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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Avs’ Erik Johnson says ‘no place in the game’ for Wild’s Matt Cooke, who gets 7-game suspension

04.24.14 at 6:56 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Bruins at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Avalanche at Wild, 9:30 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Hawks, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Benfica vs. Juventus, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Wild forward Matt Cooke is back in a familiar spot: on the sideline serving a suspension. Cooke was banned seven games by the league for his knee-on-knee hit on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their series — the second-longest kneeing suspension in league history. Barrie suffered a sprained MCL and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

This is Cooke’s sixth suspension, adding up to 34 games. He had gone three years since his last major transgression, when he played for the Penguins.

Cooke, 35, can appeal the suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman.

“I think everyone is pretty informed on what he does out there and what he’s done in the past, and I think that speaks for itself,” Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson said Wednesday before the suspension was announced. “There’s no place for that in the game. Look at the guy who he hit: one of our top ‘D.’ He’s going to be out for the foreseeable future.”

Added Johnson: “I don’t even know if there’s a place for him in this game. It’s disgusting what he’s done to guys’ careers.”

– The Knicks are looking for a new coach after firing Mike Woodson, but president Phil Jackson made it clear he won’t be returning to the bench.

Jeanie Buss was here with the Board of Governors last week and stayed through the weekend, and tried to encourage me to coach the team. And if there’s anyone that can encourage me to do anything, it’s Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments the whole time,” Jackson said during a Wednesday press conference at the Knicks’ training center in Greenburgh, N.Y.

Added Jackson: “Right now I know physically what I can do. That’s something that I don’t think physically I can do.”

Jackson said he has some names in mind, and he did nothing to discourage rumors that TNT analyst Steve Kerr is the leading candidate.

“I know philosophically we have a strong connection. Whether he’s able to take a job like this, I don’t know,” Jackson said. “I will get in a conversation with him later on this month and talk to him about it and see where he’s at as far as his desire to coach.”

– Pacers guard Lance Stephenson admitted that he and teammate Evan Turner had a “little scuffle” prior to Game 1 of Indiana’s series vs. the Hawks, although he denied a report that punches were thrown.

Two large scratches were evident on Turner’s neck during the game, which the favored Pacers lost.

“We got in a little scuffle, but it was just practice related,” Stephenson said. “No blows, just hard playing and getting ready for the playoffs. I mean, I’ve got no problem with him.”

Meanwhile, coach Frank Vogel, who had a long conversation after Wednesday’s practice with team president Larry Bird, appeared unconcerned about a report that he is “coaching for his job” after the team’s late-season struggles.

“It’s the NBA, we’re all coaching for our jobs,” Vogel said. “All I know is that I’ve got incredible support from Larry and we’re trying to win games.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When it’s that obvious, something has got to be said. Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.” — Red Sox manager John Farrell, on asking umpires to check Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda, who then was ejected for having pine tar on his neck in the second inning of the Sox’ 5-1 victory Wednesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 – Goals by which the Blue Jackets trailed the Penguins in Game 4 of their series before rallying to tie the game with 22 seconds left in regulation and then winning in overtime

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): A driving LeBron James gets an elbow to the throat from Josh McRoberts toward the end of the Heat’s victory over the Bobcats.

Massachusetts native Chris Colabello of the Twins hits a home run while his mother is being interviewed (on her birthday, no less).

Jimmy Fallon presents “Tonight Show” superlatives for NHL players, including a number of Bruins.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Brad Park

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Robert Knight was born on this day in 1945.

Read More: Evan Turner, Frank Vogel, Lance Stephenson, matt cooke