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Mike Milbury calls for vigilante justice against Matt Cooke

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By Allan Muir

Now that Alex Ovechkin is back in his good graces, NBC Sports analyst Mike Milbury has a new target: Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke.

Milbury struggled to find the right words to describe his disdain for the edgy forward ahead of tonight’s game between the Pens and Sens. He did not have any trouble describing what he’d like to see, though.

“Should I try putrid? Cowardly? Because this guy’s a skunk, he’s a freakin’ skunk!” Milbury stammered. “I think somebody ought to set him straight and I hope it’s Ottawa tonight but if it doesn’t, I don’t care who it is.”

“They might have to do something, just like the rest of the league,” he continued.

Milbury acknowledged that Cooke had reformed his act somewhat after his vicious hit ended the career of Boston’s Marc Savard, but his game seems to be trending back towards the grey area after his hit on Erik Karlsson left the Ottawa defender with a sliced Achilles’ tendon. Case in point: his questionable hit on Boston’s Adam McQuaid on Saturday afternoon.

“That’s either a charley horse if you’re lucky or a knee [injury] if you’re not,” Milbury said of that collision. “It’s gutless and it should be out of the game.”

It’s been a banner week for Cooke haters. Boston announcer Jack Edwards was forced to apologize after comparing Cooke to Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan during Saturday’s broadcast.


  • Published On Apr 22, 2013
  • Milbury to Ovechkin: “Act like a man, for God’s sake!”

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    Alex Ovechkin has 15 points in 18 games this season. (Cal Sport Media).

    Alex Ovechkin has 15 points in 18 games this season. (Cal Sport Media).

    By Allan Muir

    If Mike Milbury ever admired Alex Ovechkin, it’s a safe bet that he’s long since allowed his fan club membership to lapse.

    The bombastic NBC Sports Network analyst brought his lunchpail to the rink every day as a player, so he’s never had much patience for athletes who appear to get something less than the maximum out of their prodigious natural talents.

    Ovechkin has made himself a frequent, and easy, target of Milbury’s wrath over the past couple of seasons. But after a very rough start to 2013, he’s gotten his game back on the right track over the past few games. Not yet up to his previous standard, but you could see the effort, the beginning of a turnaround.

    HACKEL: What’s wrong with Alex Ovechkin?

    That should have been enough to keep him out of Milbury’s crosshairs during tonight’s broadcast of the Caps/Flyers tilt. But Ovechkin basically loaded both barrels for Mad Mike with a stupefyingly soft performance through two periods.

    GALLERY: Best and Worst of Mad Mike Milbury

    And in between the second and third, Milbury set upon Ovie with great vengeance and furious anger.

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 27, 2013
  • Hockey Weekend celebrates the game in the United States

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    Joe Louis Arena in Hockeytown is just one of the sites across the U.S. that will host games and events. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    It’s “Hockey Weekend across America,” a celebration of the game that also includes the NHL and NBC’s “Hockey Day in America” on Sunday. This nationwide initiative, which USA Hockey inaugurated five years ago, actually began today with “Wear Your Jersey Day” — and if you didn’t pull one on to go to work or school, consider wearing one tonight. I’m sitting at the computer wearing a circa 1962-63 Baltimore Clippers sweater with one of my favorite logos — and, yes, it’s really a sweater although, alas, a replica. I used to listen to the Clippers’ AHL games long distance over WBAL in the early ’60s. It’s a good, warm sweater and in pretty good shape, even though the sleeves are big to fit elbow pads under them. Makes it a bit difficult to type.

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  • Published On Feb 17, 2012
  • NHL will get no assist from NBA lockout

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    Like the NBA, the NHL has Kings, but basketball fans usually would rather watch anything but hockey. (Jayne Kamin Oncea-US PRESSWIRE)

    By Stu Hackel

    This would have been the first weekend of the NBA’s regular season which, as everyone knows, is in limbo and threatened by the owners’ lockout. Inevitably, the question arises, what does it mean for the NHL? Does the absence of pro basketball realistically present an opportunity for the NHL to capitalize on the situation?
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  • Published On Nov 04, 2011
  • Savard’s status, van Riemsdyk’s deal, Capital critics, Beliveau’s B-day, and more

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    After 13 seasons, 207 goals and 706 points, it appears quite likely that the Bruins’ concussion-stricken center Marc Savard has played the 807th and final game of his NHL career. (Brian Jenkins/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    The news out of Boston about Marc Savard is not good. “Marc Savard won’t play this year,” GM Peter Chiarelli told Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe today. “Nothing has changed in our monitoring. He’ll be examined and he’ll be declared unfit to play….”

    “Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I’m told, it’s very unlikely Marc will play again,” Chiarelli added. “Now, knowing the uncertainty of this injury, there’s always a chance [he could play]. But based on what I’m told, it’s very unlikely he’ll play. As an employer, I support him and hope he gets back to living a healthy life.”

    This is not entirely unexpected news, but it’s not good news in any event. The NHL has taken serious and good steps to reduce the chances of concussion but, sadly, they may have come too late for Marc Savard. He’s not the only one whose career has been cut short in this manner, but everything should be done to make sure that deliberate hits to the head are no longer allowed in the NHL’s rules. Right now, that’s not entirely the case.
    Read More…


  • Published On Aug 31, 2011
  • NBC, Versus have inside track on NHL deal

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    By Stu Hackel

    If Monday night’s Versus telecast of the Rangers-Red Wings game looked and sounded a lot like an NHL on NBC telecast — with Pierre McGuire “inside the glass” at rinkside along with Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk in the booth — that’s no coincidence.

    When the $30 billion joint venture transaction between Comcast and General Electric was finalized on Jan. 28, Versus programming came under control of the newly reorganized NBC Sports Group. Its head, Dick Ebersol, has made massive changes at Versus. Not only is this likely to improve the quality of its NHL telecasts, it demonstrates to the NHL how good its national cable package will be if the league renews its NBC and Versus deals.

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  • Published On Feb 08, 2011


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