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Canadiens deny sandstorm

Jacques Martin replies

Two days after several Flyers observed some kind of sand-like substance in the tunnel outisde of their dressing room -- which some believed to have caused them to need to repeatedly re-sharpen their skates during their Game 4 victory, and which resulted in towels being laid in the hallway later in the game -- Canadiens coach Jacques Martin categorically denied that there had been a problem.

Flyers officials have gone out of their way to say that they knew nothing about any sand, and nobody has accused anybody of anything nefarious. But the implication -- fueled mostly be media reports -- has obviously offended Martin and the Canadiens.

"A complete fabrication," is what Martin called it at noon today, at a press conference following the Canadiens' pre-game skate.

"We did an investigation," Martin said. "The Bell Centre is really an impeccable building. We have some more important things to focus on and prepare ourselves for the game tonight."

That they do.