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Article about Cooke being a changed man

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Old
08-24-2011, 03:59 PM
  #26
Darth Vitale
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Originally Posted by regard View Post
Im glad Im not the only one who thought that read terribly.
Definitely not.

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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassé View Post
This. I'm not sure the connection was ever fully explained regarding his wife's medical issue and, generally, the piece was all over the place. His He and his editor should be fired.
Fixed. Rossi is a guy who wouldn't make it in many newspaper markets. But yah, at the very least his editor should suck less. Reading it though, I wonder if there is no editor looking at that carefully. Possibly they've cut staff down and sports articles don't go through any rigorous edits as far as fact-checking and stylistic stuff / structural stuff. The newspaper industry is hurtin' bigtime.

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Originally Posted by HuskerTornado View Post
20 goals this season. Book it.
...but not 50 points... on the left wing.

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08-24-2011, 04:03 PM
  #27
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I'm glad that he's a good guy, but I do want him playing on the edge and not changing completely. What makes him great is his ability to use every inch of that line without crossing it.

We can all agree that we dislike Cooke when he crosses the line, but I absolutely love him when he's testing the limits of how far he can go. I don't know if that is manageable, but it makes him effective.
I don't disagree with this. I would hate to see a timid, milk-toast Cooke out there as it would devalue him (and thus make him overpaid) quite a bit. He needs to be rough, mean, aggitating, chippy. He just needs to keep his freakin elbows and forearms down when he's hammering guys. Hopefully in his 20 hours of video and soul searching he discovered that.

More helpful aids in case he reads here...

Matt: don't do this. Notice the compacting of the other player's face and the flying helmet. This is a sign your shoulder smashed into their head, thus ending your career here.


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08-24-2011, 04:20 PM
  #28
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I don't know if you can change the way you play physically when you're a hockey player, as I believe a lot of dirty players, that's just how they are hard wired. That's how Ulf was. He just had it in his brain that you were not going to get around him without him getting some piece of you. Didn't matter if he had to take your head off with an elbow, or take your knee out with his. I think Matt Cooke has a very similar mindset.

You start making guys like that think about what they are doing, and it's not always a good thing. Thinking causes a player to slow down and second guess what he's doing, and once a player quits being reactionary, their effectiveness goes down.

I think more than anything Cooke needs some sort of technique to manage how angry he gets. He's just a very angry player. If he could calm himself down a little bit, I think that would pay more dividends than trying to change what has made him both successful and a villain.

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08-24-2011, 04:49 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
I don't know if you can change the way you play physically when you're a hockey player, as I believe a lot of dirty players, that's just how they are hard wired. That's how Ulf was. He just had it in his brain that you were not going to get around him without him getting some piece of you. Didn't matter if he had to take your head off with an elbow, or take your knee out with his. I think Matt Cooke has a very similar mindset.

You start making guys like that think about what they are doing, and it's not always a good thing. Thinking causes a player to slow down and second guess what he's doing, and once a player quits being reactionary, their effectiveness goes down.

I think more than anything Cooke needs some sort of technique to manage how angry he gets. He's just a very angry player. If he could calm himself down a little bit, I think that would pay more dividends than trying to change what has made him both successful and a villain.
Well first off, Ulf wouldn't last very long in the NHL today if he didn't change and neither will Cooke. But I mean we aren't talking about drastic changes. Just understanding that you should never lead with your elbow and let up when you see numbers (basic concepts we all learned growing up). I don't think that's "changing the way you play physically", it's just not being a moron.

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08-24-2011, 05:52 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
I guess my question is, how does a guy make it to an NHL starting lineup every year and not know "the right way to hit"?
Until fairly recently, those types of hits were glorified. Scott Stevens and Ulf Samuelsson each made a career out of doing things very similar to what Matt Cooke has done. It was a different culture in their time (plus, far less was known about the long-term impacts of concussions in their days). So, we continue to glorify players like them when we look back at them with nostalgia, but excoriate the player who is doing the same thing now... so long as the player who is doing it now is a third-line player, rather than a star (see: Richards hit on Booth, Chara's hit on Pacioretty, etc).

I'm not surprised that Cooke has to re-learn how to hit. He learned how to hit in a time when they were encouraged to take out anyone who skated with their head down - now he's got to figure out how to make that hit without connecting on the head.

