Leafs aren't concerned what Ottawa thinks

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

John Muckler is full of hot air.

In a nutshell, that was the Maple Leafs' reaction yesterday to the Ottawa Senators general manager, who said Darcy Tucker's picking of a fight with the Senators' Patrick Eaves was "a cowardly act."

That drew a smirk from Leafs coach Paul Maurice.

"Did he now?" Maurice said when told Muckler used those words to describe Tucker's decision to get Eaves to fight. "From behind the bench."

Tucker did not have much to say about Muckler's view, but he was exasperated by the line of questioning.

"It was a hockey fight," Tucker said.

The so-called Battle of Ontario did not have much spice on Tuesday until an incident midway through the second period. Though the Leafs' Wade Belak and the Senators' Brian McGrattan had fought a few minutes earlier, that was not out of the ordinary.

But there was a different feel when Tucker and Eaves, a non-fighter, dropped their gloves at 9:17 of the second.

Tucker took a run at Eaves and got the worst of the hit. As he was getting up, Tucker made it clear he wanted to scrap and had his gloves off before Eaves knew what he was getting into.

Maurice had no problem with what Tucker did. Tucker drew an additional roughing minor, and probably is lucky he did not get an instigator. As one would expect, Tucker won the fight.

"If you are in for a penny, you are in for a pound," Maurice said.

Whether there will retribution against Tucker tonight in the rematch at Scotiabank Place remains to be seen. Neither McGrattan nor Chris Neil sought out Tucker in the third period on Tuesday.

Another incident in the second period had the Sens talking yesterday. Chad Kilger was assessed a roughing minor after he and Ottawa defenceman Christoph Schubert tangled at the blue line. Though Kilger appeared to spear Schubert, there was no such penalty called by referee Bill McCreary, who was a few feet away.

"I hit him with my shoulder," Kilger said. "There was no intent with my stick at all. I didn't lose any sleep over it."


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