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Posted at 1:40 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Line change: Is Caps' reaction to Cooke's hit on Ovechkin justified?

By Washington Post Sports Editors

Asked about Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke's knee-on-knee hit on Alex Ovechkin yesterday, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't hold back.

Cooke "knows damn well what he did," Boudreau said. "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, we still buy into this [idea] that, 'Oh it was an accidental thing.'"

Cooke, meantime, said it wasn't intentional but rather that the two "clipped skates," while Penguins Coach Bylsma pointed to the fact that Ovechkin wasn't injured and returned to the ice for the power play.

The (understandable) contrast in opinions has readers talking about perception. When David Steckel collided with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the Winter Classic, Pittsburgh fans reacted much like Boudreau and Washington's fans did yesterday. The Capitals insisted the contact was incidental.

Says Dirtbag359 of Cooke's hit yesterday: "I hope we let it go. It wasn't a clean hit but it certainly didn't look intentional. If we hold this grudge we're no better then Crosby inferring that hit from Steckel was on purpose."

Were the reactions by the opposing coaches -- incidental contact vs. outrage -- justified in both incidents?

Many have also likened Cooke's hit to the one Ovechkin put on Sergei Gonchar during the Pittsburgh series in 2009.

Says BigDaddy651: "Don't remember Boudreau complaining when Ovechkin did the EXACT same thing to Gonchar a few years back. It was the EXACT same type of play."

Capex adds: "This is definitely a different tone from Boudreau than when Ovechkin hit Sergei Gonchar knee on knee in the playoffs a few years back. And, when Matt Cooke, then of the Caps, put Vincent Lecavalier out for the year with a cheap shot which required shoulder surgery."

Do you agree? Weigh in below.

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 7, 2011; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, David Steckel, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Next: Mike Green will likely miss Tuesday's game with concussion symptoms

Comments

This was worse than Steckel on crosby,

Posted by: griz0615 | February 7, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Key points

-Steckel answered the bell
-Cooke ran away from Bradley when he got out of the box

Posted by: SA-Town | February 7, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

But not as bad as Ovie on Gonch

Posted by: griz0615 | February 7, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse


Alex was suspended for two games after a knee on knee collision with Tim Gleason in which Gleason was not hurt. Cooke has a history of dirty hits. Steckel has never been disciplined by the league, he had only 20 PIMs going into yesterday's game. He's one of the cleanest grinding line forwards in the NHL. I'm sorry that Crosby got hurt but the contact was clearly accidental.

Posted by: coryvreckan | February 7, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Just look at the kind of player Steckel is versus Cooke. Stecks don't do anything intentional while Cooke is reckless. That's all you need to look at

Posted by: broud0 | February 7, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Just look at the kind of player Steckel is versus Cooke. Stecks don't do anything intentional while Cooke is reckless. That's all you need to look at

Posted by: broud0 | February 7, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

coryvreckan

I agree completely. I am insulted that the question is even being raised.

Posted by: broud0 | February 7, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Good win yesterday, but of course we have to hear BB whine. How anyone can root for this guy is beyond me. Soft coach = soft players.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_721682.html

If anybody wants to build up this whole Crosby thing," Boudreau said, "I mean, he didn't hit him intentionally. I've coached him for eight years now, and he's never done it once.

Regarding Wallace picking a fight with Steckel, Boudreau continued, "They send out a guy they call up and Mike Rupp, who's a fighter (and) knows Dave never fought, challenging him. It was crap."

BB unintentionally sums up Steckel's whole career. He's 6'5" and he's never hit anyone intentionally. For the record, Tim Wallace is 6'1, 207. Steckle has him by 4 inches and 10 pounds. And why was it crap? This is the way it's worked since the beginning of time in this sport.

Posted by: clashcity1 | February 7, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

But not as bad as Ovie on Gonch

Posted by: griz0615 |

Ovie was reckless on that one...but it was not intentional...Cooke went for Ovie...Cooke also has a reputation for dirty plays.

Cooke all but ended Savards career...savard is out for the season and while Cookie didn't hit him the last time, you can bet dollars to donuts that it was the bad hit last season which made savard so fragile this season.

Posted by: capscoach | February 7, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Alex was suspended for two games after a knee on knee collision with Tim Gleason in which Gleason was not hurt. Cooke has a history of dirty hits. Steckel has never been disciplined by the league, he had only 20 PIMs going into yesterday's game. He's one of the cleanest grinding line forwards in the NHL. I'm sorry that Crosby got hurt but the contact was clearly accidental.

Posted by: coryvreckan | February 7, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse


I agree that the Cooke play from yesterday was much more similar to the Ovi/Gleason play. That said, I think a 2 game suspension for Cooke is warranted for the play, and perhaps they should add an extra game or two given his history of offenses.

As for the Steckel/Crosby incident, if a person is walking along not paying attention to what he is doing or where he is going and he steps out in front of a bus cruising down the street, would you blame the bus?

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 7, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I hate WaPo. Stop withholding my post. Dang.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 7, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

it was dirty, but what i hate more than anything are coaches criticizing other teams players when their own players sometimes commit the same borderline stuff...whats dirty is dirty...thats why i loved what the bruins guy (Ference, i think) stepped up and said about the paille hit...dirty, was worthy of a 5 min major...call it straight up, watch out for repeat offenders, don't come off as hypocritical.

