Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/17/13 at 06:57 AM ET
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“Rugby players beat the heck out of each other for 60 minutes. Punch each other in the face, kick each other with spike shoes, rip each other’s ears off,” Cooke said. “The only rule, when the whistle blows, the game’s over, and you go have a beer together.
“It’s about the game. I was always taught, ‘Don’t let him get you; get him before he gets you.’ It’s you vs. him, like survival of the fittest. But somewhere along the line, our game has changed, and I had to change with it.”
Cooke knows because of his previous indiscretions, it’s impossible to change everybody’s opinion. He’ll have to continue to keep it clean; every shift all eyes are on him. He learned that last season when he was accused of intentionally slicing Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson’s Achilles’ tendon with his skate.
“That’s asinine to think anyone can time that and be that precise with your skate and be that malicious, too,” Orpik said. “That’s not who he is.”
Shero said, “Matt Cooke has changed, and it didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of hard work. You won’t get a lot of sympathizers for Matt Cooke, but if you know the person, what he does to give back to the community and see what he’s been through personally and professionally, this is a great story. It’s amazing where he’s come in two years.”
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