Matt Cooke

Watch Matt Cooke hit Barrett Jackman and end up being guilty of having a bad reputation


Matt Cooke hasn’t ever been a guy that gets the benefit of the doubt when there’s a questionable play or hit. He’s done enough in his past to make sure that if he’s around when something dastardly goes down, chances are he’s getting booked for it.

Last night in St. Louis, however, Matt Cooke sure seemed to be innocent of any evil wrongdoing when he checked Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman late in the third period. Rather than describe how the play went down, see for yourself courtesy of The Score.

Cooke was given two minutes for boarding late in the third period of a tie game, a brutal penalty to take.

What seems to be the case here, however, is that Jackman appeared to turn himself into the hit and throw himself face-first into the boards. When Cooke goes to deliver the hit, he’s hitting Jackman from the side, but Jackman winds up going face first into the glass. It’s a dubious play at best and at worst it’s a reputation call for Cooke and an embarrassing exaggeration by Jackman to draw a call.

Cooke has been a relative saint this season with just 16 penalty minutes. After a brutal year last season that saw him wind up getting suspended for the end of the regular season and playoffs, he’s cleaned up his game in a big way.

In this instance, however, it shows that reputations are harder to kill than anything.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.