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Credit the composed Penguins for handling wild Boston scene.

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STAR OF THE GAME

BOSTON — Penguins LW ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY scored a huge goal late in the second period to secure a multi-goal lead. G MARC-ANDRE FLEURY earned his first shutout since March 25, 2009 in a huge bounce-back win. RW TYLER KENNEDY finally scored… Kennedy!

Still, this game was all about LW MATT COOKE, who arrived in Boston as a “wanted… bum” according to one newspaper. Haters might not like it, but Cooke willingly scrapped with Bruins LW SHAWN THORNTON early in the game, and that settled this contest into a hockey match, one the offensively inept Bruins didn’t stand much chance of winning.

Cooke was surrounded by a horde of reporters after the game, so I barely could hear what he had to say. (Seriously, even though I ran into some great Canadian friends, this game was annoyingly playoff-like in terms of dressing-room space.)

Props to the Bruins media relations who somehow found audible audio of Cooke’s postgame scrum. His words:

= On if talk is over: “I think the talk is more in the media than between the teams. I guess that’s the media’s job.”

= On if he has tried to reach to injured Bruins C MARC SAVARD since the controversial incident on March 7 at Mellon Arena: “I have tried to reach out and make contact with him. Unfortunately whoever the right people are won’t give me his number. I sent messages through our PR staff personally to him. I hope that he got it.”

= On if Thornton threw any extra punches when Cooke was down on the ice: “The fight was a fight. Things happen. I’ve got nothing else to say.”

THEY DON’T SAY

Actually, they do. A recap of the PuckSpeak from the Bruins’ dressing room after a discouraging 3-0 loss to the Penguins:

HC CLAUDE JULIEN…

= On the possibility that there was too much built-up expectations for this game: “Maybe, maybe. The build-up was there, there’s no doubt. That’s all we heard for the longest of time and it came to that. Again, when we started the game, we hit a couple of posts. If we score on one of those, is it a different game? Maybe.”

= On if the Cooke/Savard incident is finished: “I don’t think you can ever be satisfied because you’ve lost your top scorer for the rest of the year. Well, we beat (Cooke) up. We still don’t have our top scorer. I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to make things right. Losing him will never make it right.”

D ZDENO CHARA…

=On his team not responding after his fight with Penguins C MIKE RUPP: “It’s something that we all have to look in the mirror and really ask yourself if you did your best and put it out there.”

= On his words for teammates on the bench after their lack of response to the fight: “I felt that the timing was right and it was, but yeah, we didn’t respond, so that’s as much as I can say. … I was calling guys out and trying to get something going.”

LW SCOTT THORNTON…

= On his fight with Cooke backfiring: “It wasn’t the intention to give them energy, obviously. It was more about who was on the ice. I was on the ice and that’s my job, so that was it.”

= On the astonishing lack of emotion from the Bruins given the game’s build-up: “You’re right. I agree with you wholeheartedly.”

3 STATS

46 – Total penalty minutes amassed by the Penguins and Bruins

9 = Attempted shots by Penguins C SIDNEY CROSBY

64= Appearances by Fleury since his last shutout

PENGUINS PUCKSPEAK

A recap of words from the Penguins’ dressing room after their inspired win at Boston:

C SIDNEY CROSBY…

= On if he was looking over his shoulder: “No. I mean every game somebody wants to hit me. I like to think that. There are times if a guy wants to run you or do something there is not much you can do. You have to play the game. You have to rely on your instincts and if somebody is going to try something then more often than not you aren’t going to be able to do anything anyway.

C MIKE RUPP…

= On his fight with Chara: “I think he just wanted to get something going for his team. In a game like this when guys have something that they want to prove, it is important that you accept their invitation so there is no other recourse. That’s all it was.”

–BY ROB ROSSI (3/19/10)

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Comments

  1. Pattijor says:

    Shawn Thorton, not Scott. Scott played for the LA Kings.

  2. Frank says:

    Second to only the Bertuzzi hit, it has been a very long time since I have seen a hit garner as much media attention as the Cooke hit on Savard.

    Meanwhile, Ovechkin dishes out 2-4 straight up dirty hits a season and it’s passed off as him being a “very intense player” and “it’s just how he plays the game”. When Ovechkin actually does receive a suspension, it’s talked about for a day by the national media and then it’s forgotten.

    It’s a joke.

 
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