Matt Cooke, with a reputation for being a nasty, dirty hockey player, delivered a thunderous body check Sunday night.
Cooke caught New York Rangers’ left-winger Mats Zuccarello with a big hit near the end boards just after Zuccarello had reversed the puck behind the net late in the first period.
Zuccarello bounced right back up to his feet, while Rangers’ defenseman John Moore jumped in to confront Cooke.
The only penalties handed out on the play were to Moore for roughing and Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.