Posted by: carsonspence | February 7, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Key points

-Steckel answered the bell
-Cooke ran away from Bradley when he got out of the box

Posted by: SA-Town

Props to Stecks for that by the way.

If you want to get a guy like Cooke, you stoop to his level, just go at him with gloves off, instigator or no instigator. He shouldn't have a choice to decline the fight. That's one of the problems with this team, soft as the day is long.

And BB should just shut up. There's no excuse for whining to the media. Everytime a Cap is cheapshotted(see: Koci hit on Green), BB runs to the media to complain. So no, the response is not justified. Deal with it on the ice.

And props to Schultz for staying safely on the perimiter of the Cooke scrum with his gloves glued firmly to his hands. Great job Jeff.

Posted by: clashcity1 | February 7, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The trade the Caps turned down was reportedly with Ottawa. Phillips, Fisher and Spezza heading to D.C with a combination of Semin, either Varly or Neuvirth, 1st rounder next year and top prospect ( possibly Wey) going the other way. Not sure how the Caps could fit into their salary cap.

Posted by: barnstorfm | February 7, 2011 1:53 PM

^^
Saw this in the prev. thread.

Is that legit?

I'd love to get Spezza and have Backstrom and him as our top 2Cs. Spezza has had issues but he is an elite talent.

Fisher would be a nice add as well even if it bumps Johansson to wing for the short term. We could move him in a future season once Johansson gets his feet wet.

Phillips would be fine in some role and his contract expires after this season if I'm seeing it correctly.

I'd give up Semin, 1 goalie, a 1st and even a couple of top prospects for that deal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 7, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@clashcity

If Cooke doesnt accept the fight, Bradley gets a suspension for going after someone with less then 5 minutes.

Not worth getting suspended...nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 7, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@saoti

Why are all the posts being "held for approval"? Anyone notice no cstanton or sgm, and I've had all but 1 post blocked since Friday....are all the regulars here being forced out?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@ clashcity1: Uh, not sure if you're familiar with the media, but the teams are subject to meeting with them. So quit trying to characterize it like Boudreau is calling these media meetings. As for your opinion, good for you for having one. Adding insults in it dilutes whatever credibility you thought you had when you posted. You can't have it both ways. You can't call Boudreau soft and then when he lays it out to defend his players, you call him a whiner. He didn't cry in front of the media. If he had it any other way, he'd have ripped Cooke a new hole, but you would probably call that a cheap shot and unsportsmanlike.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

For it to be dirty it has to be intentional. and if we are going to sit back and say steckel wasnt intentional than this wasnt. anyone who's played before has been in the position of missing a check and out of instinct doing anything you can to try and slow the guy up. sometimes its a knee or a bad trip. i dont think cooke INTENDED to go in and take his knee out. therefore he got what he should have. a 2 min minor for tripping. listen to the players, not even they were that worked up about it. i like bruce, but you cant grill a guy about his questionable play when you yourself brought him on 2 years ago. he knew then what kind of player cooke was. poor choice of words by bruce. overall though, awesome win. i dont care if the pens are without half their team, any day we beat them is a good day.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Stecks step up and Bradley ready to go. Also Backstrom for jumping in for his linemate. If we are going to play a tighter checking game instead of free wheeling then we have to play tough and possibly be ready with guys like King in the line up. I'm a big fan of the way #26 plays, yes he ran the goalie, but he never takes the type of cheap shots that can put a guy out of the line up. Put the three Matt on a line and call it 3M. 85,10, & 26. With those 2 forechecking it can open some room for 85.

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 7, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps:
i think the 'colin campbell's' of WAPO are singling you out. i've had no problems.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 7, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No clue vermontcaps...but apparently CI doesnt want me to post a legit arguement. It's been withheld 5 times and I have changed it twice. Oh well, not worth my time.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 7, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Vinny hasn't really been the same since then.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 7, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

(* Sigh *)

Ovi hit on Gonchar - Ovi did not turn his knee out to Gonchar as he approached the puck. Ovi made no deviation from his path towards Gonchar.

Steckle on Crosby - The puck passed behind Crosby to his left, Crosby is skating backwards away from the puck. Steckle is behind Crosby making his way to the puck. At the last instant you see Steckle lean away from Crosby and they collide.

Cooke on Ovi - both are skating to the puck, at the last instant you see Cooke lean his knee a few inches towards Ovi, he hits Ovi on his knee then on his foot. The movement of his knee before he hits Ovi is a clear intent.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 7, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@saoti
@capt kirk

I don't think it has anything to do w/the subject of our posts but everything to do with our screennames. No cstanton, sgm, hunterforcoach....the organizational conspiracy is much greater than I originally thought, now controlling the media and effectively silencing any critical or oppositional voice

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Line change: How about we get rid of the line change "feature" on CI?

Posted by: jwash4472 | February 7, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@saoti
@capt kirk

@saoti
@capt kirk

I don't think it has anything to do w/the subject of our posts but everything to do with our screennames. No cstanton, sgm, hunterforcoach....the organizational conspiracy is much greater than I originally thought, now controlling the media and effectively silencing any critical or oppositional voice

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that those guys were banned because they waste more time and space here personally attacking each other rather than contributing to the discussion at hand. Good riddance if you ask me.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 7, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse


I am sick of this comparing Cooke to Ovie.

Ovie got fined, suspended, and landed on by the coach and has cleaned up his act.

