Break-in has Tucker worked up

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Darcy Tucker is a grunt and proud of it.

A warrior on the ice, the Maple Leafs forward was a victim of a sneak attack two nights ago.

Yesterday, Tucker awoke to discover that his car had been broken into and his daughter's purse stolen.

"It's sad that something like that can happen," Tucker said yesterday after the Leafs' final tuneup for their game tonight against the Boston Bruins.

"It's a pretty sad day when somebody breaks into somebody else's property. I wish it was something of mine that was taken instead of my daughter's. I just don't understand some people, how they can go through life and steal other people's things."

If Tucker is looking to vent his frustrations over the break-in then the Bruins are first up.

"It's a rival of ours, somebody that we play eight times," he said of the Bruins. "We're in a position now where we want to go forward. We don't want to take a step back.

"We've got to be hungry. We've had some days off and got some work in. We've got to come with a real work effort (tonight)."

The Leafs are on a roll having won four in a row, holding their opponents to a single goal apiece in the previous three. The hope is the time off will not have dulled their edge.

"I think we've got a very focused group in here," Tucker said. "I know we've talked the past few days about staying hungry and staying motivated, being ready to play.

"With winning comes the fact that you want to win more games, you get hungry to win and you get that feeling in your dressing room that you don't want to lose. And that's a nice feeling to have."

In the new NHL, with the officials ready to call any infraction at the drop of a hat, a player with the robust style of Tucker would seem to have to tone down their act.

Tucker, though, doesn't buy into that and in any case isn't about to change his approach.

"I play the same way I always have and I'll continue to do that," he said. "I don't mind battling, it's part of the game, it's part of hockey. There's a reward for being smart and out-battling somebody as there is for scoring a goal. Doing that in the other team's end is a nice thing."

Nice thing? No opponent of Tucker's ever would accuse him of doing that.


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