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03-30-2013, 03:32 PM
  #1
Jacques G
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Musings on Matthew David Cooke

Lately I have been seeing people on these boards posting claims that I simply cannot find any evidence of.

One thing I have seen is the idea that Cooke has been having a bad season and is just now coming back around. I don't get this. The guy has been on-pace to match last year in point production, and this year without the help of Crosby. People have been raving about how good Sutter has been, yet somehow ignoring the fact that many of those plays that Sutter has been involved in have also involved Cooke. As of right now, Cooke actually has more points than Sutter.

Then I have seen the argument that it's not about his points. Well then, what is it? Is it the fact that he has been on the horrible PK, which is just now getting back to where they should be? This would be the only valid argument I could see, but singling out Cooke would just be silly. That PK suffered as a result of everyone involved, not just one guy.

Is he slow? Because I don't think he is. At all. In fact, throughout this season I have noticed two guys consistently hustling their ***** off on the ice, game after game: Dupuis, and Cooke.

Is it his physical play? I have trouble with this argument as well. He is 4th on the team in hits with 72. This is actually a slightly higher pace than last season when he ended with 160.

The only conclusion I can come to is that people are watching a different game than I am. I see people expecting him to be off the roster next year, but I have a hard time believing that. I honestly think the only way he will be on another team is if he leaves for more money. As a third liner, he is the cream of the crop. He and Sutter have great chemistry, and I can only see that being augmented with the addition of either Morrow or Dupuis [to the third line].

So what do you think it will take for Cooke to stay? When he was signed in 08-09, he had a 2-way deal worth $1.2 million per year for two years. They saw what he brought, and were comfortable paying him $5.4 million over 3 years ($1.8 mil cap hit per year).

I would argue that he is currently playing the best hockey of his career, and that he fits in the Pens system perfectly. What do you think they will offer him? What would you be comfortable with? Personally, I would love to see a 2 year deal at $2 million per year. But I also think he could command [slightly] more money elsewhere.

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03-30-2013, 04:23 PM
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ColePens
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I'll give you credit that you've been riding him this season, but I can guarantee you he hasn't played at the level he did today for a long time.

Today - he was freaking awesome.

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03-30-2013, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
I'll give you credit that you've been riding him this season, but I can guarantee you he hasn't played at the level he did today for a long time.

Today - he was freaking awesome.
If he played like this all the time, he'd be a perennial all-star!
I said it in the other thread, but again, he makes less than TK... yeah... Hope he signs at 2 mil per for a couple more years.

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03-30-2013, 05:06 PM
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Yes today was Cookie at his absolute monster best. But I too have seen pretty much the same old guy this year, minus the monster hits and agitation of a couple years ago at least. MC has been really good this season, and I would like to keep him.

For next year however, there is little chance we can sign all three of Dupuis, Iginla, and Cookie. On that list, 24 has to come last. I just don't think we can afford a 2m/yr Cooke with the other guys ahead of him....

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03-30-2013, 05:06 PM
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IcedCapp
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I feel like, prior to today and maybe recently? Cooke has been better at offensive things than Cooke-like things. I don't feel like he's been great on the PK or on the boards or throwing the body around or even in the defensive zone, where he's had more than one blind pass turnover to the center of the ice.

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03-30-2013, 05:27 PM
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Jacques G
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Originally Posted by IcedCapp View Post
I feel like, prior to today and maybe recently? Cooke has been better at offensive things than Cooke-like things. I don't feel like he's been great on the PK or on the boards or throwing the body around or even in the defensive zone, where he's had more than one blind pass turnover to the center of the ice.
Well until very recently, the entire PK sucked. It wasn't just Cooke. They were one of the worst in the league. That takes a team effort.

And throwing the body around, again, he is 4th on the team in hits. And they are clean hits.

As far as puck responsibility,he has actually been one of the better players on the team as far as giveaways are concerned, with only 9 so far this season. Now that is one of those subjective stats so it can be a bit misleading, but to put it into perspective, the team leaders are Letang with 32, Crosby with 28, then Malkin with 17. Comparing that to time-on-ice, Cooke averages 1 turnover for every ~60 minutes of TOI, while Letang and Crosby average 1 per every ~22 minutes of TOI.

As far as turnovers, Cooke has been far more responsible with the puck than a lot of guys on the roster. I think that may also have something to do with the cross-ice passing. I can't actually recall being pissed at Cooke for trying to pass cross-ice and having it picked off (mainly because I don't recall him attempting them all that much). That was more a problem with the top-6 I think. I haven't noticed them all that much lately though, which is a good thing.

