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Monday, February 14, 2011

Isles-Pens aftermath: Don Cherry/Matt Cooke (last year)

I listened to a segment of "Hockey This Morning" driving to work this morning --
basically every call was about the Isles-Pens and almost all from Islander fans.

There has been a better sense of balance to Lemieux's comments than I originally
thought - even from NHL Network.

As far as I can tell, Mario has not waived Matt Cooke, despite the fact that
Cooke's actions are repeatedly in direct contrast to Mario's statement:

"Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened
Friday night on Long Island wasn't hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to
watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of
actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

"We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game
and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of
actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary
action.

"If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need
to re-think whether I want to be a part of it."

Cooke's hit on Fedor Tyutin on Tuesday was the latest of a series of
questionable/dirty hits by Cooke, includingthe dreadful attack on Marc Savard
last year. A look back at Don Cherry's comments on that hit is here:
bit.ly/CherryCooke

One of the funny things that came about from Friday's game from an Islander
perspective is that it appeared that a significant number of islander fans were
rooting for the Rangers in their game with Pittsburgh yesterday.

The angelic Penguins, who lead the NHL with 290 minor penalties, 63 major
penalties, 376 total penalties and 1,113 penalty minutes and are one of only 4
teams to draw a match penalty this season have a fairly quiet week. They play
Wednesday in Denver and then don't play again until an NBC tilt in Chicago as
part of "Hockey Day in America" on Sunday. Matt Cooke will return to the
Penguins on Sunday. Unless Mario waives him, of course.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on
Twitter @ehornick

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