belfour had allowed five goals in each of his previous two
games, but he stopped 20 Atlanta shots.
The Thrashers were 0-for-7 on power plays, leaving them 0-for-16
in their last two games.
Down 6-0, the Thrashers finally scored about five minutes into
the final period. Marian Hossa passed to Marc Savard, who pushed
the puck past Belfour for his third goal of the season.
Ilya Kovalchuk played in his second game since re-signing
with the Thrashers, but is still scoreless on the season. ...
Toronto was 3-0-0-1 against Atlanta in the 2003-04 season. ...
Toronto D Bryan McCabe had four assists.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Philips Arena Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Referees: Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke Linesmen: Tim Nowak, Mark Shewchyk
Attendance: 17,248 (93.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Jeff O'Neill (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Jason Allison, Darcy Tucker
Jeff O'Neill (3)
Assists: Jason Allison, Darcy Tucker
Jason Allison (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Darcy Tucker, Bryan McCabe
Darcy Tucker (3)
Assist: Bryan McCabe
Kyle Wellwood (2)
(Power Play) Unassisted
Eric Lindros (3)
(Power Play) Assist: Jason Allison
Marc Savard (3)
Assist: Marian Hossa
Alexander Steen (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle
Jeff O'Neill (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe
Alexei Ponikarovsky (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Kyle Wellwood, Jeff O'Neill