With the signing of Matt Cooke, I researched him as much as I could in the short time I had upon hearing that he would be signed. Since his signing I have noticed a few things about him as a player that I would like to add:
First off, he appears to have more offensive ability than I initially thought. A guy who has scored at least 10 goals in six of his nine seasons is one who can improve with the Penguins
It appeared to me that he would be a fourth liner with the talent the Penguins have offensively. However I think it could be possible to see him on a third line, which would give him more ice time to play his role.
Secondly, Cooke has had a knack for scoring goals in the clutch. Twice in his playoff career Cooke has scored with seconds remaining to send the game in to overtime.
Below is the lesser known goal, which came in a game one against Minnesota…
His best-known goal came at home against Calgary in a game seven. The Canucks were down 2-1 with time running out. A penalty was called against Vancouver. With the goalie pulled and a man in the box, Marcus Naslund took advantage of Jerome Iginla tripping over his own stick and drove to the net. The following video shows the entire set up leading to the goal. It will give you chills…
Both came from crashing the net. This type of play was a trademark of Ryan Malone last season for Pittsburgh, and Cooke may have the chance to do more of that considering the highly talented forwards he will be playing with. (I will be doing an overview of my opinions on possible lines in the coming days)
Ray Shero said this about the signing (Penguins.com):
“Matt is a versatile forward that will bring grit, energy and experience to our line-up,” Shero said. “He is the type of player that adds depth upfront and is capable of providing offense for our hockey club.”
Lastly I wanted to add extra notes to his profile.
Cooke won gold at the 2004 World Championships and scored four points (2 G, 2 A) in nine games. He also played in the 1998 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for Canada, which lost in the first round of tournament play.
Finally, in 2003 Cooke received the Fred J. Hume Award as the Vancouver Canucks’ “unsung hero.”
He is a personality guy, and his attitude should catch on quick with the Penguins and the fans.