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Lucic admits Bruins haven’t forgotten history with Cooke

May 29, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard AP

Many of the Boston Bruins players were teammates with Marc Savard when Matt Cooke‘s controversial hit basically ended his career. Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com that they haven’t forgotten that moment, but they don’t intend to jeopardize their chances to win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the name of revenge.

“It’s an interesting question because if it wasn’t for that [Cooke hit], where would Marc Savard be today? He’d still be under contract with us, and would be on our team,” Lucic said. “I still talk to [Savard] and keep in touch with him. He was a good friend of mine when he was on the team.

“It’s still in the back of your mind, but it’s not the focal point when you’re getting ready to play in this kind of a series.”

(Note: Savard is technically still under contract until the 2016-17 season ends, although he’s almost certain to remain on the LTIR.)

Head coach Claude Julien equates the situation to maintaining discipline in regard to Jarome Iginla‘s decision to snub the team and join the Penguins instead.

“It depends what you mean by that,” Julien said. “Are you talking about the [Marc] Savard thing? Or are you talking about the way Matt Cooke plays? There are different ways of answering that. At one point, you’ve got to move on from certain things. Just like the next question will be like Iginla. Stuff like that. We all know about that. The thing we have to focus on is finding a way to win the series.

“If you just want revenge on this guy or that guy . . . is it really the right focus to have? The best way to get that satisfaction is by winning a series. So I think that’s where your focus has to be.”

  1. killerpgh - May 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    If they haven’t forgotten about Ulf Samuelsson’s hit on Neely 20+ years ago I’m guessing this Cooke hit has another 15+ years of being news.

    • sabatimus - May 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Oh, I forgot to mention that Mutt and Merloni brought Ulfie up too. I of course knew of the Neely hit, but had totally forgotten that Ulf played for the Pens.

      • bbgraf08 - May 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Pierre McGuire actually brought it up on Mutt and Merloni…but the point is taken. We will probably still be talking about Cooke in 15 years.

      • sabatimus - May 29, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        Well, Pierre WOULD be the one to bring it up.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 30, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      Hold on here. How about when Ken Schinkel tripped Wayne Cashman that time, huh? Well?

    • freneticgarfieldfan - May 30, 2013 at 4:10 AM

      Even when it’s a few years ago, it’s still a shame that the (career) killer walks around free and plays, while the victim is handicapped for life.

    • drone501 - May 30, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      yeah, i think the pens are already in their heads.

  2. sabatimus - May 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    A couple of WEEI guys were talking about Cooke-this, Cooke-that, Lemieux is a hypocrite, blah blah blah…just shut up already. Media people just love to trump all this up. News flash, Mutt and Merloni: Cooke/Savard happened 3 YEARS ago. If the Bruins think about this crap instead of the game they’re playing, the series might as well already be over.

    • nosefacekillah - May 30, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      The players know the Pens are the dirtiest team in the league. The players know the Pens are allowed to get away with more than any other team because Mario whines publicly whenever things don’t go his way. Mario still holds sway with the NHL but commands very little respect for anything outside his play on the ice. Nobody gets excited with this tool shows up at an arena like when Gretzky does.

      Cooke is a dirt bag that has no business playing in the NHL (same goes for Bertuzzi). But he plays for Pittsburgh and Mario so the NHL turns a blind eye.

      And tell Savard it has been 3 years and to get over it. Come back and finish your career already.

      • c9castine - May 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        What you say is based on nothing. Mario never does anything in public let alone whine. Matt Cooke has been clean for 3 years and lets not forget when chara tried to kill pacioretty

      • imleftcoast - May 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Bruins are the dirtiest team in the league. I’m no Pens fans, but it will be great to see the Bruins embarrassed. Lot of tough talk they can’t back with any. Fathead Lucic will do nothing to Cooke. Big bag of nothing.

    • melissalabonville - May 31, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      it was a question asked a news conference, they answered it, you seem to be the only one concerned about it.

  3. titknocker - May 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    WEEI f’ing blows big time. And anyone who listens to them for their take on hockey is a moron.

    • sabatimus - May 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      I’m most assuredly not a moron; I listen to their take, and then generally throw it back at them verbally while I’m driving.

    • nosefacekillah - May 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      There is no real hockey talk on Boston airways. 98.5 jumped on the bandwagon in 2011 but there is no knowledge base there. They simply state the obvious and uneducated fans nod in agreement.

    • nhloon - May 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Sports hub 98.5 for hockey, WEEI sucks, stick to the sox.

    • homelanddefense - May 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      who still listens to WEEI?

