March 20, 2007
Tucker not targeting Janssen
By MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media
Given some of the questions lobbed Darcy Tucker's way yesterday, you would have thought he and Cam Janssen were the featured attractions in the WWE's upcoming Wrestlemania event.
But Tucker is far too savvy to stoke the media hype, even if he eventually does decide to punish the New Jersey Devils tonight with his physical style of play.
On March 2, the injured Tucker, decked out in street clothes, began angrily yapping at Janssen moments after the Devils pugilist had decked Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle with a late hit.
Footage of the exchange was repeatedly shown on television, leaving Tucker to be constantly asked yesterday if he was going to teach Janssen a lesson tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
Tucker was not about to take the bait.
"I don't need to fight anybody," he said. "Why would I need to fight (Janssen)? I think the fact that Tomas might be back is the important thing, not that other stuff.
"We're in a must-win situation. We just have to make sure we get the two points.
"We'll play hard and finish our checks ... let's leave it at that."
Tucker said his verbal assault on Janssen three weeks ago "was just a message, not words."
For his part, Janssen is prepared to cope with whatever Tucker throws at him
"Whatever happens with him, happens with him," Janssen told reporters in New Jersey. "I'm going to have to deal with it one way or the other. (Tucker) is a good player, so if he wants to get off the ice with me, then that's fine with me.
"If he wants to run around and get himself out of the game and get a penalty, then we'll be able to capitalize on the power play. It's one of those things that is so hyped up, we're going to go out there and it's going to be a regular hockey game."
Coach Paul Maurice said a number of health issues on his team will determine if Leafs tough guy Wade Belak will dress for the game.