Ovie is actually a talented player fans pay money to see.

Cooke is a cheap shot with no talent that anyone called up from the AHL couldn't match or better.

No one pays money to see Cooke play.

Remove this piece of dirt from the League for the good of the game and health of the talented players fans actually want to see.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps:
try drinking 'rock the red' kool-aid for a week or so - see if that helps to get your comments through the first time :D

i've heard kool-aid can help with the withdrawal symptoms if one is trying to kick 'goats blood'

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 7, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

That "rumored" deal with Ottawa.

Spezza, Fisher and Phillips make like $18M combined. Subtract Semin and it adds $12M. Subtract MP and it's $11.3M. We have about $1M in space.

(Trading a goalie saves nothing, we'd have to call up Holtby.)

With $1M of space, Caps can take on about $5M in add'l salary from March 1 to end of season. No way that kind of extra salary. I don't believe the rumor because it's not mathematically possible.

If we gave up Semin, Poti and Steckel (plus #1, plus prospect) and got back Spezza, Fisher and Phillips, the cap delta is about $7M - still too much. They'd have to take Semin, Poti and Knuble and then it might just squeeze in and, even then, not till March 1st.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

ok, let me clarify. intent=intent to injure. ie something that would warrant a suspension or further discipline from the league. i have no doubt that he intended to impede ovie, used his knee, and got the appropriate tripping penalty for it. the best judges are always what the players think. it says something that not ONE CAPITAL player called it cheap, dirty, or called for cookes head.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely fail to see the allure of adding Phillips - what is he, -27 this year - who's absolutely not a top-4 d-man, if he ever was. As for Fisher, yeah he's married to a hottie - but how that helps us on the ice, I have no idea. Don Cherry's love notwithstanding, the guy's simply not an elite center, certainly not a 2C on a team with SC aspirations.

Spezza's very talented, but he's had locker room 'issues' more than once - not a great sign.

Of course, it all depends on the asking price - but if Ott wanted anything like is being reported, I'm glad GMGM came to his senses.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 7, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The fact that OV wasn't hurt is irrelevant. OV was going straight-on for a clean hit on Gonchar and Gonch partially evaded the hit, causing the knee-to-knee contact. Cooke did the exact opposite: OV evaded him, so Cooke stuck his leg into OV. It was, literally, the opposite of the OV-on-Gonchar situation.

Posted by: JEp1 | February 7, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to get Spezza somehow. We'd finally have a legit 1 and 2 C.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 7, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin deserved the eventual fine and suspension he received after numerous reckless hits. There is no doubt about that. Bourdreau talked to him last year about dialing his game down. Which he probably has done given his subdued play this year (and concentration on being a better defender).
Now I just ask the NHL to pursue Cooke in the same way. He was either playing reckless or with intent and if the NHL was consistent they would suspend and/or fine him for either reason. He has shown a pattern as well, time for him to pay the price.
The only way to stop this type of behavior is TO BE CONSISTENT. Show that retaliation or exceptions for certain players don't exist and "the problem" will go away.

Posted by: thiefalwyz | February 7, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@capt kirk

I might be a goat's blood drinker, but I'm not nearly as negative as some others. In fact, my posts being held are actually positive...I can't believe Katie didn't post them after approving them. Anyway, it's a lame play and I'd expect much more from the WaPo. (I was just as critical when Tarik was running this site and I never had a single post held for approval, so either it's Katie or she's been directed by higher powers to restrict/eliminate what certain people say)

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Timbo_1

Actually, I think that GMGM is still laughing.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 7, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin deserved the eventual fine and suspension he received after numerous reckless hits. There is no doubt about that. Bourdreau talked to him last year about dialing his game down. Which he probably has done given his subdued play this year (and concentration on being a better defender).
Now I just ask the NHL to pursue Cooke in the same way. He was either playing reckless or with intent and if the NHL was consistent they would suspend and/or fine him for either reason. He has shown a pattern as well, time for him to pay the price.
The only way to stop this type of behavior is TO BE CONSISTENT. Show that retaliation or exceptions for certain players don't exist and "the problem" will go away.

Posted by: thiefalwyz | February 7, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

How committed is Ottawa to moving Spezza?

I'd give them Semin + a Perreault type + our 1st rd pick (late 1st rd pick most likely) if it'll take that much.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 7, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the NHL will pursue disciplinary actions with Cooke because they have proven in the recent past that they are unbiased and relentless in their pursuit of justice and the Sarah Palin way. Don't hold your breath. They'll ponder it until they're done sitting on the can and not pursue it. Let's just knock out more of his teeth and call it a day.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Besides, if I had a professional makeup artist work on me the way they do on Fischer's hottie, I would look just as hot & I am a 68 year old male.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 7, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

well put thief.

However the fact remains that by cooke being so employable, that the league has accepted this type of player. i mean honestly, how can bruce complain with a straight face. HE SIGNED HIM TWO YEARS AGO!! Cooke has ALWAYS been the borderline dirty player. its his role. one in which is still very accepted across the nhl. Avery anyone? And one of our greatest past caps was one. i mean hunter took turgeons head off AFTER a goal was scored!!!! yet we still patronize him. bottom line bruce has a point in that the league helps promote these type of players by giving them jobs every year. he fails when he whines about it 2 years removed participating in it.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

If we get Spezza, we don't need fisher.

