Not a fan.

I realize that as Penguins fans, we’re supposed to love each Penguin no matter what, and many of you do.

But there’s this:

YouTube Preview Image

I’m sorry, but the previous talk that Matt Cooke is a dirty player has risen to a deafening roar and I’m kind of over Matt Cooke now. He’s playing in the NHL right when the debate about head hits has reached a climax, with Mario fighting for tougher suspensions and even team fines, all because of what happened to Sidney, and Matt Cooke goes and elbows a player IN THE HEAD. Now judgmental eyes of Penguins haters aren’t only on Matt Cooke, they’re on Mario for employing him. [golf clap], Matt. I hope the satisfaction of your elbow connecting with his noggin was worth the trouble you’re causing.

I’m still cheering for the Pens, and when Cooke returns from his suspension, however long it is, I’ll cheer for him because he’s a Pen, but I’m not going to defend him because I know that if some Philadelphia Flyer laid that hit on Sidney Crosby, I’d be gnashing my teeth and grabbing my pitchfork out of my basement to join the front lines of the angry huevo-hunting mob.

Cookie better watch his huevos.


  1. bucdaddy
    March 21, 2011 11:52 am

    He makes his owner and his GM look like idiots. They have no standing to try to effect change in hockey as long as they employ this idiot.

    He should be suspended for the rest of the season, playoffs included, at a minimum.

  2. kevin
    March 21, 2011 11:57 am

    Why is Cooke wearing an assistant captains “A” anyway? This is a leader? God help us. I love the Pens but I’m sick of his crap and he’s embarressed himself, the Pens and their Fan Base too many times. He’s not tough, he’s stupid and you can’t help someone who is too stupid to get it.

  3. rose
    March 21, 2011 12:11 pm

    he’s a decent player who doesn’t have to play like a goon. given what’s happened to sid and the changes mario is pushing for, this cheap shot makes it seem like something in his brain isn’t wired right. sad.

  4. Silica
    March 21, 2011 12:20 pm

    Gross and uncalled for. I’m disgusted by that kind of behavior and it really bothers me to see it from someone on my team. I’ve defended Cooke in the past but I will not defend crap like that.

  5. SpudMom
    March 21, 2011 12:48 pm

    That was a disgusting hit. He raised that elbow right on up to connect with McDonagh’s face. How hard would it have been to leave his damn arm down and body check the dude? I answer myself: NOT HARD AT ALL.


  6. Christina
    March 21, 2011 12:59 pm

    I am on your side – just like the other people here their comments before.

    For me (other may think differently) being a Pens fan means being a fan of a special way to play hockey and being a fan of how the teams presents itself (working with kids, charity, fans – all this).
    And this means, that I – as a Pens fan – cannot accept this. I cannot accept it in general and especially not in the recent situation situation with Sid and Mario fighting for more fair play and safety.

    I read he was told to change his way of playing or leaving. We’ll see if that means he gets another chance or maybe not.

    This is so rude and stupid – and senseless. He CAN play so why ruining everything? I do not get it.

    And btw … if somebody would hit one or our boys like that I would consider hiring some really bad guys waiting for this player back doors. So no way that we let act one of our boys like this.
    No way.

  7. Cassie
    March 21, 2011 1:13 pm

    He totally cost us that game and our integrity. He’s a good player with stupid judgement. It’s disappointing.

  8. Ry Co 40
    March 21, 2011 1:43 pm

    “He makes his owner and his GM look like idiots”

    OR, it shows the NHL that this type of thing can happen at any given moment of the game.

    the NHL doesn’t get the big picture. it’s not just head shots… it’s finishing checks that don’t need to be finished. that’s when a lot of guys are getting hurt. take last week when letang got trucked behind the net. didn’t need to happen. and, in fairness, take everytime rupp runs someone into the boards after a defender has cleared the puck and the play is a significant distance away. THAT is what is ruining the game. hitting has been around for years… but the “finish the check” mentality… has not.

    and for the record… cooke isn’t ALL THAT great anyway. hell, asham is coming back and could seamlessly fill in his spot. and THAT’S church!

  9. Butcher's Dog
    March 21, 2011 1:49 pm

    Cooke’s greatest on-ice asset is the penalty kill, at which he excels. Not sure Asham can do the same; he doesn’t seem to be as mobile. There’s no defense for the player because there’s no defense for the play. But I think we each have a better chance of winning three lotteries in a row than he does of being re-signed next year.

  10. kevin
    March 21, 2011 1:50 pm

    Mostly good points and everyone seems to be in agreement. Asham is a similar player to Cooke, but not the goal scorer or penalty killer Cooke is. The Rupp refernce I do not get, he playsm it clean in my opinion. I would however institute no touch icing, that seems a good place to start. Cooke has put himself on an island with few defenders.

  11. kevin
    March 21, 2011 1:50 pm

    sorry, missed the spell check button

  12. Ry Co 40
    March 21, 2011 2:17 pm

    put conner in the PK rotation then, no biggie. the margin between great penatly killers, and good penalty killers on the penguins isn’t that huge.

    pay attention to rupp’s play. he always finishes checks that don’t really need to be finished off. not hard or violent, but he just always does it.

  13. Jeff
    March 21, 2011 2:21 pm

    But if he was trying to just “hurt” him and not “injure” him, you’d put a post up glorying his big hits, and celebrating knocking players out of the game. I thought he was just trying to make the Rangers player “go to sleep” and not cause any real damage.

    Where are all your groupies saying how the hits are part of the game, if I don’t like it I can go play flag football (hockey). I haven’t been back here since that Harrison post, where my thoughts that head injuries were dangerous and should be treated so were all ridiculed. Frankly, I regret that Crosby was injured, but if you look back at some of the comments made towards me and anyone else worrying about head injuries, it is poetic justice for Pittsburgh fans.

