Cooke trying to reach Bruins' Savard

Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins left winger Matt Cooke has “reached out” to Boston center Marc Savard, according to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.
Odds are the NHL office will do likewise with Cooke soon.

Savard was injured Sunday with a hit to the head by Cooke late in the Penguins’ 2-1 victory against the Bruins at Mellon Arena.

Bylsma said Monday that the Penguins had not yet heard from the league about a hearing for Cooke, but “we know they’re looking at all [questionable] hits and situations, so we know they’re looking at it.”

Savard, who got a Grade 2 concussion when Cooke hit him on the right side of the head with his upper left arm or shoulder, flew back to Boston Monday and told the Boston Herald he was experiencing intense headaches and severe fatigue and didn’t know when he might be able to resume playing.

Cooke did not participate in an optional practice Monday at Southpointe nor did he speak with reporters when it ended, but Bylsma said Cooke tried to contact Savard.

“I know Matt Cooke has reached out to him,” Bylsma said.

He did not elaborate on the precise message Cooke had wanted to deliver.

Bylsma said he did not see the hit as it happened and had not viewed a replay before meeting with reporters after the game Sunday, but he subsequently did watch a replay and offered this assessment:

“I think Matt Cooke’s coming back with the intention of breaking up a good scoring chance by one of their players. The unfortunate part is that a guy gets hurt and goes down on the ice. That’s not a situation anyone wants to see. It doesn’t matter what color uniform he’s wearing.”

If the NHL decides to suspend Cooke, it could be done anytime before the Penguins’ next game, which is Thursday night at Carolina.

128 Responses to Cooke trying to reach Bruins' Savard

  1. DannyLeafs says:

    I agree that the hit was dirty and gutless, and I agree that Campbell is an idiot, but to be honest I am not all that surprised that there was no suspension. I did expect Campbell to hand out a three to five game suspension and the pens to accept it just to calm everyone down, but the real controversy of this hit, is that it technically did not break any of the rules of physical contact that are currently in the game of hockey. This hit merely exemplifies that the rules that are in place are no longer adequate to protect the players from serious injury. The same rules that make the game more open and free flowing, also make it easier for goons like Cooke to freely go after a player without obstruction and without fear of reprisal.

    There really needs to be a rule that if a player's shoulder or elbow makes contact soley with an opposing players head during physical contact, that the player be immediately ejected and an automatic suspension be subsequent. I know some people will complain that sometimes hits to the the head are accidental, and they sometimes really are, but its the same as the puck over the glass rule. Skilled players don't do it very often, look at how many times you have seen Lidstrom, Kaberle, or Keith just throw the puck over the glass, and less skilled players are starting to get caught in their end bobbling the puck simply because they can't throw the puck at the glass without consequence. In the new NHL we have seen many prominent defensemen's weaknesses exposed because they can no longer cover them with clutching and grabbing, interference plays, and throwing the puck blindly off the glass or down the ice.

    The same example should now be made of hitting. Body checking is a skill, but right now anyone who can skate, has good size, and is willing to pay the toll is going around hitting everything that moves. Good hitters would become so much more valuable if you couldn't replace them with guys like Matt Cooke for fear of what he may cost your team. Guys like Clutterbuck, Callahan, Morrow, and Backes have more hits combined in the past two years than most teams, but none of these players has ever been suspended, or even been involved with an overly controversial hit (at least to my knowledge). In fact, Clutterbuck and Callahan are #1 and #2 in hits this season, yet have fewer combined penalty minutes then Cooke. Each of them has over 100 more hits this year, but averages one minor penalty every 4 games or so.

    So I think that it is about time the NHL did for hitting what it did for defense a few years ago, and give the game back to "skilled" hitters, rather then having every goon who can skate running around and nearly decapitating the leagues elite players.

  2. hockey_lover says:

    Awesome post man. I agree 100%.

    The only thing that presents a problem for me is … "needs to be a rule that if a player's shoulder or elbow makes contact soley with an opposing players head during physical contact, that the player be immediately ejected and an automatic suspension be subsequent."

    Ive said this a few times in this debate but it obviously needs repeating. In this case with Cooke, yes, he hit Savard in the head. But, Savard was leaning forward and his head was really where his shouldnt WOULD have been if he was standing upright. That, to me, isnt a headshot. Again, using an "extreme" example .. if a player lunges for a loose puck and ends up on his knees and an opposing player lunges but remains "standing" and they collide .. the dude on his knees gets ROCKED in the head .. is that a headshot? No because his head isnt where his head should be.

    They need to first CLEARLY define what is a headshot and what "becomes" a headshot due to cir*****stance.

  3. dumbassdoorman says:

    The NHL should also getting around to addressing the armour these players where. It may cut down on the severity of these injuries. But players still need to start to respect each other. While I do not agree with no suspension i do understand it was "legal", but still unnecessary and dangerous.

