Two days after several Flyers observed some kind of sand-like substance in the tunnel outside of their dressing room in Montreal - which, some say, forced them to repeatedly resharpen 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 yesterday at a news conference following the Canadiens' pregame 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."