Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins is at it again. In the third period of Sunday afternoon's game against the New York Rangers, Cooke took a run at defenseman Ryan McDonagh. The result was a nasty, blatant elbow to McDonagh's head and a game misconduct for Cooke.
Here's the video:
The Rangers scored two goals on the ensuing five minute power play to turn a 2-1 deficit (Pittsburgh also scored a shortie on that PK) into a 3-2 lead midway through the third period.
The question now, of course, is how long Cooke will sit. Dany Heatley was suspended two games earlier in the week after a similar elbow, but we all know Cooke is the definition of repeat offender. The immediate consensus, from Pittsburgh and other locales, seems to be that the NHL should throw the book at Cooke.
It should be interesting, to say the least, to see the reaction of Mario Lemieux here. As you remember, the Penguins owner and Hockey Hall of Famer called out the league a few weeks back after a brawl between his Pens and the New York Islanders.
Now, as his resident thug shows his stupidity once again, will he take action into his own hands? It's clear that suspensions do not deter this type of action from Cooke, who says that he's has to act reckless on the ice to stay in the NHL. The ends justify the means, right?
As long as his team supports him (he wears an "A" on his jersey, for the record), this stuff is going to keep happening. It's time for Lemieux and the Penguins' organization, not just the league, to send a message.