    Can start the apologizing… now

    /yeah right

  14. Virginia
    March 21, 2011 2:27 pm

    Jeff, surely you can see the difference between two men putting their fists up to each other in a deliberate and mutually desired fight, and a player viciously blindsiding an opponent without warning.

  15. Jeff
    March 21, 2011 2:35 pm

    I thought of that before I posted, but then I looked back at Harrison’s hits, and those are indeed blindside hits on unsuspecting players (as are many legal hits). I’ve also gone through enough comments of former players to realize that they very often do try to hurt/injure opposing players, throw a cheap shot when they can get away with it, etc. I also don’t see a very big difference when it’s a sport which encourages fighting/hitting/violence, but wants to draw a very thin line between what is legal and not. They (be it NFL vs. NHL, or legal vs. cheap shot hits) aren’t as different as you may think.

  16. Tony
    March 21, 2011 2:38 pm

    Agitators are only worth keeping in situations like this if they bring something else important to the table, and I’d argue that Cooke’s PK ability is replaceable. You want someone who can mix it up physically and you want someone who can play the PK well, but they don’t have to be the same guy.

    I think 10 games would be appropriate for Cooke, and 15 would be at the upper end of what would be reasonable. If it’s just 6 or 8, then the NHL really isn’t serious at all about protecting players.

    Cooke’s probably on his way out in the offseason, even if he has a squeaky clean record for the rest of the season and playoffs. Asham can fill in as the agitator, and as an added bonus, he’ll drop the gloves against heavyweights that Cooke skates away from. There will be quality checking forwards in free agency that can take Cooke’s spot on the PK.

  17. Drea
    March 21, 2011 3:00 pm

    Well said Ginny. His lack of judgement most likely cost them the game yesterday. It’s time for Cooke to go. He’s more trouble than he’s worth. I’d love to know the statistic of how many goals were scored against the Pens this season on powerplays due to his penalties…

  18. Scott
    March 21, 2011 3:34 pm

    I, for one, am done rooting for Cooke, period. I fully expect the Penguins front office to trade him as soon as possible. Based on him being missing from the locker room and not being available for the media yesterday, I’m hoping they’ve already got the wheels in motion. He represents nothing positive about the sport of hockey, the Penguins or the City of Pittsburgh.

    Get him the hell out of here now.

  19. bucdaddy
    March 21, 2011 4:49 pm

    he’ll drop the gloves against heavyweights that Cooke skates away from.

    Why does there have to be ANY of this nonsense in hockey? Isn’t that what pro wrestling is for?

  20. MN
    March 21, 2011 5:53 pm

    This just in from NHL headquarters: Matt Cooke
    has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season (10 games) and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for delivering an elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in NHL game #1080 yesterday, the National Hockey League announced today. Cooke will forfeit $219,512.20 in salary.

  21. kevin
    March 21, 2011 6:04 pm

    $219K fine, that’s stiff, but someone had to take the fall so thisn stuff stops. Cooke did it to himself, and cost the team in doing it as well. Lot’s of playing time available for someone else now.

  22. Ginny's Dad
    March 21, 2011 7:55 pm

    If I was the NHL Commissioner, I would tell Mr. Cooke that the next head hit like that will end his NHL career for ever. Playing in the NHL has probably has kept him out of jail.

  23. w0x0f
    March 21, 2011 9:00 pm

    Ray Shero’s statement…

    “The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”

  24. Dan (Not Onorato)
    March 22, 2011 7:56 am

    If Cooke played on another team and he hit any Pens player like that, people would be wanting his head on a platter.

  25. Butcher's Dog
    March 22, 2011 8:39 am

    I thought when I posted yesterday that Cooke was a free-agent at the end of the year. He isn’t. He signed for, I think, three more years before the season started. Pens options are either trade him in the off-season or buy out the salary.

    Dan (not Onorato)is correct. Look at our reactions to Jarkko Ruutu after he’d left. Ditto any other agitator. The mentality (everyone’s, not just ours) is, “Sure he’s an asshole. But he’s OUR asshole!”

    Let’s just hope Sid continues to improve, Kovy remembers that he used to be able to play, and Neal uses the shootout goal last night for a springboard. Big week or so coming up, folks. Focus the hate on the opposition.

  26. Beky
    March 22, 2011 11:52 am

    I am a big Matt Cooke fan. I love the signs you see “Free Matt Cooke”, “Free Cookie!”, etc. However, when I saw the elbow he delivered, I couldn’t help but yell at the tv, “No, Cookie, No!” And I walked away from the game. The team needs him more than ever right now and rewarded him with the “A” and he repays them with an elbow to the head and gets suspended. And to top it off, he pulls that stunt on national tv! I still love him, though. I hope he learns his lesson because he does have talent that is mostly overlooked because of his reputation.

  27. CrashJK
    March 23, 2011 9:12 am

    FREE COOKE – I got no time for soff hockey…someone has to play hard every game and stay on the edge. Secretly all ‘Guins fans know what Matt brings to the table and you WANT him on your team, especially when you have Orpik on the IR and you’re missing your top two offensive guns. Or should we just sit around the camp fire and talk about peace, love and understanding. If you don’t like hockey hits, try curling…ymmv

  28. empirechick
    March 23, 2011 9:59 am

    I usually agree with you, CrashJK, but there’s a big difference between a hard clean check (hockey hit) and a blatant elbow to the head for no reason (cheap shot).

    I like Cooke for his forechecking and penalty killing and yes, his ‘edge’, but stupid shit like that is completely unnecesary.

  29. burgher-licious
    March 23, 2011 12:15 pm

    And alas – the real cookie monster will no longer be feasting on cookies like when I was young but vegetables. Times are a changing in both childrens TV and apparently hockey.