I hope Cooke can make the adjustments to his hitting. When he isn't being stupid (a la the hit on McDonagh) he's a very effective player. I'd much rather have the Cooke that can put up 10-15 goals per season, along with good penalty killing rather than the Cooke that ends up in the penalty box (or suspended) on a regular basis.

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08-24-2011, 07:31 PM
  #31
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Off ice issues can be crazy. I remember in the playoffs, maybe 09, when Scott Walker sucker punched a Bruin, but wasn't punished. A few weeks later the story came out that Walker's wife had been dealing with cancer.

Anyway, like Freetop said Cooke is one of those players caught in the gap of the old NHL and the new NHL and until now was never really punished besides a few slaps on the hand. I too hope he turns it around, but that is a lot to relearn. Definitely hope his family is OK though.

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08-24-2011, 08:11 PM
  #32
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Cooke came to Blair County Ball park to "shoot the first puck" (his boy threw the first pitch) and sign autographs. The announcers said he'ld only be signing for 90min. He was a champ, by the time I got his autograph he'ld been signing for an easy 2 hours and there was easily 30 more minutes of line left. He told the ushers he wasn't leaving until everyone got what they came for. Goon on the ice, pretty good guy off.

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08-25-2011, 05:15 AM
  #33
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I understand the Cooke hate but I really don't get how he's so villified. There is a long list of dirtier players that Cooke and thats not even mentioning a certain megastar. Cooke must have POed the wrong person because this is a league that has
Don Cherry kissing Darcy Tucker, made Gordie Howe elbows a legend and has Bill Clement saying he's never played with a dirty player.

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08-25-2011, 08:08 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by HandshakeLine View Post
I dunno. Lord knows medical problems have a way of putting things perspective, even if they're just your wife's (as opposed to your own).

Whatever the motivation, it's still good to hear. Hopefully, he'll actually follow through on it.
Especially when it's your wife's and not your own. You can deal better when something is the matter with you. You can simply choose to either suck it up or feel sorry for yourself but the choice is yours and it can make a difference.

If something happens to your wife or whoever you happen to care about, all the positive energy in the world won't necessarily make things better for them.

Much more difficult to deal with someone you love being sick than yourself. Ask any parent worth a damn if they would rather be sick or watch their kid be sick and you'll have all the proove of that you need.

I hope Cooke's wife is doing well and look forward to seeing him piss more people off with "clean" hits this year.

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08-25-2011, 09:08 AM
  #35
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A few points of my own perspective.

His lack of changing prior to this may have been highly related to wanting to keep his job, much like his current requirement to change is based off the same motivation. I know that as an up and coming NCO one quality that made me stand out amongst others is that the people who worked for me were literally afraid to screw up when I was around. There would be severe physical and verbal reprecussions for it if they did. Now that I have done this job for some time my role has changed quite a bit. That which used to make me very useful will now get me fired. I can't have the people I work for being afraid of me, else they might not be willing to talk to me when issues arise. However I still need them to respect the fact that I am around and mistakes will not go unnoticed or unpunished. It's simply the method of correction that I now utilize.

I think this is very similar to the way the NHL has evolved. Cooke's role is very much the same as it's always been. But he needs to tailor his methods to the evolving game as all players do. I still want Cooke to be chippy, in your face, hitting everything that touches the puck, and irritating the other team. But I want him to do it with regard for the well being of those around him. A timid Cooke is a useless one, but a Cooke who still drills people who AREN'T in a vulnerable position, and who hits but NOT in the head is the guy I want playing for the Pens for this season and beyond possibly.

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08-25-2011, 09:48 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by PKV Jungle Friends View Post
Especially when it's your wife's and not your own. You can deal better when something is the matter with you. You can simply choose to either suck it up or feel sorry for yourself but the choice is yours and it can make a difference.

If something happens to your wife or whoever you happen to care about, all the positive energy in the world won't necessarily make things better for them.

Much more difficult to deal with someone you love being sick than yourself. Ask any parent worth a damn if they would rather be sick or watch their kid be sick and you'll have all the proove of that you need.

