Toronto forward victim of high stick

Updated: January 22, 2004, 1:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker had surgery on his left eye Wednesday and will be out indefinitely.

Darcy Tucker
Tucker

Tucker was hit in the face by New York Islanders forward Jason Blake's stick in the second period of Toronto's 2-0 victory Tuesday night.

Six high-sticking penalties were called in Tuesday's game, but the one that caught Tucker in the eye was not detected.

After a faceoff in the Islanders' zone late in the second period, Blake clipped Tucker with his stick. While being attended to on the ice, Tucker suddenly leaped to his feet and chased after Blake. After he was restrained, Tucker continued to scream at Blake.

Many wondered if Blake's high stick was intentional. The Leafs-Islanders rivalry was racheted up a notch during the first round of the 2002 playoffs when Tucker caught Islanders captain Michael Peca with a low check, tearing his ACL. Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson suffered a concussion in the series when he was checked from behind by Gary Roberts.

"It's an unfortunate part of the game, but it was an accident," Blake said. "I'm not the kind of guy to go out and stick guys in the face."

Tucker has 14 goals, seven assists and 60 penalty minutes this season for Toronto, who entered Wednesday atop the Northeast Division. The 14-goal total is third on the Leafs.

The Leafs recalled forward Josh Holden from the AHL. Holden has six goals, nine assists and 27 penalty minutes this season with St. John's. Last season, he had one goal in five games with the Maple Leafs.

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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