Our defense looks great.

I would doubt Ottawa wants a goalie, they have Lehrner and he's better than Neuvirth and more durable than Varly right now.

I would think they would want draft picks (fine give them that) and prospects.

I would give them Semin, Matt P., Fehr, and draft picks.

We would be set...

Spezza on "line 2"...wow!

Johansson on 3 and Steckel on four...

awesome!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 7, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The trade the Caps turned down was reportedly with Ottawa. Phillips, Fisher and Spezza heading to D.C with a combination of Semin, either Varly or Neuvirth, 1st rounder next year and top prospect ( possibly Wey) going the other way. Not sure how the Caps could fit into their salary cap.

Posted by: barnstorfm
---
hmmm, to analyze this...

To Caps:
C-Spezza (7mil, 4 more yrs)
C-Fisher (4.2mil, 2 more yrs)
D-Phillips (3.5mil, UFA)


To Ottawa:
RW/LW-Semin (6.7mil, UFA)
G-Varly (RFA) or Nuevy (1.15mil 2 more yrs)
2011 1st round (about the 23-27th pick)
D-Wey (top prospect)

I'd be hesitant to do it based on the health of both goalies...
AND
depending on what the 'top prospect' is!

if it's Kuznetsov, no!
if Eakin, torn between!
if Orlov, yes!
if Wey, yes!

The other issue is roster space. 2 players (Winger and goalie) out, 3 (2C's, 1 D) back in makes for an interesting juggling of lines!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 7, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan

Sarah Palin way?????? I thought this was a hockey blog.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 7, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 3:02 PM

not a hint of hockey related comments - i bet this one went right through.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 7, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I'd wouldn't mind getting Spezza, but I wouldn't give up a goalie to get him.

Goalie problems have been our downfall in the playoffs and now it seems we have some decent netminders with plenty of years to play in them.

With our luck, though, we'd trade Semin and he'd start scoring gangbusters.

That, or he wouldn't report and go back to Russia.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

looking at it from salary, there would be a need to send more salary to Ottawa... or take some out from what's coming back... preferably Phillips!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 7, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Just send them another cheap player like Perreault if roster space is an issue.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 7, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

the teams have another game coming up. rather than trying to settle this in the newspaper the Caps merely need to activate DJ King for the game and put him on the ice in the third period.

If Cooke ran away from a fight with Matt Bradley he is going hop on a jet to get away from King.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 7, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

OK, my bad, Spezza + Fisher + Phillips = about 14.5. Still doesn't come close to working with Semin going there.

If Semin + MP + Poti, then it works but not until the deadline. Plus the trade makes no sense - we don't need two centers, and we don't need $18M tied up in three centers (not with MaJo capable at #3 and more on the way).

Try for someone cheaper and grittier like Umberger.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

no way GMGM takes on a big salary like spezza. Caps need a second scoring line so trading semin does not make sense. getting RJ makes sense. they could use a goalie so maybe a goalie + 1 + MP

Posted by: samb99 | February 7, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@ clashcity1: Uh, not sure if you're familiar with the media, but the teams are subject to meeting with them. So quit trying to characterize it like Boudreau is calling these media meetings. As for your opinion, good for you for having one. Adding insults in it dilutes whatever credibility you thought you had when you posted. You can't have it both ways. You can't call Boudreau soft and then when he lays it out to defend his players, you call him a whiner. He didn't cry in front of the media. If he had it any other way, he'd have ripped Cooke a new hole, but you would probably call that a cheap shot and unsportsmanlike.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan

Read my post again. I don't think I insulted anyone. I said BB was soft, and his players (except Hendricks) are equally as soft. Every time a player takes a cheap shot at a Cap, BB takes to the podium to complain. (David Koci ring a bell?).

Instead of dealing with the issue on the ice, or giving Stecks props for answering the bell and leaving it at that, he launches into a story about Mike Rupp and a call up from Wilkes Barre. Stecks fought a dude 4 inches shorter, and yet BB still has a gripe, because Mike Rupp is somehow allowed to be on the ice at the same time. That's not defending a player, that's being his mother.

Posted by: clashcity1 | February 7, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, my bad, Spezza + Fisher + Phillips = about 14.5. Still doesn't come close to working with Semin going there.

If Semin + MP + Poti, then it works but not until the deadline. Plus the trade makes no sense - we don't need two centers, and we don't need $18M tied up in three centers (not with MaJo capable at #3 and more on the way).

Try for someone cheaper and grittier like Umberger.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1

I agree. Spezza has been in decline the last several years, besides seeming to have an attitude problem. I wouldn't trade Semin even up for him. Neither Fischer nor Phillips fit this team. Fischer is just another 3rd line C & not even a marginal 2nd line C.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 7, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need to be proactive here. I am sure that Pittsburgh will be looking for a top 6 forward now with Malkin out for the season and the last thing we need is for Spezza or another 2C to end up in Pittsburgh for the stretch run and the playoffs.

The Penguins have been much more willing in past years to make trades which require some shuffling of the deck chairs and it has resulted in going to 2 Cup Finals.

We don't want to make a bad deal, but we also don't want to be Goldilocks and walk around saying that each potential deal is 'too hot' or 'too cold'.

We need to take some balanced risk.