I hope Cooke's wife is doing well and look forward to seeing him piss more people off with "clean" hits this year.
Not mentioning the amount of stress he was under. I have been in stressful situations like that before, and it does in fact change you as a person for that period of time (and if that situation lasts long enough, it could change you forever). You become irritable, and you start looking to take that pressure that's built up out on someone or something. Cooke chose someone, rather than something.

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08-25-2011, 12:11 PM
  #37
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Wait wait wait, hold on a minute. Matt Cooke has an 18 year old kid? What? Is he that old? I keep thinking Cooke is only 30 for some reason, it doesn't help that he looks even younger than that.

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08-25-2011, 12:16 PM
  #38
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Wait wait wait, hold on a minute. Matt Cooke has an 18 year old kid? What? Is he that old? I keep thinking Cooke is only 30 for some reason, it doesn't help that he looks even younger than that.
Cooke is 32. It's his step-daughter.

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08-25-2011, 01:40 PM
  #39
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Until fairly recently, those types of hits were glorified. Scott Stevens and Ulf Samuelsson each made a career out of doing things very similar to what Matt Cooke has done. ..
I get that, I do... but even so weren't ALL of these guys, coming up the ranks from the time they were 12 years old, told how and where to hit other players, and only later developed the "mean streak" in the professional game? Sort of like learning the right and wrong ways to tackle someone (or be tackled) in pop warner or high school football, and then only later developing the penchant for spearing guys or whatever?

It seems almost impossible to me that an NHL player would not have burned into his brain the fundamentals of "how to hit / check" in all situations... that a guy could even reach that level. Because if you hit guys and take runs at guys the wrong way at young ages you're just as likely to get seriously injured yourself. Eventually I'd think you would be done by the time you were 18.


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Originally Posted by cheebatree View Post
Cooke came to Blair County Ball park to "shoot the first puck" (his boy threw the first pitch) and sign autographs. The announcers said he'ld only be signing for 90min. He was a champ, by the time I got his autograph he'ld been signing for an easy 2 hours and there was easily 30 more minutes of line left. He told the ushers he wasn't leaving until everyone got what they came for. Goon on the ice, pretty good guy off.
If nothing else I think that shows Cooke is taking his image, and how it reflects on the team, seriously. That's a good thing. Shows a little humility and giving back to fans who have frankly been pretty forgiving of his antics. We've had some good signs this spring and summer from him so let's hope it carries onto the rink.


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Originally Posted by #66 View Post
I understand the Cooke hate but I really don't get how he's so villified. There is a long list of dirtier players that Cooke
Pretty simple, the root variables are:

1) He plays for the Penguins, while the team is a top contender. If he played for a doormat team or if the Penguins were a doormat, far fewer people would notice or talk about it for days on end when something happens.

A good analog (and frankly someone who was much worse than Cooke) was Claude Lemieux. Even as ****ed up as some of the things he did were, had he been playing for Atlanta and not Colorado, he wouldn't have gotten nearly as much hate, even though the acts would've been just as inexcusable.

Another guy who was worse was Brian Marchment. That guy literally went out there trying to end careers / cause serious knee injuries. He was notorious for it. However his name doesn't jump to the tip of anyone's tongue in these conversations today because when he played for the Hawks (I think) and Sharks, neither team was that great if I remember right. He didn't get the spotlight on him the way Cooke does. For the most part, as it happened Cooke has always played for high profile contenders (namely Vancouver and Pittsburgh).


2) Cooke's known for the rough stuff, so that pre-disposes him to the goon label where fans look for any excuse to say he's no different than pieces of crap like Gillies, even though he is a far better player.

Put another way, the difference between him playing fast and loose with his elbows and forearms and whatever else, and Ovechkin running around like a loose canon taking cheap shots at players, is that Ovechkin is a marquee name. They could do exactly the same things, but Cooke will always get more grief because he isn't a goal scorer. Goal scorers get cut major slack. That's just the way it is. See also: Mike Richards.


3) He had multiple infractions in a relatively short period of time so he reinforced his own bad image when he made that hit this spring. People didn't have time to forget the last reckless thing he did (by far the worst of which was the Savard hit). So he piled it on himself, basically.

No reason to sympathize with the guy but also no reason to not believe he's worth one last chance. I think he'll make good. And if he doesn't I'll be the first to say I was wrong and don't let door hit ya on the way out.


