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Simmonds denies Leafs are playing dirty: 'We're defending ourselves'

Rich Lam / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds isn't buying the idea that his team has played dirty against the Winnipeg Jets lately.

"Every time we've played them, they've tried to run us out of the building to start games," Simmonds said, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "We come back, and we're physical, and now we're a dirty team? I don't buy that. We're defending ourselves."

The NHL handed Leafs veteran Joe Thornton a $3,017.24 fine earlier Friday for an interference penalty on Jets forward Mathieu Perreault during Thursday's contest. Thornton was given a two-minute penalty on the play.

Newly acquired forward Nick Foligno also delivered a questionable hit Thursday to defenseman Josh Morrissey.

In a matchup last week, Zach Hyman received a $5,000 fine for high-sticking Neal Pionk.

Simmonds believes the Leafs are simply matching the Jets' intensity and said he's "sick of guys jumping on our goalie and being allowed to spear our goalie and the refs not calling it."

The 32-year-old took matters into his own hands during Thursday's high-octane game after Pierre-Luc Dubois delivered some shots to goaltender Jack Campbell while he had the puck covered.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice was asked Friday if he believes the Leafs are a dirty team.

"I don't think so. The league has said they're not, so we'll abide by the league's rulings," Maurice said, according to Winnipeg News' Mike McIntyre.

"But they are a poorer team," he joked. "There's some fines. Probably looking at some part-time jobs now."

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