McPhee has to get over the idea he is going to get a steal.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 7, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Gotime32,
BB did not sign Cooke, the Caps did. And they did not re-up him. I saw then and see him now as a sandpaper type that is reckless enough to injure people and tends to cowardly run away afterward. All the while pleading that he doesn't know what he did wrong.

Posted by: _Mark | February 7, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It might not be cool, but a dirty hit is a dirty hit & every1 should complain about it.

It's call working ref. Watch Phil Jackson do to 10+ Championship losers.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 7, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Spezza certainly won't be going to Pittsburgh with a $7 million cap hit for 4 more years.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 7, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@clashcity

If Cooke doesnt accept the fight, Bradley gets a suspension for going after someone with less then 5 minutes.

Not worth getting suspended...nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: SA-Town

I take the suspension. I don't want teams to get the idea that this is last year and it's ok to run our best player.

Send the message, nip in the bud, and take the one game suspension.

Posted by: clashcity1 | February 7, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone happen to see "NHL on the Fly" last night and hear Knuble's comments about Laich complimenting the coaching staff? It kind of left an uneasy stomach in my feeling, and I wonder if anyone else felt the same way.....thoughts?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

VermontCaps:
First they went after Nixon, and now you? What happened to freedom? I just can't believe it. Tominsocal is probably okay, because they assume anyone from California meets their criteria!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 7, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Spezza isn't coming to DC, $7M/yr for that many years is too cumbersome.

I would like the Caps to acquire Stephen Weiss as the 2nd line center, but my guess is that it will be Tim Connolly(I think the Sabres will be sellers) and it won't be a huge deal.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 7, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Vermont: I just posted about you being blocked, but my post was blocked!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 7, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@_Mark

dont you think bruce gets a say in who and who doesnt get signed? sure they wont come out and say he has overall authority, but i'd love to see a signing by a GM that goes against the coach. that front office wouldnt last 10 minutes. but i agree that not resigning him could be a sign of he was a little more shady than expected. but make no mistake, bruce knew what he was getting with cooke, and i doubt mcphee would sign anyone without bruces' approval.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The difference here is that Cooke has quite a reputation for these types of questionable, yet injurious, hits. He damaged Lecavalier's shoulder when was with the Caps; Vinny has not been the same since. He also concussed the Bruins's Marc Savard, an injury which may result in Savard retiring from the game. He has been suspended twice for hits to the heads of other players.

It was also obvious from the Wallace fight with Steckel that the Pengoons were looking to settle some scores, real or perceived, timely or not. I believe the Pens were looking for an opportunity to exact revenge for the Crysby AND even the Ovechkin hit on Gonchar. Who better to do the dirty work than the dirtiest player on a dirty team?

Posted by: braunt | February 7, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

....hit send too soon.

not to say bruce is the ultimate authority, but these guys need to work together. and ultimately, i think when it comes to player personnel the most successful GM's are the ones that align with their coach. otherwise, you get that circus like the redskins have every year.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I haven't had any posts blocked. Sometimes if you post too often, too quickly, it gets "held for approval."

I've also seen where you submit a post and it doesn't take, instead a picture of a wrench is shown and it says something about an error.

If that happens, exit out of CI and come back in.

First...WHIFFGATE. Now...POSTGATE!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@leftcoast

The analyst asked Knuble what he thought of Laich's praise of the coaching staff after the game. Knuble responded (if not verbatim, then as close as I can remember), "Brooks complimented the coaching staff? Wow. Well, we we had a plan and the team executed the plan, we worked hard, and won both games but we've still got a hockey left....yahdayahdaya."

Whether it was an attempt at humor that went flat or if some of the players aren't buying what the coach is selling (my interpretation), Knuble's response certainly didn't sound like a ringing endorsement of the coaches. He didn't mention any of them by name and seemed to lay the team's victories at the feet of the players.

It made me think of the "locker room divide" rumors and wondered if there's a correlation between the two.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@leftcoast

The analyst asked Knuble what he thought of Laich's praise of the coaching staff after the game. Knuble responded (if not verbatim, then as close as I can remember), "Brooks complimented the coaching staff? Wow. Well, we we had a plan and the team executed the plan, we worked hard, and won both games but we've still got a hockey left....yahdayahdaya."

Whether it was an attempt at humor that went flat or if some of the players aren't buying what the coach is selling (my interpretation), Knuble's response certainly didn't sound like a ringing endorsement of the coaches. He didn't mention any of them by name and seemed to lay the team's victories at the feet of the players.

It made me think of the "locker room divide" rumors and wondered if there's a correlation between the two.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@braunt

X2!

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What was said, vermontcaps?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I heard that when Wallace was fighting Steckel, Crosby had a tear in his eye.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I only took that to mean that Laich has been critical of the coaching staff when speaking with other players such as Knuble. Which may mean more players are also, but that is all I got from it.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 7, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@Gotime32,
Fair argument that Bruce may have been consulted. At that point, 3 or 4 months in on his tenure, he may not have had as much input. I can't recall when they removed the "Interim" label. Either way, I think that Cookie may have proved to be a wrong fit because of his play and therefore not brought back.

Posted by: _Mark | February 7, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Tom,
Crosby has a permanent tear in his eye.