  4. hockey_lover says:

    Definitely. My hockey equipment that I bought only about .. meh, 10 years ago, is NOTHING like it is today. I walk into a sports shop and the shoulder pads are monsterous (and thats size small :P). These guys are 6'2, weighing 220 lbs, carrying around an additional 15 pounds of equipment thats as hard as a rock. Its ridiculous.

  5. hockeyhead says:

    dude,  give me a break.

    lucic is not a heavyweight goon.  he is a decent forward with toughness.

    pissing his pants…yeah right.

    lucky the bruins gave up colton orr,  right.

  6. hockey_lover says:

    Absolutely 100% incorrect (on your evaluation of the Cooke hit).

  7. hockey_lover says:

    I can, in fact, name on person on this site who has said that, not verbatim, but "Lucic is the one of the best enforcers in the league and one of the best power forwards and no one else in the league has his skillset and is better at it."

  8. bbruins37 says:

    haha hey, all i'm saying is no need to teach anyone your bullshit "ideals", like your math belief system.

  9. bbruins37 says:

    not verbatim might be the key phrase there.

  10. hockey_lover says:

    Have you not said something RIDICULOUSLY close to "no one else in the league that has the skillset Lucic does and do it better."

    Please tell me you arent going to deny that.

  11. hockey_lover says:

    Whatever helps you sleep at night *patting you on the head*

    Ok. Lets have it. What, exactly and in detail, is my "math belief system." Lots of details. Dont leave anything out so you can weasel out of it after.

    Explain. Go.

  12. bbruins37 says:

    let's see if you've learned anything. i'll ask you a question. if you go back on what you said all it means is that you bullshitted your way to try to prove fleury was better than thomas.

    goalie A plays 1 game in season 1, recording a GAA of 10.00. in 80 games in season 2 he records a GAA of 2.00. goalie B plays 80 games in season 1 and records a GAA of 5.00. he does the very same in season 2.

    what goalie has the best overall GAA?

  13. bbruins37 says:

    that last part i have said, but who does have that skill set? the closest one would be clarkson.

  14. hockey_lover says:

    Before I answer … what were we talking about to get to this answer? The term.

  15. bbruins37 says:

    just answer the question in a way to best represent the goalie's production. you know, as if you were trying to argue one was better than the other…

  16. hockey_lover says:

    Nope. Term. What was it. It is 100% the whole point of this.

  17. hockey_lover says:

    Perfect. I'll go directly off the 2nd link. My point still stands.

    "I" was speaking about the average. ONLY. A-V-E-R-A-G-E. An average is not weighted.

    YOU guys were speaking of something entirely different. The average median is weighted when the values are skewed.

    Two completely different things.

    Now, go ahead and accuse me of going back on what I said and changing the meaning and whatever else. I know exactly what I WAS saying and what I am saying now.

    Average = not weighted.

    If you take a look at Fleury's numbers for only his time on the Pens, the AVERAGE of his time there is: .906+.912+.921+.906+.898+.896 = 5.439 / 6 = .9065 (round it) = .907. Which is exactly what it should be. If you total up Thomas' numbers, you will get a number, likely in the area of around the same (or higher or lower, no matter).

    The point "I" was making and AM making now is .. they are the AVERAGES.

    You want to break it down and find the median because of the games played, FINE. Im not stopping you. But the AVERAGE is what is above.

    Once again .. AVERAGE = not weighted.

  18. hockeyhead says:

    the hit deemed legal was dirty.

    and the league does not punish a repeat offender.

    cooke was linked to the bertuzzi/moore incident.

    what happens now?  another type of vigilante justice?  which the league is setting up for.

    they suspend an instigator and fine the team in the last 5 minutes.

    if the bruins actually had the backbone this year….the league would come down heavy on them for retaliating.

    they pu ssy out and let the league decide and they go in favor of a repeat goon.

    i hope there is somekind of vigilante justice.  just despite the league.

    they got rid of bench brawls and put in an instigator rule and things are worse.

    let the players police themselves….the  way it used to be.

  19. hockey_lover says:

    How was Cooke linked to the Bertuzzi / Moore incident?

    Its so long ago I honestly dont remember.

  20. DannyLeafs says:

    To me the problem isn't that he ended up making contact with the head, but that he made contact with nothing but the head. I don't think that is what he intended to do, and yes it could easily have been a shoulder check, but anyone can see the hit was made dangerous because it was a blindsided hit where Savard was caught off guard. Because Cooke was reckless he just went for the hit on a player who was a sitting duck.

    My point is that the onus should be on the hitter in a case where you hit nothing but the opponents head. It happened the way it did because Cooke saw an opening and scrambled to make any hit he could. That is why I made the comparison to the puck over the glass rule and no change on icing. Before, defensemen would scramble to loose pucks and just toss them in any direction as hard as they could because there was no consequence for throwing it over the glass or icing the puck, but now that it is, you see defensemen taking their time more, with less skilled defensmen taking some penalties and making turnovers, while more skilled defensemen have become more valuable. In a similar way I think the game would be better served if there were going to be some serious consequences to a bad hit, even if accidental. It should also be made a simple call for the referee and the league, by having a mandatory penalty and suspension. This would result in some mediocre hitters and agitators making fewer hits, and thus, lowering the total number of hits around the league, but it would hopefully make learning how to hit properly, and cleanly, a big part of the game, and guys that are good at it will become more valuable.

