- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
SEEN ENOUGH The feeling that the Caps were being pushed around unnecessarily and not responding in kind moved the team to action. Defenseman J.F. Fortin, whose last game for Washington was Dec.30, was placed on injured reserve with back spasms that mysteriously developed, enabling the club to recall enforcer Stephen Peat from Portland, Maine.
"Stephen Peat's up here because he's a physical presence and Toronto's a big strong team that's hard to play against in that regard," coach Bruce Cassidy said before the game. "It's something our lineup could use a little infusion of. … Our team lately has been lacking a bit of zip, and maybe that's something he can bring. He'll be given the opportunity, and we'll see what happens."
Peat has been more effective in the NHL than the minors this season. He has a goal here in 15 games, 36 penalty minutes and is minus-2 defensively; with the Pirates he had no points, is minus-5 and had 52 penalty minutes in 18 games.
"A team like Carolina, I just watched their game against Toronto and [the Hurricanes] didn't touch anybody, yet we go into their building and [physical play] was their game plan," Cassidy said. "Maybe that's going around, that teams are assuming they can take advantage of us. We got to correct that, that can't be something our team has to live with night in, night out. We have to find a way to answer those situations."
Cassidy pointed directly at an incident last season when Toronto right wing Darcy Tucker ran Caps defenseman Sergei Gonchar very hard into the boards, drawing a two-game suspension but also knocking Gonchar out for five games. This season Leafs defenseman Wade Belak knocked Dainius Zubrus out with a hit, and the Caps wing missed two games.
"We have to make sure we look 'em in the eye, kind of the way we did in Philadelphia earlier this year," Cassidy said.
DREAM TIME Christopher Kus, a 9-year-old from London, Ontario, had his youthful dream realized when he met Caps wing Jaromir Jagr after the game. Chris suffers from what was described as a "severe heart condition" and was brought to Washington through the efforts of Sunshine Dreams for Kids, an organization based in Canada that tries to bring to life the dreams of seriously ill children. It is similar to the U.S.-based Make-a-Wish Foundation.
EVERYONE HEALTHY The Caps and Maple Leafs started the game with no reported injuries, an unheard of situation this late in any season. The Caps' healthy scratches were defenseman Rick Berry and forwards Ivan Ciernik and Josh Green. One of the Toronto scratches was Shayne Corson, good news for the Caps but the scrappy left wing reportedly was one very unhappy camper.
Dave Fay

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