Morning Skate 429: Cooke still doesn't get it

Morning Skate 429: Cooke still doesn't get it

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comMatt Cooke continues to prove that he simply doesnt get it. The Pittsburgh hatchet man could have blamed himself for the Penguins losing a seven game first round series to the Tampa Bay Lightning when he missed the entire postseason after one too many cheap shots leveled this season. The last was a flying elbow toward the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough that only WWF wrestler Tito Santana would have been proud of.But the Pittsburgh cheap shot artist proved he could move much beyond contrite or smartened up when he offered up this bon mot on the Pens breakup day Friday afternoon.Speaking about how hell approach the game moving forward with the NHL furtively watching him and perhaps the concussions hes caused weighing heavily on his mind, Cooke instead flippantly went with: "I'm not gonna put on a tutu and dance around out there"That quote was provided via twitter by Pittsburgh sports radio personality Chris Mack and the context of it isnt fully known but it does display an edgy player that still doesnt quite know where the line is on his own. Cooke only chooses to pull the tutu and dance routine when a legitimate tough guy comes looking for him to answer for his underhanded actions, but thats a different story for another day.Actions speak louder than words, obviously, and Cooke will show next season on the ice if hes truly learned something about respecting the safety of his fellow players and their brains. But his glib comments on a day his hockey season ended show that hes now exactly off to an enlightened start.On the bright: Cooke has now much more time to devote toward buying matching suits with his son and developing the next pro wrestling move he tries to pull on somebody next season.Its now golfing season for Cooke and the rest of the Penguins players.On to the links:Kirk Luedeke puts out a blog post on a hockey prospect named Mika that the Bruins might be interested in selecting. No confirmation of whether he lives on the second floor.Max Pacioretty talks about the phone call he shared with Zdeno Chara a few weeks back, and the efforts the Bs Captain went to making things right with the fallen Canadiens forward.A few thoughts from the second round NHL playoff series from SI.coms Stu Hackel.Montreal Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs gets out the keyboard and gives Bruins Nation one last thrashing before going out into that good night. He eviscerates the Heralds Stephen Harris, Jack Edwards, Andrew Ference and everything short of Blades the Bear for being sore winners.Sidney Crosby suffered a setback in his comeback from a concussion, and the worst storyline from the NHL season continues.Yahoo! Sports columnist Justin Bourne raps about good goalies getting into the kitchen of snipers during the playoffs, and then cooking bacon and eggs. Daniel Carcillo promises to agitate in the upcoming BruinsFlyers series, but also promises to toe the line against a Bs team they hold a healthy hate for.The NHL playoffs are the new March Madness with overtime wins and the hockey version of buzzer beaters, according to the Denver Post.

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

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Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins. 

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.