I guess this is what qualifies at journalism in Ottawa
Matt Cooke was quite focused at Scotiabank Place on Monday morning.
He was focused on that night's game against the Senators. He was focused on helping the Penguins track down the Blackhawks in the overall standings. He was focused on his job as a penalty killer and pest.
Then, after practice, he was focused on the humongous media scrum around his stall in the dressing room.
And he was focused on my package.
Cooke must have read the Ottawa Sun on his way to the rink because something in it clearly had him rattled. And I'm still not sure which part.
After listening to Cooke answer questions about the Feb. 13 incident in which his skate sliced 70% of the way through Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon, I went to speak with other players in the room about different matters. Like every other reporter there. On the way out, I found Cooke waiting to have a word in private with me.
He wanted to tell me I have no balls. At first I think he said "small balls." But by the time he had finished, and knew Penguins GM Ray Shero was listening, he had decided I had none. Oh, and I believe he also mumbled something about me having no penis before disappearing into the players-only room, which I found interesting.
I will not take this opportunity to, ahem, brag about my manhood.
Cooke accused me of hiding behind the cameras, which is funny. In scrums that large, none of us scribes can get past the guys shooting video. Besides, what exactly would I be hiding from?
Cooke wanted to know why I didn't ask any questions. It's because I only had one, and somebody beat me to the punch. When Cooke held to his story that the Karlsson injury was a "complete freak accident," I'd heard enough.
Again, I don't think he was aiming for Karlsson's Achilles, but I've watched the replay many times and I'm convinced he was either trying to hurt the Senators best player or he was being careless enough with his boot blade to warrant a suspension.
Anyway, I've stated the opinion many times since the incident, and if that was what angered Cooke, well, he must also be pissed at a number of other people, because on this one, I am not a lone wolf.
My best guess is he was mad I pointed out in Monday's column he has averaged less than two fights per season in his NHL career, which isn't many for a guy that plays on the edge that he does. Maybe Cooke didn't like the way I put it -- that he has only settled scores like a man 20 times in his 14 years -- but again, I don't know.
That's the majority of the article. If you want to read the rest of it (which I wouldn't bother): http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/04/22/why ... ns-package