|Matt Cooke suspended for remainder of regular season and first round of playoffs for elbow on Ryan McDonagh||03.21.11 at 5:26 pm ET|
The NHL announced Monday Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for an elbow on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh that took place Sunday. It is the fourth suspension of Cooke’s career, and second of this season.
“Mr. Cooke, a repeat offender, directly and unnecessarily targeted the head of an opponent who was in an unsuspecting and vulnerable position,” Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said following the ruling. “This isn’t the first time this season that we have had to address dangerous behavior on the ice by Mr. Cooke, and his conduct requires an appropriately harsh response.”
The Penguins weren’t looking too good when Mario Lemieux, who employs Cooke, complained about dirty play following the team’s game against the Islanders last month. This time around, the Pittsburgh organization wants to make sure everyone knows where they stand.
“The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said in a statement Monday. “Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”
Cooke has long been criticized as one of the league’s dirtier players, and was responsible for a blindside hit last March that has left Bruins center Marc Savard with concussion issues. Savard is currently out for the season after a routine hit from Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick caused another concussion from which he is still recovering.
WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ dressing room seemed to be silent Monday when it came to discussing Matt Cooke‘s latest cheap shot. Shawn Thornton didn’t like the idea of commenting on it, while Johnny Boychuk claimed to have not seen the hit. Despite not everybody talking, Brad Marchand and even coach Claude Julien said enough to make it clear that Cooke’s act is not appreciated in these parts.
The Bruins, of course, have a direct tie to Cooke in that they are currently playing without Marc Savard, who has not been the same since Cooke blind-sided him last season.
“I think that it’s about time he gets — he’s got to be taught a lesson,” Marchand said. “He’s doing that stuff left, right, and center. I expect that he’ll probably get a bunch of games, but he’s got to be taught a lesson. You can’t be running around doing that stuff all the time. He’s going to seriously hurt someone again. Look at Savvy, and now McDonagh. He could have easily hurt him.
“It just seems to be part of his game. He likes to throw cheap shots around. I don’t know if he’ll learn. Hopefully he does. Hopefully he doesn’t hurt someone to the point where their career is over. You want to get that stuff out of the game, and hopefully he does learn his lesson.”
Marchand is coming off a two-game suspension of his own for a blindside elbow on Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger last week. As a first-time offender, Marchand and Julien hope that theta young forward’s lesson has been learned, but when asked about Marchand, Julien worked in a jab at Cooke.
“I think you need to trust your players to do the right things,” Julien said. “You have to trust your players that they’ve learned from those things and they don’t let it happen, although there are certain guys in the league that don’t seem to be learning.”
There was a light-hearted reaction to the Cooke reference, though when asked to comment further on the Penguins forward, Julien got serious and politely declined.
“No reaction, no comment,” Julien said. “I think right now I’ve got my hands full with trying to get our team back on track. This is an opportunity for me to let the league do their job.”
|Mark Recchi, Andrew Ference absent as Bruins return to practice||03.07.11 at 10:43 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins took the ice at Ristuccia Arena Monday morning as they gear up for a stretch this week that features three games in four nights. They’ll kick things off Tuesday in Montreal before hosting the Sabres Thursday and heading to Long Island on Friday.
Everyone was accounted for at Bruins practice but Mark Recchi, Steve Kampfer and Andrew Ference. Patrice Bergeron returned to the B’s for Monday’s skate after missing Saturday’s game due to personal reasons. With Recchi not on the ice, Tyler Seguin took his spot on Bergeron and Brad Marchand‘s line.
This day in Bruins history is a memorable one, but not for good reason. It was a year ago that Matt Cooke changed Marc Savard‘s career with a blindside hit in Pittsburgh.
|All sorts of videos of Matt Cooke’s cheap shots||02.09.11 at 6:27 pm ET|
With Wednesday’s news that Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been given a four-game suspension for his hit from behind on Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin, it shouldn’t come as a shock that DeadSpin put together a video consisting of two minutes worth of Cooke’s cheap shots. Video of Cooke’s hit on Tyutin can be seen below.
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was asked whether or not he saw the hit.
“I did not,” said Thornton. “Nor do I give a [care].”
|Marc Savard not ready to think about retirement||02.07.11 at 3:05 pm ET|
A big decision was announced Monday by the Bruins, and Marc Savard hopes it’s the last major decision he has to make regarding the concussions that have plagued his career.
An emotional Savard took the podium at TD Garden for the second time in as many seasons on Monday as he discussed his 2010-11 season ending after just 25 games. Savard has suffered two concussions in just over 10 months, with the most recent coming on Jan. 22.
With Savard having incurred four concussions over the course of his career and Peter Chiarelli saying the center was “frustrated” with struggling with the speed of the game when he did return from post-concussion syndrome in December, Savard said he is avoiding the inevitable decision of whether he might retire.
“I’m trying to stay away from that right now,” Savard said Monday. “It’s tough enough as it is not to be able to finish the season. Obviously, we’re going to get some more medical stuff done, some tests, and then I’ll be able to make a clearer decision on what my future is.
“Right now, I’m hoping to be able to continue at some point again.”
If that doesn’t prove to be the case and Savard decides to retire, one guy who has seen it all would be understanding.
“No, I wouldn’t [blame him for retiring],” Mark Recchi, who sat in the front row of the press conference with teammates Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, said. “Concussions are tough. … There’s got to be some thoughts. He’s got three young children, and you want to play with them, you want to have fun with them, you want to [seem them] grow up and be a good dad. Part of that is that you want to be healthy for them.
“I think he’s got a lot to think about, but I think the most important thing is right now that focuses on just getting better. Getting healthy, and then he can be a little bit more clear on his decisions and whether he wants to continue or not.”
|Bruins to hold press conference for Marc Savard||at 10:18 am ET|
With multiple reports indicating Sunday that Bruins center Marc Savard will be shut down for the rest of the season, the team called a press conference for Monday at 2 p.m. at TD Garden. Present at the press conference will be the center, general manager Peter Chiarelli, and head team physician Dr. Peter Asnis.
Savard suffered the fourth concussion of his career on Jan. 22 when he took a hit in the corner from Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick and has been out since. The 33-year-old, who missed the first 23 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome, had 10 points (2 G, 8 A) and a team-worst minus-7 rating in 25 games with the Bruins this season.
|Peter Chiarelli: Trade options slim due to tight competition in West||02.04.11 at 7:50 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli took some time to discuss Daniel Paille‘s four-game suspension with the media on Friday, saying that he felt the length of the ban was “stiff” but that he likes the parameters the league uses to determine such suspensions. Perhaps more notably, Chiarelli touched on how he might like to improve the club.
Chiarelli, who had recently said that in a perfect world, he would like to add “a defenseman that could log some minutes,” hinted at the same thing Friday, saying that he wanted a blueliner who could “ease some of the minutes off of our players.”
The GM noted that such an acquisition could be tough to make given how close the teams in the Western Conference are right now. Prior to Friday night’s game, only three points separate the 11th-place Flames and the fourth-place Predators.
“Right now, everything is very, very tight,” Chiarelli said. “You hear that from me every year a month before the deadline, and it’s even more true now. The standings are tight. Usually your trading partners are in the West. It’s very, very tight.”
As for whether he could make a trade to replace Marc Savard‘s contributions should the center be shut down for the season, Chiarelli feels that “that player is not available” via trade. Placing Savard on long-term injury reserve would allow the team more spending money with the center’s cap hit not a factor.
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