NESN.com Bruins reporter James Murphy joined Vinnie Richichi and Ron Cook on their daily radio show on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to discuss Matt Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard. Among the topics covered was what Murph expects to happen when the Penguins come to Boston on March 18.
“You obviously think the Bruins are going to want payback if Cooke’s in the lineup,” Murph said. “You would think that the NHL, even if they don’t think it warrants a five-game or six-game suspension, maybe they do it just to keep him out of the lineup and prevent mayhem on the ice there — a brawl or … another [Todd] Bertuzzi on [Steve] Moore incident.
“I know the Bruins. I’ve talked to players. They’re not happy at all, and I think some of them are regretting not paying revenge on the ice there when Cooke came on for his next shift. But they’re in the middle of a playoff race and they need the points. They can’t take the penalties there. So, it’ll be interesting. If he’s in the lineup, and let’s say the Bruins are out of the race or things aren’t looking good, that they’re not going to make the playoffs, he’s in a lot of trouble. If not, I don’t know. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens there. I know they want payback.”
Murph also talked about the problem of teams getting revenge by going after a star player who didn’t commit the dirty hit. He suggested that one way to solve this would be to get rid of the rule that demands an extra penalty for instigating a fight. That would allow a player to drop the gloves with the offender, in this case Cooke, right then and there without costing his team.
“My justice would be served with, instead of Michael Ryder having to just give him a little shove there after it happened, he’s able to drop the gloves there without getting a penalty. That takes care of business there. And I think once we got the instigator rule into this game, you’ve seen a lot more of these blind-side hits or hits from behind by players who do it a lot because they know they’re not going to have to pay the consequences.”
You can listen to the full five-minute interview here.