  4. matthews4 - May 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Part of the reason it lives on is because of the absurd theory that Cooke is reformed. Mario deserves everything he gets. He brought it on himself not only as a player but as an owner when he keeps threatening to take his ball and go home. It isn’t just Boston folks. Cooke is regarded STILL (not 3 years ago) as a dirty player. It has just come to this if you are Pens fan you drink the Cool Aide and turn a blind eye. I have yet to hear any person from another clubs fan base say that Cooke is not dirty. Stop blaming the media for what most or all fans that are not Pens fans think he is STILL dirty.

    • walleye9000 - May 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      go watch golf!!

    • phoenixcaptain - May 30, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      Lucic is a questionable player himself, so he really doesn’t have room to talk about people being dirty. As for Cooke, 36 penalty minutes for the season. Bruins with more: Lucic (75), Chara (70), McQuaid (60 in 32 games), Thornton (60), Campbell (41). The hit on Savard was unfortunate, but not nearly as dirty as say… Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty, which was probably the dirtiest play in hockey since Bertuzzi. So before the Bruins can talk about other teams, they need to take a look in the mirror. Not the first time this season they’ve been hypocrites.

      • drone501 - May 30, 2013 at 7:05 AM

        its funny that no one brings up scott stevens anymore. he gave out a helluva lot more headshots than cooke ever did and probably ended a lot of careers. was cooke the only player that elbowed savard in the melon. i think a lot of players had a hand in ending his career. cooke just happened to be the last one. pens in 6

      • pepper2011 - May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        no. just no. the hit on Pacioretty wasn’t dirty. it wasn’t. ANY other rink or part of the ice and absolutely nothing happens. Hell, if Pacioretty was a half step slower, or turned slightly and got his arm up – a whole different ball game. Stop watching it in super slow motion. Life doesn’t happen like that; it happened at 20-30 MPH It was NOT a dirty play.. Chara initiated contact about 5 feet before Pacioretty hit the stanchion. THE LEAGUE CHANGED THE RINKS because of this. The Weber play was 100X dirtier. The Torres hit on Hossa 100X worse, and about 20 other suspensions since the chara/pacioretty hit. What happened to him sucks, and I’d be pissed too, but if it were Lidstrom who made the hit it would not be the legend it has grown into. It was Boston/MTL and the the fans freaked out. psychology 101 – mass hysteria. A very similar thing happened a few nights later to one of the kings defensemen; he didn’t hurt himself so nobody cared.

        much more deliberate; much slower where is the outpouring of hate

      • pepper2011 - May 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        You are seriously insane if you think the hit on Pacioretty was worse than the hit on Savard. The cooke hit ended Savards career and forever changed his life. Not down playing either injury, but if you asked them both which hit they would rather receive (knowing the outcome). I am sure Savard would have preferred to playing now… And don’t reply with it was Matt Hunwick that actually had the hit… BS and you know it.

        Also who cares about penalty minutes? OH NO – Shawn Thornton, Lucic, Campbell fight. Lucic who I agree has straddled the line in the past; has received at least 3 misconducts for NO reason (see vancouver regular season game last year).

        The Bruins are not dirty and no, they are not perfect. we are talking about very strong athletes who do stupid things sometimes. There is a history with Cooke. He has gotten better, yes (unless you believe the Sens GM). But that doesn’t change what his past is. The Bruins play tough and don’t take much BS, but they are not dirty. Yes, Every team can find a few examples of questionable hits, but they are NOT a dirty team.

        This is why the Bruins are successful; while the Canucks are Signing Sesito and the Sharks are getting Torres (dirty and dirty) the Bruins are resigning guys who are tough, play the right way, and are tough as hell. Why do you think Detroit was able to make the run they made. Abdelkader, Cleary – those are the types of guys who you need.

      • nhloon - May 30, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Pens have all the O but no D……Canucks learned this the hard way in 7………both Pens goalies are suspect ( Rask is no Thomas though)……..B’s in 7,

      • homelanddefense - May 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        Phoenix….awesome call on the penalty minutes. Have you considered that Cooke never drops the gloves? Thornton is an enforcer, Campell and McQuaid fight a lot too. Lucic has 5 fighting majors this year. thats the beauty about the so called “questionable” players on the Bruins, they will stand up for themselves if you want to hold them accountable. If you think they are out of line, go talk to them about it…..they wont turtle.

        Heck, even Chara has two majors this year, and he plays 25 min a game against the top lines so naturally he collects some PIM.

        Ill leave the Pacioretty comment alone as its just silly.

  5. nunan - May 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I think everyone on the Bs probably connects Cooke to what he did to Savard. How can you not, given Savard was a teammate? Doesn’t mean anything though this week…maybe just a little extra ‘mustard’ on the body contact. Just another story-line in the multiple story-lines of this series. The story-lines end with the media and the fans though. Not something players are going to think about in a series as big and heated as this might be.

