Credit the composed Penguins for handling wild Boston scene.



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.”


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


= 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.”


=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.”


= 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.”


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


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


= 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.


= 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)