The Carolina Hurricanes believe Matt Cooke’s knee-to-knee hit on Eric Cole in the third period of Game 1 should be reviewed by the league. All indications are the the league has no interest in dishing out a fine or suspension to Cooke.
If the NHL were to suspend or fine Matt Cooke, it would look like they were giving star treatment to Alexander Ovechkin for his knee-to-knee hit on Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar.
Sergei Gonchar played just under 22 minutes in game 1 and his upper right leg contusion is improving everyday. Pittsburgh held an optional practice Tuesday morning and will go through a full squad practice Wednesday morning.
There’s some speculation that a few teams could target defenseman Ben Lovejoy (RFA) with an offer sheet this summer.
Lovejoy, 25, (7g-24a-31pts, +42) is a late bloomer and the Penguins received a lot of calls about Lovejoy prior
to the NHL trade deadline. Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher is among a group of members in the Penguins front office that regards Lovejoy as one of the Penguins top five prospects.
Defensemen Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Kris Letang, and Sergei Gonchar are under contract for next season.
The Penguins and Sergei Gonchar are expected to have a deal in place on an extension by July 1st when such a deal can be announced.
Malkin, Crosby in battle for playoff points lead
Sidney Crosby (22pts) has been the most dominant player in the playoffs, but his teammate Evgeni Malkin (21 pts) is within striking distance of passing him for the points lead in the playoffs.
Evgeni Malkin has been criticized at times for his play during the playoffs, he is proving his critics wrong who claim he’s had a subpar playoffs. Malkin, just like Lemieux finds ways to get on the score sheet even when he is not playing at the top of his game.
While both players are focused on winning their first Stanley Cup Championship, they have a friendly battle going on like they always do.
No word on the status of Eric Cole and Tuomo Ruutu
Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice indicated there is no new update on the status of Eric Cole and Tuomo Ruutu. Losing either of them for one game will be detrimental to the Canes.
Stat of the Day
Miroslav Satan has five points in his last six games. Petr Sykora (who Satan has replaced in the lineup) has 7 points in his last 31 games.