Avalanche-Maple Leafs: Andrew Raycroft, Darcy Tucker To Meet Old Team

Dino MoriAnalyst IJanuary 28, 2009

There will be some bottled-up emotion when Colorado plays host to Toronto at the Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Two former Maple Leafs, goalie Andrew Raycroft and winger Darcy Tucker, will be meeting their former team for the first time since being bought out by the club last summer.

Raycroft, who is enjoying a bit of a resurrection in the Mile High City, is expected to get the call in net for Colorado.  The former fifth-round pick of the Boston Bruins in the 1998 Entry Draft has appeared in 15 games thus far this season, posting a respectable 9-5 record to go along with a 2.71 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

Tucker, meanwhile, is struggling through an injury-plagued year.  He has managed just five goals and six assists in 37 games, and is forced to wear a brace on a gimpy knee suffered during a game against Anaheim.

Raycroft was with the Maple Leafs for two years, both non-playoff seasons.  Despite the club's lack of success, the 28-year-old netminder did set a franchise record for wins with 37 wins in 2006-07. 

He became a backup in Toronto the following year, after the Maple Leafs acquired Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks.

Raycroft, who only appeared in 19 games in 2007-08, didn't endear himself to many Leaf fans with his nonchalant attitude and penchant for allowing weak goals.

Tucker was the polar opposite to Raycroft, wearing his heart on his blue and white sleeve most nights.  He spent eight feisty years in Toronto, amassing 148 goals and 171 assists. His best season with Toronto came back in 2005-2006 when he scored 28 goals and had 61 points, which included a team leading 18 power-play markers.

Both men are trying to keep an even keel about the game Thursday, that despite the opponent, many of the faces whom they played against have changed.

Having said that, there's no doubt the juices should be flowing when the puck drops in Denver for both former Maple Leafs.