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.

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    Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

    Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot during the overtime period of the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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    Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

    Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

    Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

    That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

    Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

    Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

    Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

    Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

    Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

    Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

    The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.

    Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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    Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

    The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

    You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

    It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

    Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.

    Malcolm Subban hospitalized after taking puck to throat

    Malcolm Subban
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    Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.

    There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.

    The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.

    Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.

    Update: This seems fairly positive.