Posted by: _Mark | February 7, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Tominsocal1:
Your post from a week ago about Sarah P. in a Dino jersey has had me thinking all weekend. How about Scarlett Johansson in a vintage white Caps t-shirt from 1974 thats been washed 462 times and kept in a trunk with moths? -OR- Jessica Alba simply in a pair of old school hockey pants with suspenders worn only by Lou Franchescetti in a game at the Capital Centre? Thats my contribution to the thread.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 7, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Tominsocal1:
Your post from a week ago about Sarah P. in a Dino jersey has had me thinking all weekend. How about Scarlett Johansson in a vintage white Caps t-shirt from 1974 thats been washed 462 times and kept in a trunk with moths? -OR- Jessica Alba simply in a pair of old school hockey pants with suspenders worn only by Lou Franchescetti in a game at the Capital Centre? Thats my contribution to the thread.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 7, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

sorry for double!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 7, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

lets think about this for a second. knuble plays for a team thats 2nd in the SE, 5th in the EC, and the general consensus is that the capitals are a genuine stanley cup contender this year. so in your best estimation, he's going to risk a golden opportunity at a run at a championship by sullying his reputation with potential negative comments about the coaching staff? for the sake of argument, lets say he's not buying what the coaches are selling. WHY IN GODS NAME would he make that public either directly or indirectly?! i'm not trying to be condescending here, but genuinely trying to understand your thought process. no way knuble is going to make foolish comments against the staff that can only provide a detriment to his continued playing time. Also, you mentioned rumors of the locker room divide, care to provide any evidence of this, or is this just your opinion.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If Don Cherry makes a 2 minute montage to Cooke's behavior then gets in his face in the tunnel after Cooke called him out.... well then you know Cooke has a history of this stuff. Ovechkin hasn't done that type of play in over a season and has cleaned up his play. So much so that he doesn't even play with the same reckless abandonment like he used too. Steckel, please that's like your kid dropping a plate from the cabinet. Just because it happened once doesn't make the child a bad person. It's called an accident. Move on. We can watch the tape of the game all day. We can watch Cooke cross check Erskine in the neck while he was down on the ice. We can rewind to two season ago when he crosschecked Varly in the neck. We can watch Kunitz launch himself into Bradley yesterday that should have been a charge. On and on. Who cares. This stuff gets settled up by the players later on and has nothing to do with the fans. Next topic.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 7, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If Don Cherry makes a 2 minute montage to Cooke's behavior then gets in his face in the tunnel after Cooke called him out.... well then you know Cooke has a history of this stuff. Ovechkin hasn't done that type of play in over a season and has cleaned up his play. So much so that he doesn't even play with the same reckless abandonment like he used too. Steckel, please that's like your kid dropping a plate from the cabinet. Just because it happened once doesn't make the child a bad person. It's called an accident. Move on. We can watch the tape of the game all day. We can watch Cooke cross check Erskine in the neck while he was down on the ice. We can rewind to two season ago when he crosschecked Varly in the neck. We can watch Kunitz launch himself into Bradley yesterday that should have been a charge. On and on. Who cares. This stuff gets settled up by the players later on and has nothing to do with the fans. Next topic.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 7, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

sgm3!!! I was worried you were getting blacklisted, too, but I'm glad to see you're not (but I think I'm on life-support...I'll say now that it's been good knowing ya.) I'm not sure what to make of Knuble's comment, but in light of all the adversity it just seemed like another puff of smoke billowing from the team. And because I couldn't discern in Knuble's tone whether he was joking, made me think of friction/tension and the rumors of a divided clubhouse. (I would never, ever suggest that the coach has "lost" the team.)

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@Gotime and @vermontcaps

It was said in the tone and it came across as I dont think Laich should be complimenting them just bc we played 2 good games. Before that we stunk. Theres no reason for compliments to be thrown around after the weekend, we need to continue doing what we are doing. At the end of the season is the time do that sort of thing. That would be how Id take that Knuble quote, knowing how he looks at big picture and never small samples.

Posted by: ThePat | February 7, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

kcbr: That was JUST a Dino jersey.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

kcbr: That was JUST a Dino jersey.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 4:40 PM

you forgot to specify it as a mesh jersey without tiedowns

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 7, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@Vermont. I heard knuble on NHL network as well. To me, it sounded as if he couldn't believe Laich would have anything positive to say about the coaching staff.

Posted by: Dizruption | February 7, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

i'm not trying to be condescending here, but genuinely trying to understand your thought process. no way knuble is going to make foolish comments against the staff that can only provide a detriment to his continued playing time. Also, you mentioned rumors of the locker room divide, care to provide any evidence of this, or is this just your opinion.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'll try to be concise, let's hope this goes through...the divided locker room was a topic of discussion here a few days ago (search the archives if you'd like, I think it was last Thurs or Fri...the theories were wild and rampant)

Why would Knuble make "foolish comments" at the risk of his playing time? Well, he knows that his playing time is secure so I don't think he's worried about that. As a veteran whose played for more coaches than the number of years his head coach has been in the league, I think that what he has to say is very insightful. What he said, and how he said it, supports my longstanding theory that the present coach has lost the team. Add the recent NHLPA polls, and don't think for a moment that the players aren't aligning themselves with others in the event a finger-pointing situation develops.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 7, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

fair enough on the divided locker room rumor. i didnt realize this was in reference to blog comments.

i dont believe his playing time is 100% secure. i dont think openly bad mouthing your coaching staff is going to exactly put you on the top of their lists. perfect example was melrose and stamkos a few years back. melrose not only cut him off but said flat out he was not ready for the nhl. as history now shows, it was more just a matter of melrose not liking stamkos. now i dont know if stamkos bad mouthed melrose for sure, but there was a reason they werent getting along right? i think we can all agree that melrose couldnt have BEEN THAT off on his player assessment of stamkos. its pretty apparent he just didnt like him. much like our buddy Milbury on NBC. bottom line here, i just dont think he'd set himself up for something with no obvious reward and potentially serious consequences. its just not good business sense as a player towards his coach.

