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Posted at 08:25 AM ET, 03/21/2011

Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke headed for suspension again?

After delivering a flying elbow to the face of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on Sunday, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke appears destined for another suspension — what would be his fourth in three seasons for illegal hits — and has a 1 p.m. disciplinary meeting with NHL officials.

“I don’t think you can talk about eliminating head shots from the game, as we have as an organization, and not expect [Cooke's hit] to be examined,” Pittsburgh Coach Dan Bylsma said of the hit for which Cooke was given a five-minute major and was ejected. “It’s what looks to be a contact right to the head on the play, so the league will look at that and treat it as such.”

The only question is: How long should Cooke sit this time? (Caps fans are going to reply: Forever.)

“The eyes of the hockey world will be on the NHL's hockey operations department to see how it handles the latest Cooke catastrophe. Anything shy of a major suspension (minimum 10 games) will not be met with support,” says Mike Brophy..

Earlier this month, Cooke said that the NHL’s focus on illegal hits and hits to the head had changed him. “Oh, it's affected my game,” he said, via the Winnipeg Free Press. “I mean, there's new rules in place that change the way you approach the game."

Tell McDonagh, who said of Cooke’s hit: “I didn’t see him coming. I had no idea. I know it hurt, that’s for sure.”

After Cooke clipped Alex Ovechkin in early February, Bruce Boudreau, the Caps’ coach, said, via Capitals Insider: "It's Matt Cooke. Need we say more? It's not his first rodeo. He's done it to everybodyand then he goes to the ref and says: 'What did I do?' He knows damn well what he did."

The Cooke Youtube ouevre includes:

Matt Cooke Cheapshot on Marc Savard

Matt Cooke Knees Alex Ovechkin

Matt Cooke’s Dirty Hit On Fedor Tyutin

TwitterWorld’s verdict

@TGibson810: No suspension for him, but give the Pens a 5 minute major penalty to start the next 5 games. Teams should be culpable too

@AEEckert: I'll say it again. Time for Mario to step up and suspend then release the guy. If he doesn't, then he's all talk

@b1joe: Has ol' whining Super Mario issued a statement? Or is he busy selling the team since he doesn't condone this stuff?

@HogsHaven: Cookie should be suspended for the season. I was watching that game live. Inexcusable.

@jimmiebjr: 6 games, min.

By  |  08:25 AM ET, 03/21/2011

 
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