PENS PICS II
Here are some more pictures from the team's practice - courtesy of professional photographer Gregory Shamus.
Tony Granato gives orders at practice
Cooke and Bennett race up ice
Tomas Vokoun after a day's good work
Big smile from Vitale
Vitale carries the puck
Gatorade break for Fleury (left) and Adams (right)
--Sam Kasan & Gregory Shamus
The Bruins held an optional practice that was very well attended. Twenty-four skaters participated, including their big names like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Seguin and Zdeno Chara (Tuukka Rask did not, however). Defenseman Adam McQuaid, who took the hit from Matt Cooke yesterday and returned to the game shortly after absorbing the check, was also there.
Quite the turnout
Chara and Torey Krug
Shawn Thornton fires a shot at his goaltender
Milan Lucic is focused
--Michelle Crechiolo and Wes Crosby
FREE MATT COOKE
Penguins winger Matt Cooke was ejected from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final after hitting Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind in the second period.
Cooke was assessed a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct. The NHL will not take any further disciplinary action, much to the pleasure of Cooke.
“It was a great relief because I want to be on the ice helping my team, not sitting in this dressing room worrying about winning or losing,” said Cooke, who missed the team’s 2011 first-round playoff series against Tampa Bay due to suspension. “I’ve been in that situation before and it’s no fun. I’m just thankful I can go out tomorrow night and help my team.”
On the play, Cooke hit McQuaid into the end boards in the Bruins zone as he went to play the puck. McQuaid stayed down on the ice for some time following the hit. He was able to leave on his own power and returned to the game a few minutes later.
“I look up and see his right shoulder. He looks me right in the eyes,” Cooke explained. “I think at the last minute he goes to make a reverse with the puck, but I’ve committed to hit him. I don’t drive him through the boards. I make contact.”
However, Cooke did not agree with the referees’ assessment of the penalty.
“I think it’s a penalty, but not an ejection or suspension. That’s just my opinion,” he said. “The referees are trying to do their best job to call the game. Initially it looked like he was hurt, but he played a shift after. I think that affected their decision as well.”
SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE ROOM
THEY SAID IT...
--Sam Kasan & Michelle Crechiolo
Despite being optional, Vokoun took the ice to stay sharp
Fleury trips up Glass
Goalie coach and goalie
--Sam Kasan & Wes Crosby
Twelve Pens took part in the optional skate: Adams, Bennett, Cooke, Glass, Jeffrey, Vitale, Bortuzzo, Despres, Engelland, Fleury, Vokoun and Hartzell.
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final the Boston Bruins won 3-0 over the Pens on the strength of Tuukka Rask's 29-save shutout and David Krejci's two goals. Here's my recap of the contest here.
Today both teams are practicing at CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens are scheduled for an optional skate at 12:30 p.m. The Bruins haven't finalized their skate time, but will be in the building at 2 p.m. Stay tuned right here for the latest from the series.
Before moving on, here is one final look back the highlights from Game 1.