The other day George Cross in the local red top had a quote from an unnamed GM that "Tucker's done. I wouldn't trade my last draft pick for him." If Tucker is done then I hope he is as done for the next three years as he has been over these last five games. Whether the resurgence will be short-lived or what is behind it is unknown but it's been good to see the Tucker that we have been waiting 53 games to see.
Over these last 5 games Tucker has 6 goals and an assist and has been at his ornery best. Tonight's game provided a glimpse of all that has been missing this year. First, Tucker finished off Mats' cross-crease pass on a 5-on-3 in the third, a play whose disappearance has killed the penalty kill. Tucker then made a nice Dave Keon-pass to Antropov to get the Leafs the lead. Finally, in overtime Tucker busted his butt to beat his man to the net and he slid in a great Alex Steen pass to finish his 10 minute tour de force.
There were the usual problems for the Leafs. They started out being outshot 14-1 because they were not prepared to compete. The Leafs' powerplay was typically lost except for the late 5-on-3. They allowed an equalizer in the last minute because Blake stood around watching Kubina while he tried to help Toskala find a loose puck which was ultimately put into the net by Zdeno Chara.
There were some lineup changes tonight as Robbie Earl was returned to the Marlies and Anton Stralman was a healthy scratch. Ian White and Kyle Wellwood were back in the lineup as was Chad Kilger. The latter united with Dominic Moore and Boyd Devereaux to create a spirited unit that gave the Bruins fits and actually hit someone.
Moore is the only one of the group that is not signed for next year and he's likely earned himself a spot with the Leafs. These guys form the kind of line that can serve as an example of the kind of work ethic that the young players will need to emulate to succeed in the NHL.
Washington beat Tampa Bay tonight so the Leafs ended up jumping the Lightning to get out of the Eastern Conference basement. Hopefully it's a short-term situation but at least for tonight it was worth the fun.
Who was the Leafs' Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Darcy Tucker (2 goals including the game winner and an assist)
Darcy Tucker (For reviving trade interest in him)
Tomas Kaberle (2 assists)
Dominic Moore (1 goal)