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08-25-2011, 02:25 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
I get that, I do... but even so weren't ALL of these guys, coming up the ranks from the time they were 12 years old, told how and where to hit other players, and only later developed the "mean streak" in the professional game? Sort of like learning the right and wrong ways to tackle someone (or be tackled) in pop warner or high school football, and then only later developing the penchant for spearing guys or whatever?

It seems almost impossible to me that an NHL player would not have burned into his brain the fundamentals of "how to hit / check" in all situations... that a guy could even reach that level. Because if you hit guys and take runs at guys the wrong way at young ages you're just as likely to get seriously injured yourself. Eventually I'd think you would be done by the time you were 18.




If nothing else I think that shows Cooke is taking his image, and how it reflects on the team, seriously. That's a good thing. Shows a little humility and giving back to fans who have frankly been pretty forgiving of his antics. We've had some good signs this spring and summer from him so let's hope it carries onto the rink.




Pretty simple, the root variables are:

1) He plays for the Penguins, while the team is a top contender. If he played for a doormat team or if the Penguins were a doormat, far fewer people would notice or talk about it for days on end when something happens.

A good analog (and frankly someone who was much worse than Cooke) was Claude Lemieux. Even as ****ed up as some of the things he did were, had he been playing for Atlanta and not Colorado, he wouldn't have gotten nearly as much hate, even though the acts would've been just as inexcusable.

Another guy who was worse was Brian Marchment. That guy literally went out there trying to end careers / cause serious knee injuries. He was notorious for it. However his name doesn't jump to the tip of anyone's tongue in these conversations today because when he played for the Hawks (I think) and Sharks, neither team was that great if I remember right. He didn't get the spotlight on him the way Cooke does. For the most part, as it happened Cooke has always played for high profile contenders (namely Vancouver and Pittsburgh).


2) Cooke's known for the rough stuff, so that pre-disposes him to the goon label where fans look for any excuse to say he's no different than pieces of crap like Gillies, even though he is a far better player.

Put another way, the difference between him playing fast and loose with his elbows and forearms and whatever else, and Ovechkin running around like a loose canon taking cheap shots at players, is that Ovechkin is a marquee name. They could do exactly the same things, but Cooke will always get more grief because he isn't a goal scorer. Goal scorers get cut major slack. That's just the way it is. See also: Mike Richards.


3) He had multiple infractions in a relatively short period of time so he reinforced his own bad image when he made that hit this spring. People didn't have time to forget the last reckless thing he did (by far the worst of which was the Savard hit). So he piled it on himself, basically.

No reason to sympathize with the guy but also no reason to not believe he's worth one last chance. I think he'll make good. And if he doesn't I'll be the first to say I was wrong and don't let door hit ya on the way out.
Another name that should've been added to your first point. Within less than a season Gillies pretty much proved himself to be the biggest no-talent sack of $h!t in the league with the way he was deliberately going out there hurting guys. Yet I'd say the level of hate for Cooke is still much greater. The fact that Gillies plays for an Isles team that generally tends to fly under the radar likely helps his cause.

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08-25-2011, 02:33 PM
  #41
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What a touching tale.

It really puts into perspective how difficult it was for me to not run around elbowing co-workers in the temple and raging around the office for months after a good friend of mine passed away a few months back. I mean... the trauma, right? Totally changed me.

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08-25-2011, 03:54 PM
  #42
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All the best wishes to his family but there's a 100% chance he continues to throw dirty hits. Players like that don't just magically change.
Is studying 20 hours of hitting considered magic now?


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08-25-2011, 04:26 PM
  #43
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Another name that should've been added to your first point. Within less than a season Gillies pretty much proved himself to be the biggest no-talent sack of $h!t in the league with the way he was deliberately going out there hurting guys. Yet I'd say the level of hate for Cooke is still much greater. The fact that Gillies plays for an Isles team that generally tends to fly under the radar likely helps his cause.

http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/starw...vs/CORRECT.WAV


All true but I left him out of that part mostly because we've hashed the Gillies thing to death. What he did and how bad he is, is self evident to anyone who watches the video, including non-hockey-fans who don't even have a frame of reference. His crap speaks for itself. Way back I educated a few Isles fans who seemed to believe they were similar calibre players. A few ugly scoring stats ended that argument in a hurry.

http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/starw...vs/CORRECT.WAV

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08-25-2011, 05:31 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
I get that, I do... but even so weren't ALL of these guys, coming up the ranks from the time they were 12 years old, told how and where to hit other players, and only later developed the "mean streak" in the professional game? Sort of like learning the right and wrong ways to tackle someone (or be tackled) in pop warner or high school football, and then only later developing the penchant for spearing guys or whatever?

