Darcy Tucker is not known for missing vast amounts of NHL games with injuries and there was no way a charley horse was going to keep him out of last night's tilt against the Atlanta Thrashers.
"We got some pretty good treatment (Friday) and it felt good (during the morning skate yesterday)," Tucker said. "I just think if you have the opportunity to play, you play. I don't get paid to sit in the locker room. I have never been that way. I just like to be out there with the guys and enjoy the atmosphere."
Tucker maintained he was 100% for last night. Tucker plays with such determination on most nights, so it's not hard to figure that a bad bruise on his right thigh would not keep him out. He limped out of the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston on Thursday night after being checked by Hal Gill.
"It's just the kind of guy he is," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He does not want to miss any playing time for any reason. He's a guy who will play hurt, and sometimes maybe he shouldn't, but how do you take that (willingness) out of a guy?"
Happy for Heatley
Atlanta coach Bob Hartley is glad to see former Thrasher Dany Heatley playing well for the Ottawa Senators. But he hopes that Heatley, who was behind the wheel in a car crash that led to the death of Dan Snyder in the fall of 2003, is coping off the ice.
"He will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of his life," Hartley said. "I don't care what he does on the ice. I am so glad that he is back on track and he is having fun. He is a fine young man who went through a lot and it is great to see him in a great hockey market doing that well."
It's all good, sort of
Thrashers defenceman Greg de Vries acknowledged he has a bit of a "what if" feeling whenever he looks at the standings and sees how the Senators are doing. DeVries and Marian Hossa went to Atlanta in the Heatley deal. The Sens were 14-3-0-0 before their game last night.
"It's bittersweet," de Vries said. "Look at Ottawa this year, it would be nice to still be there also. They're probably the favourite to go a long way. (The trade) definitely hurt.
"But my minutes would be less there, so I like the opportunity here ... I was pretty excited about the moves (Atlanta) had made to get better."