Posted by: Gotime32 | February 7, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who posted it, but like one month, six weeks back someone posted that they heard that Knuble just rolled his eyes when asked about Boudreau's line switching.

We know BMo isn't a fan of BB.

We'll see. I'm staying on the fence, but I've voiced that I think BB has run his course.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I would rather us trade Semin and Fehr for Nash. Sounds better to me. Maybe throw in a draft pick and get Hejeda.

Posted by: pkme | February 7, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Cooke led with his knee. That kind of play warrants a suspsension, pure and simple. Whether or not Ovechkin was hurt is immaterial.

Intent and history should be considered multipliers for the suspension.

I'd be saying the same thing if a Capitals player was the one who did it. I supported both Ovechkin suspensions last year. It's not a question of loyalty; it's a matter of right and wrong.

At the same time, I full expect Boudreau to make a big deal about it and for Bylsma to underplay it. Coaches are supposed to stand up for their players.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 7, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

At least the Washington Post has the ethics to acknowledge that there are two perspectives on the game and the rivalry between two of the best teams in the NHL.

That's in stark contrast to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who wrote, "... after left winger Matt Cooke initiated skate-to-skate contact with Capitals star Alex Ovechkin with just less than four minutes to play."

"Skate-to-skate"? What was he watching? I can respect the fact that Pittsburgh players and coaches are going to downplay Cooke's effort to slow (or perhaps injure) Ovechkin. It's hard to figure why anyone is defending Cooke — it's not like he was a Boy Scout when he played for the Capitals, either. We know his act.

Bob Probert was a pain, but he also could play. Sean Avery is hugely annoying, but he knows how to play the game. Matt Cooke can do one thing, and playing hockey isn't it. In today's era of league's protecting star players, hopefully the NHL will penalize Cooke (although we know the league will do nothing, considering it didn't penalize Steckel for his hit on Crosby). If Wallace can be added to the Penguins' roster so he can dance with Steckel, D.J. King needs to dress when the Capitals and Penguins meet again.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | February 7, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I think I've listened to more than enough after game interviews with the players and I honestly don't think a lot of thought goes into it. To interpret Knuble's words anything other than a very tired hockey player finding a coherent way to segue into a generic, diplomatic, we played a good game but we have plenty of games ahead of us to play, is just stretching it. Unless you guys are making these connections because you are in the locker room and know for a fact of this divide that I didn't see in the HBO 24/7 special. If anything, Knuble should be able to make a comment such as that without anyone reading too much into it and making it into something it's not. I miss our conspiracy theories about Bettman and Crosby. These news ones are just counter-productive.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I heard the same sentence from Knuble & it was more trying to be funny about Laich than anything else.

Some peeps from the burbs should leave the conspiracy theories to the more urbane people with higher degrees.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 7, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'd be saying the same thing if a Capitals player was the one who did it. I supported both Ovechkin suspensions last year. It's not a question of loyalty; it's a matter of right and wrong.

At the same time, I full expect Boudreau to make a big deal about it and for Bylsma to underplay it. Coaches are supposed to stand up for their players.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 7, 2011 5:55 PM |

well put johnnMpls.
Sad that some Caps disloyalists think that it's BB speaking out of both side of the mouth esp. when every1 knows Cooke is a dirty player.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 7, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Someone above posted, "Matt Cooke can do one thing, and playing hockey isn't it."

Hey, he's got 10 goals. He also plays effectively on the PK. At $1.8M, he's a valuable third line player.

I might be the only one here, but I'd take him back on the Caps in an instant.

Let's have a poll...same salary...would you rather have Chimera or Cooke?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 7, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's have a poll...same salary...would you rather have Chimera or Cooke?

Posted by: tominsocal1
Um, the answer is David Clarkson?? *bows* thank you, I'm here all week!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 7, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Cooke is a dirty player and a hit like that usually means a 2 game suspension minimum like the one Ovie got for the knee on knee on Gleason. Even if it's unintential, it still a reckless play that could have resulted in injury. I'm also surprised that people aren't talking more about the high stick of Martin on Knuble that could have been worse. If a player is swing at a puck at eye level and misses, then how can't that be a major penalty?

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 7, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

First off, IF Steckel really was the one who hurt Crosby then all of the Pittsburgh's training staff should be fired for not only letting him return to the game in the Winter Classic but for letting him play in the next game. Letting someone play when they have that bad of a concussion after impact and the next game, is a huge no no. IF Steckel was the one who hurt Crosby, then his trainers probably made his injury more serious by allowing him to return, in which case the blame should be placed with him. Secondly, Steckel turned into Crosby and didn't even see him! Steckel is one of the cleanest players in the NHL, and with his size if he really wanted to hurt someone he easily could and would.

And as for Matt Cooke, you cant even compare him to Steckel....when was the last time Steckel did something intentionally dirty....oh can't think of one, vs. Matt Cooke who we could all write a book on dirty plays...

