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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier reacts to hit by Matt Cooke on Marc Savard

8

March

Safe to say Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier and Penguins trouble-maker Matt Cooke are not best of friends. It was Cooke who ended Lecavalier's 2007-08 season with a check that dislocated Lecavalier's shoulder that needed surgery. Cooke then turtled the next season when Lecavalier tried to fight him.

In fairness to Cooke, he said the check on Lecavalier, who did not have the puck at the time, was really aimed at Michel Ouellet and that Lecavalier, skating next to Ouellet got in the way. But Cooke's reputation as a dirty player who rarely fights precedes him, so when Cooke laid our Boston's Marc Savard with a blind-side shoulder hit to the head, certainly people weren't surprised, including Lecavalier.

"It makes me sick," Lecavalier said of the hit. "That's the type of player he is. He runs around and he hits guys when they are in a vulnerable position. I hope the league does something about it. If they don't, it's going to be a big mistake, especially protecting a guy like him who has previous times hit guys dirty. I think they should suspend him more than one game."

I wasn't able to make it to practice today as I had to catch a flight to Montreal for the start of this week's road trip. But Marty St. Louis, who has been on fire, sat out practice for what the team said was "body maintenance." The left wing bashed his head on the end boards at the end of Saturday's game with the thrashers when he was run over by Atlanta's Clarke MacArthur.

St. Louis rode the bike today, apparently, without problems.

Said center Steven Stamkos, the NHL's second star for the week ending Sunday: "From what I know, and being around Marty, he'll be in the lineup. He's a leader for us. He just took the day to relax. He'll be ready to go."

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 12:15am]

    

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