More bad blood's Bruin

Darcy Tucker. (SUN/Fred Thornhill)

Darcy Tucker. (SUN/Fred Thornhill)

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Anyone for a little spice in their New England chowder?

The Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins certainly have been pouring it on with three games in 17 days and two more between tonight and Dec. 7.

The taste of a 3-1 defeat Saturday certainly lingered at Leafs practice yesterday, from a Darcy Tucker dust-up with Boston's Paul Mara to an not-so-subtle suggestion by Marc Savard that the Bs had their ex-goaltender Andrew Raycroft's number. Savard, his club's top scorer, took great satisfaction Saturday in saying the Bruins wanted to shoot high on Raycroft where they perceive he's weakest and had two early goals as a result.

"Savard shoots his mouth off all the time, it's nothing new," Raycroft said. "Every player in the league tries to shoot high on every goalie, because they all basically play the butterfly."

Raycroft insisted he isn't rattled heading into the game tonight.

"It's all good. Their goals went high. It will happen. World-class players can pick the net from 15 feet away. You just play the percentages and play the butterfly."

Asked about anyone having "the book" on Raycroft, Leafs coach Paul Maurice said sarcastically, "That's a really special gift. You would expect them to have tremendous success on all the goalies' weaknesses."

Savard also riled the Leafs, coming after Tucker when the latter did a David and Goliath number on Zdeno Chara, knocking the foot-taller Boston captain on his caboose. Savard came after Tucker, who raked the Bruin, bringing Mara into the fray.

But Wade Belak, the Leafs' designated enforcer, said Tucker knew exactly what he was doing provoking the Bruins in a game Toronto had been sleepwalking through.

"I guess when you take the big man down you have to answer the bell," Belak said. "But it was a good hit before the fight. Darcy can handle himself. It's nice to see. He can score, hit hard, fight and hold his own. He's got it all.

The Leafs have two ex-Bruins in their lineup this year in Raycroft and defenceman Hal Gill. But both played down their value as advance scouts.

"Everyone wants to make this big deal about (his Boston roots), but I only know Glen Murray, P.J. Axelsson and Patrice Bergeron," Raycroft said.

Gill wondered if it's not better for him to have a fresh perspective on Boston than delude himself into thinking he knows their secrets. As for exploiting Tim Thomas in the Boston cage?

"I don't sniff out goalies too much," the career 22-goal man said with a laugh.

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NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER

Nov. 9 at Boston

Leafs 6, Bruins 4

Four goaltenders see action as Andrew Raycroft leaves with a groin injury, replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin. A shaky Tim Thomas yanked for farmhand Brian Finley as six different Leafs score.

Nov. 16 at Boston

Bruins 2, Leafs 1 (OT)

Aubin makes 34 saves in his last start prior to Raycroft's return from injury, but a Bryan McCabe power-play goal is all the Leafs can muster. Patrice Bergeron scored 34 seconds into OT.

Nov. 25 at Toronto

Bruins 3, Leafs 1

Leafs outshoot Boston 25-13 but commit 16 giveaways. Mats Sundin scores in his return to the lineup from an elbow injury, but Boston scores early and wins by more than a goal for the first time this season.


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