It seems almost impossible to me that an NHL player would not have burned into his brain the fundamentals of "how to hit / check" in all situations... that a guy could even reach that level. Because if you hit guys and take runs at guys the wrong way at young ages you're just as likely to get seriously injured yourself. Eventually I'd think you would be done by the time you were 18.
Matt Cooke has had a job in the NHL because of his playing on (and sometimes over) the edge. He's played that way for 12 seasons. His reactions and reflexes are conditioned towards the "take their head off" school of thought, and have been for over a decade. That's going to be far more ingrained than something he learned back as a teenager. That he would need to re-learn how to hit according to the new rules and culture shouldn't be a surprise.

Think of it like teaching someone who's been driving for 12 years how to stay under the speed limit. Sure, that's what they ingrain in you when you're learning to drive, but who actually drives that way once they get their license? The refs are going to be on Matt Cooke on the ice like a state trooper is watching a Red Lambourghini on the highway. He steps even one iota out of the rules with his hits, and he's going to get nailed.

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08-25-2011, 09:22 PM
  #45
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Sorry, not usually my style to make posts like this...but he is now going to behave because he wants to be able to provide for his family etc....only now players that he has run and injured, like Savard, can not do the same due to his reckless attempt to injure style......

no room in the game for him.....too many examples of attempt to injure......not random loose hits....just clear examples....no respect....bye bye....

too bad the instigator still exists...he needs to be severely beaten....we saw how tough he was vs Mr Kane......

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09-01-2011, 10:28 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by #66 View Post
I understand the Cooke hate but I really don't get how he's so villified.
Marc Savard:

'05/'06 - 82gp/28g/92 pts
'06/'07 - 82gp/22g/96 pts
'07/'08 - 74gp/15g/78 pts
'08/'09 - 82gp/25g/88 pts
'09/'10 - 41gp/10g/33 pts
'10/'11 - 25gp/2g/10 pts

and based out of news in Boston yesterday it is confirmed

'11/'12 - 0gp/0g/0pts

and in all likelihood

'12/'13 - 0gp/0g/0pts
'13/'14 - 0gp/0g/0pts
etc.....

At least in Boston we know what happened in game 41 of that '09/'10 season -- and accordingly, we know the answer to your question above.

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09-01-2011, 10:34 AM
  #47
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It really sucks that Savard's career is over. Always loved watching the guy play, even if he is a little fake artist.

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09-01-2011, 10:41 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Number8 View Post
Marc Savard:

'05/'06 - 82gp/28g/92 pts
'06/'07 - 82gp/22g/96 pts
'07/'08 - 74gp/15g/78 pts
'08/'09 - 82gp/25g/88 pts
'09/'10 - 41gp/10g/33 pts
'10/'11 - 25gp/2g/10 pts

and based out of news in Boston yesterday it is confirmed

'11/'12 - 0gp/0g/0pts

and in all likelihood

'12/'13 - 0gp/0g/0pts
'13/'14 - 0gp/0g/0pts
etc.....

At least in Boston we know what happened in game 41 of that '09/'10 season -- and accordingly, we know the answer to your question above.
I understand that and I like Savard a lot but that hits the same as McSorely on Gilmour. Back then everyone said that Gilmour should keep his head up when crossing into center ice.

What do you think about Scott Stevens hits? (not getting smart but really want to know)

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09-01-2011, 10:46 AM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyplayer168 View Post
Is studying 20 hours of hitting considered magic now?
He's not gonna change. He's played like this throughout his career, before he met his wife, before any of these excuses were applicable.

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09-01-2011, 11:14 AM
  #50
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cooke deserves a lot of the heat he gets, but he's definitley singled out for some reason.

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