Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke leveled Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid into the end boards in the second period of Saturday evening's Game 1 Eastern Conference Finals clash.
UPDATE: Sunday, June 2, at 1:10 a.m. ET by Ian Hanford
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McQuaid struggled to return to his feet and left the game, while the vicious hit resulted in a five-minute major for Cooke, and a game misconduct that ejected him from the game.
This was the second particularly notable case of Cooke leveling a player in such fashion. Back in 2010, he laid out another Bruin—center Marc Savard. The concussion Savard sustained from the collision was the first of two major ones he suffered, and he hasn't played since. Cooke did not receive a suspension nor a penalty for it.
TSN's Aaron Ward tweeted that McQuaid returned to the ice, and wondered how Cooke's past would impact a potential suspension:
Considering Raffi Torres 'history' played into his playoff suspension,interesting to see if Matt Cooke has to face the music.McQuaid back.— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) June 2, 2013
How long should Matt Cooke be suspended?
Torres was suspended for the remainder of this year's Western Conference Semifinals for another hit on Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll in that series' opening contest.
The league's Senior Vice President of Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan, revealed that Torres' past played a factor in the severity of his suspension.
ESPN's John Bucigross believes Cooke won't miss any time because of the hit, though, which is what happened when Cooke hit Savard, too:
Many are asking. I would be SHOCKED if Matt Cooke is suspended.— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) June 2, 2013
Cooke is an extremely aggressive and physical player, and has had three assists for the Penguins in the playoffs after finishing the 2012-13 regular season with eight goals and 13 assists in 48 games.