Tucker's goal, assist lift Colorado over Toronto

BY foxsports • October 14, 2009

Toronto coach Ron Wilson's next move to try and wake up the winless Maple Leafs is to give his players the day off.

The Leafs coach benched two of his top scorers in favor of rookies and was forced to start third-string goalie Joey MacDonald on Tuesday night and still wound up with the same kind of result — a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

Even though that left Toronto sitting dead last in the league, Wilson is sticking to his plan of having everyone take Wednesday off. The team has just one game over the next 10 days and he's intent on using that time to lighten the mood.

"First of all, we've got to relax here a little bit — maybe just do a complete reset," Wilson said. "The worst has already happened up to this point (with) how you could possibly start a season. We're not going to practice all of those (upcoming off-days) — it might seem logical to practice and work on everything, but we've got to just relax here a little bit and step away tomorrow.

"(We'll) try to have a little bit of fun on Thursday and go from there."

Darcy Tucker had a goal and an assist against his former team. It was his first game in Toronto since having his contract bought out in the summer of 2008. He's still being paid $1 million per year by the Maple Leafs.

"I'm not going to lie to you, it felt great," Tucker said. "To score back in a place where I've scored a number of goals over my career, it was exciting. I think it was more exciting for my kids in the stands than anything."

Brett Clark, David Jones and John-Michael Liles had the other goals for Colorado (4-1-1). Craig Anderson made 30 stops to earn his fourth victory of the season.

Francois Beauchemin scored the lone goal for the Leafs (0-5-1), who don't play again until Saturday.

Wilson benched Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman, who had accounted for five of the team's 12 goals prior to the game against Colorado. He also started third string goalie Joey MacDonald.

None of the changes helped much against the Avalanche, one of the surprise teams so far in this young season.

Toronto gave Colorado two power plays in the opening 10 minutes of the game and Clark capitalized on the second one. His point shot beat MacDonald while the Leafs goalie was being screened by Ian White - his own defenseman.

Jones extended that lead to 2-0 just before the intermission. He made a pretty play on a solo rush to get around Tomas Kaberle before sliding the puck by MacDonald with 50.9 seconds left in the first period.

Falling into an early hole has been a big problem for these Leafs, who have been outscored 10-2 in the opening period this season.

"I've got some close friends there, especially a couple guys I played with for a number of years in Kaberle and Stajan," said Tucker. "I feel for them, obviously. But you've got to understand it's six games into the year — you don't make the playoffs in six games and you don't get on the outside looking in six games. It's a full season.

"Obviously, they've got some work to do."

Beauchemin briefly brought some life back to his team with his first goal in a Toronto uniform at 3:33 of the second period, but Tucker quickly nullified that by scoring his third goal of the season just over two minutes later.

Colorado got its fourth goal as Liles saw his floating shot go off the head of defenseman Mike Komisarek and into the net at 9:36.

Notes: The Leafs honored former captain Ted Kennedy before the game ... Liles missed the third period with an injury to his right shoulder. ... Teenagers Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly each had an assist for the Avalanche.