Sunday, July 6, 2008

Good Bye to Matt Cooke...Off to Pens' Land

As you've probably heard by now, Cap's forward Matt Cooke, is headed to play in Pittsburgh to replace in-your-face agitator Jarko Ruutu. Jeez, Matt, we hardly got to know ya...but we all know that the Caps only have so much room under the salary cap and unfortunately the team can't retain every player. I really enjoyed seeing Matt play last year and wish him the best (though that'll be weird seeing him with Sid and friends!). Matt will have to pull double duty as pesky tormentor, as the Penguins also lost their notorious enforcer Georges Laraque to the Montreal Canadiens (for you hockey newbies, an enforcer is the guy who's role is to drop the gloves and take on anyone who has overstepped their boundaries, taken liberties with key players or broken "the code" during the course of the game). As for Jarko Ruutu, I've heard it said that he may share the ice with a fellow Ottawa Senator also known for pushing the limits to the extreme, Chris Neil.

As for the Capitals, fan favorites Brooks Laich and Shaone Morrison have filed for arbitration, a process that is explained in detail here. Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr have not yet come to contract ageement with the team either. We are still in wait and see mode to see if Sergei Fedorov resigns as well. Hockey Mom is keeping her fingers crossed that all five are signed soon!

Hockey Mom will be taking a break from my blog the week of July 12 - July 19 and heading down to the beautiful beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast (very near where I grew up and went to college). There is no hockey nor anything that resembles ice in these parts which makes it even more amazing that I've acquired such an undying passion for the game. So I will be in total withdrawal and will have to miss the Capital's Fan Fest and Development Camp. But I'll be chilling on a beautiful beach with an adult beverage and enjoying what's left of summer. Fall will be here before you know it and I'm planning to be in the stands at Kettler for the first day of Cap's Training Camp!

1 comment:

Custom Pens said...

When Matt Cooke skated onto the Mellon Arena ice last Tuesday for the first day of practice, he admitted it was a little weird.

After spending most of the last eight years in the Western Conference with the Vancouver Canucks (and 17 games with the Washington Capitals last season), Cooke was unfamiliar with his new Pittsburgh teammates.

“The first day was kind of a ‘jump in the fire’ type scrimmage,” he said.

Still, it didn’t take long for the well-known agitator to find a niche and, more importantly, two linemates he was comfortable with.

Cooke spent all week skating on a line with Max Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko. The line figures to be one of the more interesting combinations for Pittsburgh this season, combining goal-scoring ability with checking and grit.

Cooke, 30, has averaged more than 10 goals a season with Vancouver and a high of 42 points in 2002-2003. Along the way he gained a reputation as a player who can hit and get under his opponents’ skin, although his penalty minute total of 91 last season indicates he doesn’t take bad penalties.

It’s a style comparable to that played by his new center, Talbot. Last season Talbot registered 12 goals and 26 points along with 53 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh.

“Max and I think the game the same way,” Cooke said after Friday’s practice.

In addition to Cooke, Talbot will have another newcomer on his other wing in Fedotenko. Like his linemates, Fedotenko won’t shy away from the physical game and he brings a nose for the net.