THATS THE DIFFERENCE

Posted by: abcd1232 | February 7, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Re: Spezza

I'm sorry but I wouldn't take this guy for a quarter of a bag of blue squirt practice pucks.

This team needs to add a guy or two with HUNGER. Spezza doesn't strike me as a "hungry" guy, and he never did. Talented? Yes very much so, but:

Not hungry.

Not a LEADER.

Not worth the money.

We need leadership that makes sacrifice for his team at his own expense, disregarding himself for the sake of his BOYS. Someone who will get his nose dirty. Amen.

Posted by: sca187 | February 7, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to quit crying. It's fine when his players "accidentally" put other team players out. We know that Capitals are good at acting like they didn't know what they were doing. Just shut up and coach. Your guys aren't so innocent as you want others to think they are.

Posted by: kthurner | February 7, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

@ kthurner: Crying? Where'd you get that? His players put other team players out? We do that, we get fined, suspended. Other players do it, they get a platform to preach to the masses or get filmed with rosary beads in their hands. You know the Capitals are good at acting? Really? Last I checked, all of them practiced hockey. None of 'em were taking auditions over in Hollywood. Shut up and coach? He coaches fine, thank you. The only person whose lips are flapping uncontrollably is you. Take your own advice. Shut it. Go home to Pittsburgh. It isn't our fault both your teams lost this weekend. Pitiful.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@ kthurner: Crying? Where'd you get that? His players put other team players out? We do that, we get fined, suspended. Other players do it, they get a platform to preach to the masses or get filmed with rosary beads in their hands. You know the Capitals are good at acting? Really? Last I checked, all of them practiced hockey. None of 'em were taking auditions over in Hollywood. Shut up and coach? He coaches fine, thank you. The only person whose lips are flapping uncontrollably is you. Take your own advice. Shut it. Go home to Pittsburgh. It isn't our fault both your teams lost this weekend. Pitiful.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan

You're a riot. You attack posts and posters who don't agree with you while providing little analysis of your own. You're like a home team troll.

I responded to your post accusing me of insults over 4 hours ago, you ignore that but have time to attack another poster, and try to interpret something a player said that you didn't hear.

He coaches fine? What's his record in game 7's? Do you even know?

Posted by: clashcity1 | February 7, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@DC2Dallas:

Most of your post was spot on, except...

Steckel hit wasn't "a hit."

Cyndy skating blindly, causes his own collision, and then lies on the ice whining for a call to start the 3rd period.

That was a typically whiny, and conscious move by Cyndy which indicates any "concussion" happened at a later date.

That is all.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar initiated the knee to knee contact when he attempted to avoid Ovechkin's check!
Cook took a pathic angle towards Ovechkin and used his knee in an attempt to hinder Ovechkin's move around him!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | February 7, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

And if I can weigh in on who, if anyone the Caps should trade for, I want Milan Lucic, but that won't happen. However, a player like that would be great for this team.

But that's me. I am not a coach or a scout, just a person who loves watching the game no matter which teams are playing.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"Let's have a poll...same salary...would you rather have Chimera or Cooke?"

------

Not even close. Chimera is one of the fastest skaters on the ice in any game.

Cooke has no skills that couldn't be matched, or more likely bested, by many players called up from the AHL.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

"Let's have a poll...same salary...would you rather have Chimera or Cooke?"

------

Not even close. Chimera is one of the fastest skaters on the ice in any game.

Cooke has no skills that couldn't be matched, or more likely bested, by many players called up from the AHL.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would much rather have Cooke than Chimera, NOT even close.

Last I checked this is hockey, not speed skating. Brett Hedican was one of the fastest skaters around but was he a great d-man??

Posted by: joek443 | February 7, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

The very lame Pittsburgh newspapers really need their economic development commission (joke) to create a comment forum so these stinking yinzers have an appropriate place to submit their sad, nonsensical bile.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 7, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sporttraveler | February 7, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovi got 2 games suspension for hit on Gleason.
Now where is a 2 game suspension for Cooke for the same hit?

Or better take this dirty cheap pest out of NHL.

Posted by: Michael01a | February 8, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

You know what I actually find funny about this whole Cooke/Ovechkin thing? That Caps' fans are so outraged.
Do you guys remember Dale Hunter? Its just ironic fans of the team that employed the poster boy for cheap shots are so wound up.
I'm glad Ovechkin wasn't injured. Good players being injured is never a good thing for any sport. Cooke is an agitator plain and simple...the guy who makes your team tougher to play against.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 8, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sean Avery is an agigiator, but I watched the Red Wings game last night and he is a better hockey player than Cooke on any night. I didn't see him make any cheap shots to try and end someone's career.

Cooke is a cheap shot artist, he isn't a hockey player or an "agitator," at least not one that couldn't be replaced by numerous players currently in the AHL.

And I think lots of NHL teams, not just the Caps, think Cooke should go the way of the Dodo bird. But players never say that because it is whiny...oh wait, Crosby says stuff like that because he is whiny.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 8, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@BigDummy651,

Yeah, I remember Dale Hunter. I also remember that the League accepted play like that back then. I also remember Tie Domi, Dave Schultz, Bob Probert, Joey Kocur..etc.

So don't troll the board with some drivel suggesting the Caps are the only teams who had "Dale Hunters" on their roster.

The rules have been changed a lot since then.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 8, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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