  6. taintedlombardis - May 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Matt Cooke needs to be “Cooke’d”. Can’t believe that nobody has flushed this piece of sht.

    • walleye9000 - May 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      go watch golf!!

    • nunan - May 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      I LOVE that he is a part of this series though. Going to up the fan animosity and entertainment value.

    • drone501 - May 30, 2013 at 7:07 AM

      considered yourself flushed. what you gonna do if cooke signs with your favorite hockey team next year?

      • bakedbees - May 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        I’d love to see the Bs sign Cooke to a 10 year deal… then sit his ass next to Savard in the press box…sans sunglasses…for the duration. The guy deserves no less…Savard that is.

  7. alswingman - May 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Nobody likes Cooke and of course, the evidence speaks for itself. But if you really look at the Pens roster and types of guys they have, they need a guy like Cooke. If he didn’t contribute, he would just be a washout but he’s not. He gets paid very well to be what he is. He’s not a tough guy. He’s a bad fighter. He’s an agitator. The one thing he does extremely well is take a pounding, bounce back and get back into the play. In fact, bounces back to make big plays. That evidence speaks for itself too – Game winning goals, he sets up goals with assists. It sucks but he is a contributor with a long career, multimillions, a stanley cup and for some reason a wife and family who must see another side to the guy.

  8. pmonte3122 - May 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Here we go

  9. matthews4 - May 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Nobody wants to watch golf……There is a code in hockey of things you don’t do. Cooke breaks that code that is why he is who is, STILL. If you have never played you will not understand.

    • therealdeal18 - May 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      OHHHH he pulled the “If you never played hockey you won’t understand” card!!!! You win Matthews! ITS OVER!

      No one talk to Matthews anymore because he is soooo much better than anyone who has never played hockey, please don’t bother him with your ridiculous comments because you know NOTHING compared to what he knows because he played hockey at some point in his life!

      Give me a freaking break people, thats the most absurd card to pull on a freakin blog. Make your point without saying something that dumb. You dont like cooke – we got it – people in Pittsburgh love cooke – you get it. SOLVED!!!!

    • yuckygeo - May 30, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      When I was a kid I played hockey in my basement with homemade sticks and a Nerf football and shot into a clothes hamper. Does that count?

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - May 30, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    I swear Boston fans are always butthurt over something!

    • taintedlombardis - May 30, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      I can only imagine if your crush was “Cooke’d”.

  11. 8man - May 30, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    We all know what Cooke is; sloppy and dangerous. He’s essentially maimed and debilitated. His time is limited. The next incident nets him something lengthy and punishing. Bs can’t worry about him. They need to focus on playing solid, mistake free hockey against the best team in the conference. Winning the series would provide all the revenge they’d ever need as well as keep Cooke from hurting someone in the next round.

    • bgrillz - May 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Rich coming from a guy who has 2 of the biggest cheap shot artists in the game.

      • 8man - May 31, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Are any of their “victims” walking around with jelly in their dome or missing a foot? Guys get a little out of hand and rattle other guys. But Cooke’s results speak for themselves.

        Pens fans defend him, saying it’s not intentional. Fine I’ll give that them. Then he’s sloppy and dangerous.

  12. bgrillz - May 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Bruins doing a lot of yapping before this series. Nervous much? Keep talking Lucic.

    • nhstateline - May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Yapping ? The Bruins have been very respectful. They’ve said nothing but nice things about Jerome Iginla, they’ve said they think the Pens are a great team and a tough challenge and they mentioned they still know who Matt Cooke is. They haven’t called anyone a bug eyed walrus or said Cooke should get his soon for example. Personally, I think what Matt Cooke did to Marc Savard should have gotten him a really long suspension at least. That hit’s not part of the normal physical play involved in hockey. The one good thing that came from it is that the NHL did start to get more serious about head shots. No matter how Cooke has “reformed”, the guy he intentionally targeted for a head shot has to deal with real ongoing physical problems that really weren’t caused by a play in the game (just Mr. Cooke’s elbow) and that’s something that Marc Savard has to live with and hopefully torments Mr. Cooke when his playing days end and he reflects back on what damage he caused to another player for no good reason.

    • ironyisadeadscene - May 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      “It’s an interesting question because if it wasn’t for that [Cooke hit], where would Marc Savard be today? He’d still be under contract with us…etc…

      Notice the first four words….that means he was asked about it dummy. Reading is fundamental

      • nhstateline - May 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        and notice how he answered the question: with the kind of class Milan Lucic has as a human being and Claude Julien has instilled in his team. The point is that the Bruins weren’t “yapping”, the most they were doing was answering questions in a very respectful way. The questions have been posed by the media. There were many other ways Mr. Lucic could have answered including the kind of puerility on display in your reply. As for my hope for years of nightmares in future for Mr. Cooke, I’ll stand by that. That’s a far worse punishment than anything Gary Bettman or Brendan Shanahan could cook up.