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03-30-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacques G View Post
Well until very recently, the entire PK sucked. It wasn't just Cooke. They were one of the worst in the league. That takes a team effort.

And throwing the body around, again, he is 4th on the team in hits. And they are clean hits.

As far as puck responsibility,he has actually been one of the better players on the team as far as giveaways are concerned, with only 9 so far this season. Now that is one of those subjective stats so it can be a bit misleading, but to put it into perspective, the team leaders are Letang with 32, Crosby with 28, then Malkin with 17. Comparing that to time-on-ice, Cooke averages 1 turnover for every ~60 minutes of TOI, while Letang and Crosby average 1 per every ~22 minutes of TOI.

As far as turnovers, Cooke has been far more responsible with the puck than a lot of guys on the roster. I think that may also have something to do with the cross-ice passing. I can't actually recall being pissed at Cooke for trying to pass cross-ice and having it picked off (mainly because I don't recall him attempting them all that much). That was more a problem with the top-6 I think. I haven't noticed them all that much lately though, which is a good thing.
MATT, GO ENJOY YOUR WIN!!! You played great!!




(this is my way of deflecting, because I have nothing)

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03-30-2013, 05:33 PM
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Jacques G
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Originally Posted by IcedCapp View Post
MATT, GO ENJOY YOUR WIN!!! You played great!!




(this is my way of deflecting, because I have nothing)
But yeah, today he played beyond what can be realistically expected of the guy. He was 100% in the zone, and it was great to watch. I can't help but think that while the new guys were watching from the bench they were thinking, "Yeah, this is the team."

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03-30-2013, 05:38 PM
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But yeah, today he played beyond what can be realistically expected of the guy. He was 100% in the zone, and it was great to watch. I can't help but think that while the new guys were watching from the bench they were thinking, "Yeah, this is the team."
"This guy's on the third line?"
But yeah, conversely, I'll bet some of the players here are playing more inspired because they feel the heat of new names coming in threatening their ice time. Competition is always good.

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03-30-2013, 05:53 PM
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If Matt Cooke plays like he did today, especially that aggressive/agitator side of him throughout the third period, he's going to be a tremendous asset for the Pens in the playoffs.

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03-30-2013, 05:55 PM
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Darth Vitale
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There is enough of Tyler Kennedy's $2M salary to go around this summer. Some for Dupuis, some for Cooke, some for one of our new FA who might be offered a nice 1 year deal here. Tyler Kennedy's salary can be divided many ways to augment existing salaries for the purposes of re-signing more useful players.

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03-30-2013, 06:01 PM
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I can see both sides of the argument. I think he's had some issues with consistency this season, in terms of playing his game and doing so with speed. Some nights he looks like he ought to be on the 4th line, but tonight's effort is what you're always hoping for out of Cookie.

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03-30-2013, 09:44 PM
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Lots of good points here about Cookie. Actually had no idea he has more points than B Sutter. It's easy to cast a shadow on a guy like Cooke, probably because of his perception around the league.

While I agree he's a big part of this team and plays the Bylsma system exceptionally...as others have said, he will wait in line this summer for his contract extension. Pascal Dupuis calls for perhaps the biggest pay increase, whereas Jarome Iginla has obviously become an instant priority to re-sign. Sorry Cookie.

Depending on what Duper and Jarome take though I could easily see him staying here. Honestly I could see all 3 of these guys taking reasonable paycuts to keep this roster together. Pascal the Dupes ****ing loves it in Pittsburgh.

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03-30-2013, 09:54 PM
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Honour Over Glory
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I haven't had any complaints about his play at all even before this game for this whole season, people whined way too much about him like they do about Glass. Disappointing is the need to whine about a player every season, when he doesn't meet YOUR personal goals for the guy or expectations yet the player has met some or most of them for the guy that hired him.

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03-30-2013, 09:54 PM
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He'll be back. He's been through a lot here, many players around the league don't like him, if he's offered something halfway decent, he's back.

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03-30-2013, 10:04 PM
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Honour Over Glory
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At his current cap hit, he'd still be a solid guy to keep around. Dupuis is definitely deserving of a raise and I don't think you can sign TK to less than 2m can you? I keep forgetting the exact rules for the RFA status stuff.

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03-30-2013, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honour Over Glory View Post
At his current cap hit, he'd still be a solid guy to keep around. Dupuis is definitely deserving of a raise and I don't think you can sign TK to less than 2m can you? I keep forgetting the exact rules for the RFA status stuff.
Unless TK tears it up in the playoffs, his rights could be traded. He's not worth $2M to this team, not close. Glass could also be traded to free up additional space.

