Don't expect Penguins to suspend Cooke

Cooke.jpgPittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Dave Molinari
has a pretty interesting Q&A up today
, in which a reader
suggests that perhaps the Penguins should suspend Matt Cooke if the NHL
doesn’t. Here’s his response:

In general, though, it probably isn’t realistic to expect
an organization to punish a player for something that happens on the
ice if the league doesn’t seem his action worthy of a fine or
suspension. If a guy does something that his coach or GM deems to be
seriously out of line during a game, he might be on the receiving end
of a one-sided discussion about it, but the primary objective of team
officials is to win games, and that means dressing the 20 players they
believe are most likely to make that happen.

It seems that we should have a ruling sometime today on whether the
NHL suspends Cooke, but it seems that right now the indications are that
he won’t. If the NHL did not suspend Mike Richards — as they should
have — then I doubt they’ll do the same for Cooke. Of course, Cooke is
the mythical “repeat offender” that the league likes to bring the hammer
down on.

But I tend to agree with Molinari here. As much as I
would love to see a team take the bull by the horns and suspend the
player themselves, there’s no way that is going to happen, especially if
the league rules the hit was legal. There’s no doubt that Cooke
embarrassed the league, himself and his team with an insanely dangerous
and careless hit.

But the ones that should be apologizing is the
NHL for not already having rules in place to prevent these sorts of
hits. Supposedly the NHL has been discussing the legality of shoulder
hits to the head for over ten years, and yet just now it looks like
steps are going to be made to standardize the punishments for these hits
and actually deem these hits illegal — completely.

Matt Cooke
is not without fault here, no matter what the NHL says is legal. He made
a dangerous hit on a vulnerable player and although Joffrey Lupol is worried hockey will no longer be a
man’s game
, what we don’t want are our superstars walking around
like brain dead zombies.

Scroll Down For:

    Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

    Niklas Kronwall
    Leave a comment

    When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

    (His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

    It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

    He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

    First, the Kronwalling:

    Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

    It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

    Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

    Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

    Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

    Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

    It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

    To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

    The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

    That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

    They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

    Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


    More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

    In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

    Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

    Jack Eichel
    1 Comment

    The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

    You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

    That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

    Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

    Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


    Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

    While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

    In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

    The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?