At least Cooke has made the decision a little easier about who will be replaced when Asham and Comrie get back.
5-2? They were doing good for a while........ Better kill those red wings.
--- Added 3/20/2011 at 09:12 PM ---
Is Bylsma getting help soon?Sunday, 03.20.2011 / 5:27 PMBy David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer
It was 11 days ago that Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma was given a three-year contract extension. Given that Bylsma led the Pens to a championship in his first season, and that he has amassed more than 100 wins without having completed two full seasons behind the Pittsburgh bench, the deal seemed like a smart one for both parties. But while some might view the extension as a just reward for delivering a championship, this season, fraught as it has been with injuries and stiff competition, may be the reason GM Ray Shero has decided to ink the young coach longterm.
This season, Bylsma has earned his money.
While no one has ever questioned the coaching brilliance of Phil Jackson in the NBA, with players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Scottie Pippen, it's easy to get cynical and notice that he's picked his spots well. Similarly, Bylsma's tenure started with a Pittsburgh franchise that is loaded for bear with young talent -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury -- and a strong defense that is locked up for several seasons, meaning that his coaching career could cover a span in which the Pens are set up for competitiveness if not dominance.
Having that kind of talent can make it easy to dismiss the impact of the coach, but this season a roster that has essentially been without two of the three best players in the world for half the season is still in the thick of it. In addition, prior to Sunday's loss at home to the Rangers, the Penguins were not just safely in the East's top eight, but they had won four of five and were pushing Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division.
Doing so without the team's two best players is astonishing, particularly given that Crosby, prior to suffering a concussion, appeared headed for the League's MVP award in a walk. Sid was on pace for 64 goals and 68 assists, totals that would have given him just the second 60-goal season the NHL has seen in the past 12 years, and the most points in the League since Mario Lemieux tallied 160 in 1993. Bylsma's coaching job has been impressive to this point, but there's no denying that Pittsburgh would be better off with its two young perennial all-star pivots. Without both Crosby and Malkin in the lineup this season, the Penguins are just 12-8-4, a mark that, while above .500, could certainly be improved upon by a Cup contender.
Fortunately for Bylsma and Co. help could be on the way. The Penguins haven't set any sort of return date for Crosby, with some speculating that he could be done for the season so as not to jeopardize his entire career -- and given the recent concern over concussions, that kind of thinking certainly seems reasonable. But it's clearly noticeable that Crosby has been more and more active in recent weeks, with perhaps the most reassuring signs coming Sunday morning when he took the ice at roughly 7:30 a.m. to run a number of drills in full pads.
Those drills were of the non-contact variety to be sure, but considering reports weeks ago that Crosby was having difficulty riding a stationary bike this is a tremendous improvement for one of the League's biggest stars. Obviously, the very real chance that Crosby won't return this season is still out there. Taking a shot at a championship this year with your franchise cornerstone's future hanging in the balance would be unwise for several reasons. But if Crosby is healthy enough to come back come playoff time -- and plays like he did before leaving the ice in January -- it could be just what the Penguins need.
And, without question, it will completely change the dynamics of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Last edited by Scorp; 03-20-2011 at 11:15 PM.
Cookie is a liability at this point...After that stupid shot the game turned quickly, idiot!
Either way, I think he needs some time to reflect on his play.
Maybe he's just frustrated with something. I could be wrong.
--- Added 3/21/2011 at 02:31 PM ---
Penguins forward Matt Cooke was to meet with NHL officials for an in-person disciplinary hearing Monday afternoon in Toronto for his actions in Sunday's game, a source told ESPN.com.
Cooke was given a five-minute major penalty and ejected 4:36 into the third period of a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers for an elbow to the head of defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
The meeting had initially been set for 1 p.m. ET but was pushed back to at 1:30 p.m. because of travel probems.
Cooke has been suspended three times over the past three seasons for illegal hits. He also delivered a hit on Boston's Marc Savard in March 2010 that resulted in a severe concussion and prompted the NHL to adopt a new rule that bans blindside hits to the head.
Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who recently completed a two-game suspension for his elbow to the head of an opposing player, said the NHL needs to suspend Cooke.
"I think it's about time he gets [suspended]," Marchand said. "He needs to be taught a lesson. He's doing that stuff left, right and center. I expect he'll get a bunch of games. He's got to be taught a lesson. He can't be running around doing that stuff all the time. He's going to seriously hurt someone again -- look at Savvy. He could have easily hurt McDonagh."
Cooke appeared to stick out his elbow to strike McDonagh near center ice.
"I didn't see him coming. I know it hurt, that's for sure," McDonagh said. "I would hope it wasn't his intent. It's a tight game. I'm sure he's not trying to get his team a five-minute penalty. He's probably just trying to finish his check and just caught me wrong."
Cooke wasn't available to reporters after the game. Rangers coach John Tortorella sidestepped the question of what discipline the NHL should give Cooke, saying, "That's not for me to decide. You're not getting me involved in that stuff."
Led by co-owner Mario Lemieux and general manager Ray Shero, the Penguins have been vocal about lobbying the NHL to penalize head shots with more fervor.
Cooke likely will be suspended for his latest infraction.
"I don't think you can talk about eliminating head shots from the game, as we have as an organization, and not expect [Cooke's hit] to be examined," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's what looks to be a contact right to the head on the play, so the league will look at that and treat it as such."
I thought McDonagh's quote was classy. He had the opportunity to blast Cooke and didn't.
Suspended for the rest of the season AND the 1st round of the playoffs. Cooke is a goof, sorry guys. I don't know how Lemeuix keeps him on after this one. It's the same name everytime. He ended Marc Savards career and is constantly taking cheap **** head shots. Shawn Thornton faught him after what he did to Savard and Cooke turtled like a little girl. Also Evander Kane KO'd him with one shot. When it comes to the physical play in hockey, Cooke is good at blindside hits...he cant even fight. The Pens have Eric Godard & Deryk Engelland, both have beaten Colton Orr which ain't easy. And Aaron Asham is way better then Cooke anyways imo so he can be his replacement. F*ck'em I hope the Pens get rid of him.
Last edited by Steel Trap86; 03-21-2011 at 08:01 PM.
two the hard way...too close...i think they thought they could cruise to the finish
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