In the meantime, let's talk Tucker.
Maybe it's because he was drafted by Montreal. Maybe it's because I have him in a keeper pool. I must defend Darcy Tucker.
Background: Early in the 1st tonight Tucker was on the receiving end of a solid hit by Andrei Markov. Unlikely, I know, but it happened. That triggered Darcy's concussion.
Tangent - I have a theory that Tucker plays with a perpetual concussion. Some people, when concussed, suffer personality changes. When he absorbs a huge hit Tucker miraculously never misses a shift. I think Tucker is normally a mild-mannered player, but the hits he takes in the head trigger the personality traits one is accustomed to seeing in him. He then proceeds to play typical Darcy Tucker hockey.
Late in the 1st period tonight, Francis Boiullon threw a good hit on a Leaf (Wellwood or Stajan or Steen - I can't remember). Tucker retaliated by running Cube hard while he was in an awkward position near the boards. Tucker was immediately called for a minor penalty. Cube took exception. He dropped the gloves and pursued Tucker. Darcy craftily threw a gloved swing at Bouillon just as a linesman intervened; Bouillon threw a solid punch before he was completely tied up and it landed square into Darcy's nose, bloodying it. Beauty. I loved it.
That said, there was a recent post at another blog on the topic of Tucker. Among other things, it called Tucker a diver. Now, normally I would let that slide because it's true. But there was another post recently at the same blog painting Guy Carbonneau as a 'cheater:'
"Suffice it to say that the Montreal game saw a return of the Guy NHL, as in Guy Carbanneau [sic]. I swear he must be the most celebrated cheater of all time; an excellent example of why the NHL needed to reset the counter on play-style and rules-standards. We should just rename it the Frank J. Selke Award for the Forward Who Cheats the Most."
That's rich. A fan of the Sabres - the most proficient divers in the league - accusing others of cheating. I wonder if Mike Peca was labelled as a cheater by Buffalo fans when he won the 1997 Selke. Anyway, back to the orginal post:
"Darcy Tucker, when all is said and done, is a 3rd line player who plays with a physical edge prone to stupid penalties and will probably chip in 15-20 goals a season and has a passable two way game. A mucker, hard worker, and could make it in the NHL without his attention grabbing and team harming antics. Heck, he’d probably be a player that anyone wants on their team. However, I would never want Tucker on my team."It's sad because if there is anything the Sabres need, it's some cajones like Tucker's. With the number of injuries Buffalo has suffered resulting from clean bodychecks (Connolly, Tallinder, Lydman, Afinogenov, Novotny) they could use some spunk like Tucker's. This is why they were stopped in the playoffs last year. IMO, there's a good chance the same flaw will stop them this year.