    Also, I want to be clear on this, I am not talking about every hit that makes contact to the head, or even every hit that hits the head first, I am talking about those dangerous hits where a player hits virtually nothing but the opponents head. Hitters should have to be more careful, and I think that penalizing these hits automatically would be a good first step. Obviously that doesn't take care of every needless hit, but making players responsible for the outcome of their actions is necessary to protect the players as a whole.

    Finally, the thing I would like to point out is that this hit was made all the more dangerous because Matt Cooke was trying to fall within the rules of a "clean hit" as they are now defined. Matt Cooke came from behind Savard, but tried to cut out in front and then back, and that motion is why he caught Savard's head so cleanly.

    So I do agree, I think they really do need to clearly define head shots in general, but I still think a good first step is to eliminate the guess work on these hits where a players just makes contact with the head. I know they try to make a case for all hits based on the written rules, and I know they will want to try and re-write the rules in a way where this type of hit is illegal, but we all know we want it out of the game, so why not make the first step just penalizing the result of a hit like this. "Any hit where a player makes contact with another player's head with his shoulder, where there is no other contact between the players, will be considered an offense that is subject to an automatic suspension" in other words, if you don't hit something other than the other guys head, you get suspended. I know its a quick patchwork until a better ruling comes along, but honestly I hate how every time we see a hit like this we have to look for a reason to suspend the guy, even when everyone knows they want him to be suspended. That is why I would like to see this rule as a first step, give them something to justify the suspension, and opposing teams something to point to when they feel like they haven't been done justice.

  21. hockeyhead says:

    cooke played for vancouver then.  he was the heavy.

    when moore cheapshot naslund they sent out cooke.

    i guess his retaliation was not a big enough splash.

    bertuzzi added to the violence.

  22. hockey_lover says:

    Ok. I went back and looked at a youtube video cause I have no frame of reference. The Bertuzzi stuff totally overshadowed everything else to me.

    You are WAY over reacting in a big bad way. Cooke did nothing that a BAGILLION fcuking players have been doing for the last 70 years. Cooke "went after" Moore by challenging him to a fight. He didnt sucker punch him. He didnt hit him from behing. It was a fight. Nothing more, nothing less. This happens in TONS of games all the time. For you to point out that Cooke should have gotten suspended based on THIS, makes you WAY sour grapes and also sounds kind of *****like. As far as any level headed non biased hockey fan would be concerned, I think its safe to say they wouldnt fault Cooke AT ALL in that situation. Also, not for the nothing, but if Matt Cooke is the "heavy" for a team, thats pretty lame. He is no more a scrapper than Jarkko Ruutu is .. not much.

    Now, comparing this Cookie/Savard incident to the Cooke/Anisimov incident is WAY more appropriate. Cooke hit the guy in the head with his elbow out.

    Your comparision is real weak.

  23. hockey_lover says:

    I get what you are saying. He totally could have backed off and should have. He could have also bent over a little to "equal" his stance to that of Savard but he didnt. To me personally, it was a total blindside hit and he should have gotten suspended. I just dont buy the "he hit his head" schpeal.

    However, if they are going to make the rule "any contact to the head, no matter what," thats fine. I wouldnt say anything. But there ARE going to be purists who say it stinks and blah blah.

  24. hockeyhead says:

    what the f u k?

    i said he was linked to the incident.

    you didnt even remember.

    shut up.

  25. hockey_lover says:

    heh .. ok ok ok. Simmer down. Dont get your panties in a bunch, princess.

  26. bbruins37 says:

    averages are not weighted….have you ever heard of a weighted average? you had two other people that absolutely hate my guts arguing against you and with me. to average out save percentages with each year having the same automatic w=weight and not weighting them based on games played is useless.

  27. DannyLeafs says:

    Yeah, I personally don't want to see a rule in place that makes all hits that have any contact to the head a penalty, but that is why I like the idea of punishing anyone who only makes contact with the head. This punishes guys who throw elbows, clothesline, or blindside guys, but if you think about it, how can you get contact with only the head if you come at a guy head on? you can't. You end up taking at least some of the body.

    Think of the Savard hit. If Savard's head was down and Cooke came at him head on, yes he would have hit the head, but he would have came through and hit the body as well. At least in that scenario we can easily look at it and go "Savard really should have had his head up", but since he came at him from an angle that Savard could never have seen him, it was possible to hit only the head.

    To me, that is the difference. You can't come at somebody head on, and hit only the head, your follow through catches the body, so it forces players coming from a blind direction to be more responsible for their actions.

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