Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pittsburgh Penguins wing Matt Cooke says hit on Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier was unintentional

PITTSBURGH — Matt Cooke said it was an accident. The Penguins left wing said Vinny Lecavalier was not his target when, as a member of the Capitals last season, he threw the check that injured the Lightning star.

"I wasn't trying to touch Vinny at all," Cooke said Tuesday, the first time the players met since the April 3 incident.

"(Michel) Ouellet had the puck and I was trying to get an angle to get to Ouellet on the boards. Vinny tried to jump in behind me so he could get by. He hit me and when he hit the ice, I think, the damage actually happened."

The Lightning always has said Lecavalier's separated right shoulder that required arthroscopic surgery occurred on the hit.

Cooke, fined $2,500 by the league, said he tried to speak to Lecavalier after the game but then-GM Jay Feaster would not allow it. Cooke said he had not spoken to Lecavalier since, though the two had words with 3:37 left in the first period, when Lecavalier was called for roughing for going after Cooke, who did not fight.

"Put it this way," Cooke said. "If I was trying to hurt someone, I would have been a lot more aggressive. I didn't even see Vinny in the play."

"He's the only that knows," Lecavalier said. "He wasn't coming in to kill me, but he could have gotten out of the way."

HOME, SWEET HOME: Signs in the hallway to the Lightning locker room at Mellon Arena read, "Welcome home Ryan Malone, Pittsburgh's favorite son." Malone, a Lightning left wing, said he might get Pittsburgh's skyline tattooed on his right forearm.

"I'm not around as much so you kind of miss it," said the Pittsburgh native and former Penguins star who last summer signed with Tampa Bay. "It was a great honor to play here and a privilege, and I cherish the time I had here."

Especially playing in last season's Stanley Cup final.

"In a perfect world, you'd like to have another crack at it with the same group of guys as last year," Malone said. "But it's time to move on."

PRESSURE PACKED: What distinguishes Penguins star Evgeni Malkin?

"Under pressure he is one of the best guys in the league," Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. "That's what you need your best players for. When it's 2-2, he makes the right pass or right shot to win the game."

Asked about Sidney Crosby, Tocchet, it seemed, took aim at his own players, whom he has prodded to play in-close.

"The one thing I like about him is he gets his nose dirty," Tocchet said. "He goes in front of the net. Sometimes you get those really good players who play perimeter. He doesn't play perimeter.

"That's what I love about watching him and Malkin. They're not afraid to get hit, and when your star players aren't afraid to get hit, it makes it a lot easier to coach guys like that."

SURGERY FOR TYRELL: Prospect Dana Tyrell will undergo "major surgery" to fix the right knee injured in Team Canada's tune-up game for the junior world championship, general manager Brian Lawton said. The Toronto Star said ligaments were damaged. Recovery time is expected to be six months.

ODDS AND ENDS: C Jeff Hal­pern played his 600th NHL game. … F Ryan Craig was scratched. … RW Mark Recchi's second-period assist gave him 1,400 career points. … The Penguins hadn't been shut out at home since Jan. 18, when they lost to the Lightning.

Pittsburgh Penguins wing Matt Cooke says hit on Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier was unintentional 12/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 5:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  2. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills

    Sports

    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  3. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville

    Sports

    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
  4. Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday in New York. [AP Photo/Julie Jacobson]
  5. NFL gives Tampa Bay final approval to host Super Bowl LV

    Blogs

    TAMPA – Start celebrating. Finally, it’s official. The biggest Super Bowl LV party will be held on the streets of Tampa Bay.

    NFL owners granted final approval today for Tampa Bay to host Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium.