Matt Cooke, the Pittsburgh Penguins' forceful forward, has been suspended for four games for hitting Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin into the boards from behind in the Penguins-Blue Jackets game on Tuesday, the NHL announced Wednesday.
Cooke was issued a five-minute major penalty for charging for his hit on Tyutin, sending Tyutin face-first into the glass, along with a five-minute major for fighting after Tyutin’s teammate Derick Brassard came to the aid of his downed defenseman.
Cooke argues that Tyutin anticipated the hit and turned on purpose.
"It used to be you were responsible for yourself if you turned, but that's not the way anymore," Cooke said. "That call's been called on us four or five times this year. It's the same thing.
"He turns and looks and sees me coming. The other defenseman is slowing me down, so I'm not skating full speed at him."
Tyutin, though, wasn't having it:
"It was the worst hit I've ever had from behind," Tyutin said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. "I wasn't surprised, not when you see [Cooke] in the highlights all the time for dirty hits."
There seems to be genuine dislike from the NHL ever since Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard last season. One has to wonder if teams won’t begin to look for revenge soon, deserved or not.