The NHL came down fairly hard on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke on Monday afternoon, as they suspended the agitating forward for the final 10 games of the season and the first round of the playoffs, which will end up costing Cooke anywhere near 14 to 17 games in the end. Cooke was nailed for a reckless and unnecessary elbow he threw on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on Sunday afternoon. Cooke was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.
The harsh penalty does not come as a big surprise, since he is considered a repeat offender with the league's disciplinarian board, especially this season.
Cooke now finishes the season with 12 goals and 18 assists in 67 games for Pittsburgh this year and he'll finish no higher than 249th in pool scoring, where he was ranked at the start of the night's play.
Well, this post only gets done, because I can appreciate what Cooke brings to the Penguins on a night in and night out basis, despite his reckless play this season. In the 2009 playoffs, Cooke only had 7 points in 24 games during their Cup win, but he does bring a bit of an X-factor that I wanted to include in the pool and tried to group together some of the same players. Unfortunately, Cooke's value in the playoffs take a massive hit, since he'll be missing the first round, unless the Penguins are to sweep their first round opponent, which can't be ruled out.
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