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Downie reminds Avs coach of Darcy Tucker

Darcy Tucker

Joe Sacco’s only had Steve Downie in the lineup for one game, but the Colorado head coach already knows who Downie reminds him of:

Darcy Tucker.

“They’re kind of similar in size, and both have that edge to their game,” Sacco told the Denver Post. “They unnerve people, and [Downie] is going to unnerve the opposition, and that’s what we want.

“We want somebody who, when the defense is going after pucks, you make them nervous, and Steven can do that — much like Darcy did when he was in his prime. There is a comparison there.”

While Tucker and Sacco never crossed paths as players, Tucker did play for Sacco in his final year with Colorado. As such, the Avs head coach can draw plenty of comparisons between Tucker and Downie, who are also eerily similar in size (Townie’s 5-foot-9, 190-pounds, Tucker played at 5-foot-10, 170.)

“They both play the game hard,” Sacco said. “They are not the biggest of men, but the opposition has to be aware when they’re on the ice, and they have some skill to go along with that grit.”

Downie’s first game with the Avs was a somewhat muted affair -- two hits, one shot on goal and a penalty in just over 16 minutes of ice time -- but Sacco said Downie’s impact goes far beyond the scoresheet.

“You could tell there was a little bit different feeling in the room,” Sacco said. “I think that’s par for the course anytime a new player comes in. But it does give your team a lift, and I thought Steven was good [Wednesday] night. He had a late night [Tuesday], and everything has happened so quickly for him.

“But he does have a presence out there physically. He plays the game hard, and he was energetic on the bench. I think he gave us some life, no doubt.”