  13. matthews4 - May 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Yeah your right experience vs non-experience is never a valid point. I guess I shouldn’t also not point out how Pens fans really can’t be objective because Cooke plays on their team so they have a vested interest. Sorry common-sense upsets you so much that you can’t really argue it, the best you can do is mock it. Really dude? How old are you?

    • therealdeal18 - May 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      It can be a valid point, but not how you used it. You used it as in youre the only type of person who could possibly understand the situation. Get over yourself. And I can be plenty objective about Cooke. Was cooke’s hit on savard a dirty headshot? yes it certainly was. Did it contribute to ending savards career? yes (although he did comeback after that so its not the only reason hes retired)

      What other fans don’t give any credit to is Cooke not having been fined/suspended since he changed his game because of Mario’s ultimatum. I probably wouldn’t either if I were in your position. But on the list of forwards the Pens need on their roster Cooke is above everyone outside the top 6. He’s a pest. He’s a great penalty killer. He can contribute on the top two lines if injuries happen. So you go ahead and be impressed with marchand and tell me how hes not dirty and how valuable he is to your team, and ill do the exact same for cooke.

  14. Steeley McBeam - May 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    If Cooke was on your team you would love the way he plays just like I do because hes on mine. Hes not a dirty player hes a pest. Let the achelles tear go already people get hurt every game just some worse than others. Cooke earns his money by being scrappy and if he wasnt he would have no shot on an NHL roster. There have been thousands of dirtier plays in the NHL stop crying because hes a Penguin.

    To the guy who said Pens are the dirtiest team… Penguins are not even an intimidating team. They are a finesse team who scores goals. Their best defensemen is a forward playing the blue line and their biggest hitter besides Doug Murray, Brooks Orpik, is a class act.

    • homelanddefense - May 30, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      I disagree completely. Just because you allow yourself to be blinded by the jersey doesnt mean everyone does. Im a Bruins fan, and I hate Marchand. Dont like the way he plays, the dirty stuff. To be honest he would be a perfect player for Montreal. There are plenty of players on my “home teams” that i dont approve of, but I cheer for the team, not the players.

      Always disliked the way Rodney Harrison played on the Pats too.

  15. matthews4 - May 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    This is where we disagree. I have seen no change in his play. He still slashes people from behind, he still leads high with his elbows, and even Karlsson said “He knows exactly what he is doing out there. That is why I am sitting here with leg in cast. He has been after me before” Look all I’am saying is outside of how the NHL wants him to be reborn and Pens nation the general perception is he is STILL dirty. Almost every team has a guy like him, but he is reckless and sloppy. I would not want him on my team. It reminds me of when Nucks fans kept saying Torres was not dirty. As far as Marchy goes I’am not always happy with his antics , however at this point he is more skilled and actually he has cut back on his dangerous reckless play. He still agitates but he is not slicing someone’s leg open there is your difference. It’s real simple dude stop killing the messenger, for the most part the rest of the league and it’s fans are not buying the converted alter boy spin

    • therealdeal18 - May 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      where we disagree is you think cooke has no skill in terms of hockey but is a ninja that can cut peoples achilles tendons playing hockey at full speed and im NOT an idiot. And you proved my point with marchand… you literally just made excuses for him while admitting he has been dirty in the past. And its okay for marchand to ‘cut back on his dirty play’ but you cant see cooke cutting back on his dirty play. Talk about hometown bias, I openly admit my bias towards cooke and you cant with marchand.

  16. drewsylvania - May 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Savvy’s life is ruined because of this POS. Some player needs to prematurely end Cooke’s career before he ends another one.

  17. matthews4 - May 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    That’s because Cooke has not…. um when i say I’m not happy with his antics, kills your argument. Never said Cooke had no skill. I also said his dangerous reckless play BIG difference. Really dude I watched a lot of Cooke he has not changed.

    • therealdeal18 - May 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Why is my argument killed? Just because youre ‘not happy’ with marchand’s antics? OK good job! I wasn’t happy with cooke when he was headshotting people. But if you can provide any evidence (fines/suspensions) since Mario’s ultimatum of cooke continuing dirty play please entertain me. And if your only argument is ‘he slashes from behind’ then you need to stop talking because you support the Boston Bruins. BTW congrats on watching ‘a lot’ of cooke. I’m not offering my opinion when I say cooke has changed, you are when you say he hasn’t.

  18. matthews4 - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    therealdeal18 yeah guess at this point my opinion is justified way to open you trap

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