Sabres want to KO Leafs, not Tucker

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

Jay McKee would rather crush the Maple Leafs playoff hopes than crush Darcy Tucker.

But should he get the opportunity to do both -- legally of course -- all the better.

If the Maple Leafs manage to survive their matchup with the Ottawa Senators tonight with their post-season chances still intact, they'll face yet another huge obstacle tomorrow when they travel down the QEW to meet McKee's Buffalo Sabres.

Yes, those are the same Buffalo Sabres who were livid with Tucker after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Leafs back on April 3 at the Air Canada Centre.

Calling for a suspension to Tucker that would never come, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff accused Tucker of trying to take out the knee of Buffalo forward Jochen Hecht.

Tucker's controversial hit left Hecht sidelined for several weeks, leaving Ruff referring to the Leafs forward as a "joke."

Buffalo radio broadcasters have had a field day with the incident, hyping tomorrow's matchup to the point where some are anticipating some kind of "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

But McKee feels the Sabres will get the most satisfaction if they are the ones to disintegrate Toronto's playoff aspirations.

"Any time you can take one of your top rivals and knock them out of the playoff hunt, it's a big deal," the Sabres defenceman said last night from Montreal, where his team meets the Canadiens tonight.

"The building is going to be full, the atmosphere is going to be electric, and we'd love to be the ones to pull it off. It would be very satisfying for us."

McKee doubts any one on his team is going to go headhunting after Tucker.

"If we get the chance to hit him cleanly, we're going to do that,"McKee said. "But we'd do that anyway.

"Every time I have played against Darcy he has been intense on each and every shift. That is the type of player he is.

"We're headed for the playoffs already and we don't want to get involved in any type of foolishness that might result in someone getting hurt. We can't afford that."


Videos

Photos