NHL: Penguins Matt Cooke Strikes Again, Lands Vicious Elbow

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIMarch 20, 2011

Pengiuns forward Matt Cooke landed another vicious elbow in Sunday's nationaly televised game between the Penguins and New York Rangers.
Pengiuns forward Matt Cooke landed another vicious elbow in Sunday's nationaly televised game between the Penguins and New York Rangers.Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Nearly a month ago, Pittsburgh Penguins Owner Mario Lemieux called the NHL's suspension and fines on the New York Islanders "a travesty."

Back on February 11, the Penguins and Islanders engaged in a series of long and drawn out scraps, including Penguins goalie Brent Johnson's second goalie fight in less than two weeks.

Lemieux argued that the NHL allowed the game to get out of hand and turn itself into a "sideshow."

In one scrap, Islanders center Matt Martin attacked Penguins forward Max Talbot from behind, after Talbot brushed Islanders' goalie Mikko Koskinen. This led to the first line scrap between the two teams.

In the second period, a brutal check by Islanders winger Trevor Gillies, led to a second and more intense line fight. Talbot, who all but turtled when Matt Martin attacked him in the second period, got into a scrap with Islanders center Micheal Haley, who dropped Talbot with a big right hand.

  • Too soft

  • Not enough

  • Just right


And it wasn't over.

After knocking down Talbot with a right hand to the chin, Haley strolled down the ice and engaged with Penguins goalie Brent Johnson.

As Haley prepared to scrap with Johnson, Penguins enforcer Eric Godard jumped from the bench to protect his goalie, although Johnson held his own.

Despite having whom many consider to be the dirtiest player in the league in Matt Cookie, Lemieux's statements were aimed at the NHL for not policing the Islanders and allowing the game's fights, not play, become the headline.

Cooke, whose shots have included a vicious elbow to Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard that may have ended his career and a knee-to-knee hit to Washington's Capital Alexander Ovechkin, delivered another headliner Sunday afternoon.

In the third Period of the Penguins and New York Rangers nationally televised game on NBC, Cooke extended out his left elbow, nailing Rangers forward Ryan McDonagh.

Cooke was immediately taken off the ice, and after replays were shown, all the NBC announcers agreed that the elbow was intentional and that Cooke was looking at a suspension.

The only things left to figure out are how long Cooke's suspension will be, and what Mario Lemieux thinks of Cook's dirty shots, which time and again, have taken the spot light away from Sidney Crosby-less Penguins and focused instead on the vicious shots of Matt Cooke.