|Senators’ Erik Karlsson suffers Achilles laceration from skate of Penguins’ Matt Cooke||02.14.13 at 9:00 am ET|
Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson suffered a laceration to his left Achilles tendon that will require surgery and likely knock him out for the rest of the season. Karlsson, the 2012 Norris Trophy winner, was injured when Penguins forward Matt Cooke‘s skate caught his heel during a scrum on the boards late in the second period Wednesday night’s game in Pittsburgh.
Cooke, who has been suspended numerous times for illegal hits but vowed to change his ways more than a year ago, was not penalized on the play.
“Him and I were engaged and he went down screaming,” Cooke said. “I didn’t even know what happened. It’s a complete accident and obviously I feel terrible about it. It has happened a few times over the past couple of years and it’s scary.”
Senators general manager Bryan Murray apparently isn’t buying Cooke’s explanation.
“It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?” Murray said. “Watch the replay.”
The incident occurred seconds after the puck hit the protective netting behind the goal, but the officials missed it and let the play continue.
“We all know who’s involved in it,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. “That’s just the way it is. The injury to Erik was unfortunate and it happens on a nothing play that could’ve potentially been whistled down.”
Senators forward Chris Neil went after Cooke late in the third period, and both players received game-ending misconduct penalties. The Penguins went on to take a 4-2 victory, with Cooke assisting on the game-winning goal by James Neal early in the third.
|Video: Penguins’ Matt Cooke delivers another hit to head||03.21.11 at 6:42 am ET|
Penguins forward Matt Cooke was given a five-minute major penalty and ejected from Sunday’s game for his elbow to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Cooke, who has been suspended three times in the past three seasons for illegal hits, likely faces another suspension this week after sticking out his arm to deck a defenseless McDonagh at center ice near the boards.
“I don’t think you can talk about eliminating head shots from the game, as we have as an organization, and not expect [Cooke's hit] to be examined,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “It’s what looks to be a contact right to the head on the play, so the league will look at that and treat it as such.”
|Suspended Penguin Matt Cooke puts some blame on victim||02.11.11 at 11:39 am ET|
Penguins forward Matt Cooke met the media Thursday for the first time since being suspended four games for his hit on Columbus’ Fedor Tyutin. Cooke said he altered his game to avoid hits to the head like the one he delivered to Bruins center Marc Savard last season, but his hit on Tyutin came because Tyutin put himself in jeopardy.
“I’m not going to leave myself in a vulnerable position two feet from the boards when I know someone’s coming,” Cooke said.
As for the ruling, Cooke said: “It’s the league’s decision. They assess every hit and every play. That’s their ruling.” When asked if his reputation affected his suspension, he said: “No comment.”
|Penguins’ Matt Cooke reportedly gets four-game suspension||02.09.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
Penguins forward Matt Cooke was suspended four games by the league for his hit from behind on Fedor Tyutin on Tuesday night (video below), according to multiple reports. Cooke left his feet to slam Tyutin into the boards while the Blue Jackets defenseman played the puck. Cooke received a charging penalty on the play.
Two days earlier, Cooke took out Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, sticking out his knee and tripping the Capitals star (video below). Cooke received a penalty and earned the ire of the Capitals.
“It’s Matt Cooke, OK. Need we say more?” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s not like it’s his first rodeo. He’s done it to everybody and then he goes to the ref and says, ‘What did I do?’ He knows darn well what he did. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s good at it and he knows how to do it, he knows how to pick this stuff.
“We as a league still buy into this that it was an accidental thing.”
Here’s the hit on Tyutin:
Here’s the hit on Ovechkin:
|Penguins’ Sidney Crosby expected to miss at least a week||01.07.11 at 9:32 am ET|
Penguins star Sidney Crosby is expected to miss at least one week due to effects from a concussion. Crosby, who missed Thursday night’s shootout loss to the Canadiens in Montreal, was injured in Wednesday’s victory over the Lightning, four days after he received a blistering hit in Saturday’s Winter Classic vs. the Capitals.
The Penguins also were without forward Matt Cooke on Thursday, as the winger returned to Pittsburgh for personal reasons.
|Top stories of 2010, No. 8: The Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath||12.24.10 at 8:13 am ET|
For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. Our third entry in the countdown is No. 8: The Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath.
Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.
The Bruins carried themselves through a good portion of the 2009-10 season undaunted, just waiting to take on their next opponent. In Bill Belichick terms: They were playing their season one game at a time.
The team was riding a season on the back of young netminder Tuukka Rask, who had the B’s in not just the playoff hunt, but in good postseason standing with just several months remaining on the regular-season schedule.
But on March 7, the Bruins made a trip to Pittsburgh that will live in Boston sports infamy.
The Penguins were a good team — a team that boasted one of the biggest names in modern-day hockey in Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-1 lead late in the third period when Bruins center Marc Savard was set up for a quick wrist shot in between the faceoff circles in the Penguins’ zone. After Savard got the shot away, Penguins left wing Matt Cooke skated in on Savard and put a shoulder into his blind side, catching the side of Savard’s head and neck. The shot came from almost behind the Bruins center, and after the puck had already been released.
