Whether Pens fans like it or not, the answer is YES. As a Penguins fan, it absolutely sucks to have him suspended for four games because of his hit from behind on Fedor Tyutin of the Columbus Blue Jackets, since we are already riddled with injuries. As a hockey fan, its not even close to being enough. Matt Cooke is without a doubt a dirty player and Tyutin is lucky that he could skate off on his own after the hit against the boards in Tuesday’s game.Ã‚Â Penguins fans cannot deny it, even if it helps their team win games. It’s not good for the Penguins franchise, it’s not good for the NHL and it’s sure as hell not good for the players. He is a good model for young players…of how not to play. He probably has the same effect on young players as violent video games have on kids. Cooke needs to calm down his game and actually move opponents off the puck instead of just launching himself into them like a kamikaze bomber.
Fans from around the league have cried out against Cooke many times, most notably, Boston Bruins fans when Cooke took Marc Savard out of the playoffs last year and kept him off the ice this fall. Fans have said that a player is going to get seriously hurt if Cooke isn’t disciplined, but Bruins fans will be the first to tell you, rightfully so, that someone already has. Cooke’s hits dont only endanger opponents’ bodies, they endaner their minds too. Head injuries and concussions are not something you mess with, just ask our captain, Sidney Crosby. So why did Cooke not receive a suspension for his crippling hit on Savard?
Ask the NHL. They have been inconsistent and honestly, a joke, when it comes to disciplining players for dirty hits. Daniel Paille, of the Boston Bruins, also got a four game suspension recently for his hit on Dallas Stars’ Raymond Sawada.
Paille, who isn’t even a household name in Boston, and who has no history of dirty hits or questionable plays receives the same punishment as an infamous hard hitter? Way to go NHL. There is a pun somewhere in here about pie and cooking but honestly, there isn’t much humor in this situation.
Cooke’s suspension of only four games is especially outrageous because Cooke is a repeat offender. Saying Matt Cooke is simply an agressive player is a generous understatement. The Tyutin hit was not Cooke’s first time at the rodeo and for an eye-opening collection of Cooke’s greatestÃ‚Â WORST hits, go here.
To add insult to injury, Cooke’s four game suspension will put the Penguins in an even tighter spot than they were in already. Because losing their captain and a couple of their offensive superstars isn’t enough to handle, Cooke’s absence will add unneeded pressure to the Pens’ bench. Flat out, Cooke’s decision was a selfish one.
As a fan of the sport of hockey, I am extremely disappointed in him. In a time when the NHL is starting to finally, successfully rebuild it’s image after lockout woes and low viewership, this is the last kind of publicity the sport needs.