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03-30-2013, 10:13 PM
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Jules Winnfield
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Cooke was such a damn beast today. No doubt it inspired the team. After the end of the 2nd period, many players came out to center ice to acknowledge Cooke and the work he just did on that PK.

Also, Morrow - Sutter - Cooke was a hell of a line. They were blowing people up all the time. All 3 of them were in sync with cycling and Morrow was crashing the net hard causing problems.

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03-31-2013, 04:38 AM
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Honour Over Glory
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Unless TK tears it up in the playoffs, his rights could be traded. He's not worth $2M to this team, not close. Glass could also be traded to free up additional space.
So then do you retain Dustin Jeffrey to be a 4th liner? Shero might as well trade him too at the draft.

Going into next season then:

Kunitz, Crosby, *Iginla*
Bennett, Malkin, Neal
*Cooke*, Sutter, *Dupuis*
UFA, Vitale, UFA

*UFA's

Chances are, Adams is probably brought back for a dirt cheap price, I don't think Glass is as bad as everyone whines about.

Tell me then, out of this list, who do you think the Pens should go after? Because losing Glass is losing a lot of physicality on the 4th line. The only time it will ever through anyone's head is when he's out of the line-up and you notice it finally.


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03-31-2013, 04:46 AM
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"It's been similar, (penalty killing) and just trying to bring a physical game. My game doesn't change," said Glass, who played in Slovakia during the lockout.

Glass had expressed interest in re-signing with the Jets, but the Penguins made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

"We wanted to get Tanner Glass as soon as we could on July 1. It was the first call that I made, and I made it for a number of reasons," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "He's a guy that can play up and down your lineup. He can play a defensive role situation, he's got a lot of sandpaper and grit in his game, penalty killing aspect to his game, as well... and his speed and skating is very good. He's a big addition to what we've tried to do and is going to play a big role."

In just his second game with his new team, Glass dropped the gloves with Arron Asham.

"That was the best fight I've seen in a long time, it was definitely energizing for our team," said Penguins forward Craig Adams. "Obviously, he skates really well, so he can get in there and finish his checks. He's a guy that's going to play hard, kill penalties and fight when he has to. You can never have too many guys like that."
http://www.winnipegsun.com/2013/01/2...couldnt-refuse


Do people need to complain about at least 1 player every season?


Last edited by Honour Over Glory: 03-31-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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03-31-2013, 05:43 AM
  #21
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I'm a big fan of Cooke's game. He's got enough skill and speed to contribute offensively and aggressively forecheck, enough grit to win battles on the boards and deliver (clean) hits and a better than average hockey IQ. Unlike his days as 'the dirty agitator' when he sometimes took a foolish penalty, his awareness of game situations seems to have gotten much better. He's a guy that really can play up and down the lineup. I'd love to have him re-signed.

Glass on the other hand has contributed nothing (zero points!) offensively. I'm not sure why Bylsma believes his skating and speed are so good. When I watch him he always seems a step behind the game. Yes, he tries to be physical but I don't see him winning many battles for pucks along the boards because he seems to arrive a moment too late. Whether that is poor positioning or speed is a moot point. Its bad either way. Perhaps the most irritating thing to me about his game is that when he touches the puck it seems to either end up on an opposition players stick or in the stands. I'll admit that yesterday's game with the Isles was his best. He did seem to have some legs and actually made a few nice passes and was involved in some offensive plays but it was also Cooke's best game and the difference between their contributions was huge.

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03-31-2013, 07:51 AM
  #22
Jacques G
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Also, for the fans of Cooke as an agitator, he is definitely coming back into that role. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the Penguins In the Room episode called March-ing On. Here's a link. At 14:10 is just hillarious.

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03-31-2013, 08:28 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Honour Over Glory View Post
So then do you retain Dustin Jeffrey to be a 4th liner? Shero might as well trade him too at the draft.

Going into next season then:

Kunitz, Crosby, *Iginla*
Bennett, Malkin, Neal
*Cooke*, Sutter, *Dupuis*
UFA, Vitale, UFA

*UFA's

Chances are, Adams is probably brought back for a dirt cheap price, I don't think Glass is as bad as everyone whines about.

Tell me then, out of this list, who do you think the Pens should go after? Because losing Glass is losing a lot of physicality on the 4th line. The only time it will ever through anyone's head is when he's out of the line-up and you notice it finally.

CalBuck.

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