Savard hit the ice hard and didn’t move for minutes, except to open and close his hand. Meanwhile, Bruins players skated at Cooke, seeking some form of redemption for the swipe. But when referees held up any extra physicality, no further push was made by either team to reconcile what had happened. The game ended in a 2-1 Penguins victory, but the Bruins had lost much more than just the game itself.
For weeks, analysts and even teammates discussed the hit and whether or not it was legal, or should have drawn a suspension, while Savard suffered the effects of a major concussion. Ultimately, league disciplinarian Colin Campbell ruled that the hit on Savard was not worthy of a fine or suspension, that Cooke’s hit was technically legal (it was not penalized by the on-ice officials).
|The villains of Bruins history||03.12.10 at 5:06 pm ET|
It only took one play for Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke to join the ranks of Bruins villains.
The hit that knocked out the Marc Savard, likely ending his season according to Boston GM Peter Chiarelli, has caused quite a stir in Boston. Shawn Thornton warned that “no one should push [the Bruins] around” despite the fact that the team did not respond to Cooke’s vicious hit. Mike Milbury said that he believes the Bruins are too soft. Savard’s mother even got in on the act, saying that she would have gone after Cooke herself after the hit. About the only person not up in arms over the hit is NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.
Cooke will now forever join the list of notorious individuals in the minds of Boston fans. Here are some of the more famous villains in Bruins history.
Nilan grew up in Massachusetts idolizing Bruins great Bobby Orr and went to school at Northeastern. He eventually ended his career playing two of his last three seasons with the Bruins like he had dreamed, but it was a bizarre turn given his early career with the Montreal Canadiens.
Nilan was the Canadiens’ resident tough guy in the ’80s, leading the NHL in penalty minutes multiple times and earning the nickname of “Knuckles” due to his fighting habits. Naturally, he became a villain in the eyes of Bruins fans. Most famously, Nilan delivered a cheap shot to an unsuspecting Paul Boutileer, causing a bench-clearing brawl to ensue at Boston Garden.
You’ll notice in that video that then-Bruins coach Terry O’Reilly joins in on the brawl as well, getting into it with Mike McPhee. Interestingly enough, O’Reilly had his own history with Nilan.
Lemieux was one of the most vilified hockey goons in NHL history. He seemed to get into disagreements with every team, particularly the Detroit Red Wings, most notably when he lit up Kris Draper in 1996 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Even though Lemieux won four Stanley Cup titles over the course of his career, he was more known as one of the most infamous instigators in the NHL during his tenure. And the Bruins were amongst the teams that did not take kindly to him, particularly Cam Neely, who called Lemieux a “gutless puke.”
Of course, Lemieux ended up in his patented “turtle” position when Neely went after him. He was always more of an instigator than an actual fighter.
Before there was Matt Cooke, there was Scott Walker. The Bruins came into the Eastern Conference semifinals last year as the top seed, facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes after dominating the rival Canadiens in a four-game sweep in the first round. But the Hurricanes took a surprising 3-1 lead in the series, forcing the Bruins into must-win mode in Game 5.
And though the Bruins pulled it out, Walker’s sucker punch of Aaron Ward was the bigger story.
Ward called it “a joke” and Bruins fans were upset that Colin Campbell did not discipline Walker for the punch, which many felt was a cheap shot because Ward still had his gloves on and wasn’t ready to fight. To add insult to the injury, it was Walker who scored the decisive goal in overtime in Game 7 that knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs.
It is a hit that lives in infamy for Bruins fans — one that contributed to the demise of Hall of Famer Cam Neely’s hockey career and led to the vilification of Samuelsson in the minds of Boston fans on a level previously held for the likes of Bill Laimbeer. Neely certainly had his own thoughts on his rival, calling into question the way Samuelsson played — a style similar to that of Lemieux, as Samuelsson, too, was no fighter. As a tough-guy himself, Neely took exception to Samuelsson’s on-ice style and his penchant for knee-on-knee hits, or knee-on-thigh in the case of Neely.
Samuelsson was well-known as a dirty player. He ended the career of Pierre Mondou in 1985, when as a member of the Hartford Whalers he delivered a high stick to the Canadiens forward’s eye. Hockey icon Don Cherry also was not a fan of Samuelsson, and said it was a matter of time before someone took him out.
As it turns out, Cherry was right. In 1995 the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Tie Domi leveled Samuelsson, then with the New York Rangers, with a brutal sucker punch that caused Domi to earn an eight-game suspension. It was well worth it, considering he probably earned hero-status in Boston, and around the NHL, thanks to this punch.
Interestingly, Samuelsson’s son, Philip Samuelsson, is a freshman defenseman at Boston College who was drafted by the Penguins in the second round of the 2009 draft.
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