Center Brad Richards sat out practice this afternoon following the team's 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as per Andrew Gross. In addition, the Rangers reported that he was sitting out due to the slew-foot he received from Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke midway through the second period of Thursday's tilt. Richards would later confirm that he had a stiff neck after being taken down from behind and hitting his head on the ice, but doesn't see why he wouldn't be able to play tomorrow in Boston.
Obviously it's good to hear that Ricards, the third highest point-getter on the team, will be fine, but it's the act that put him in this position in the first place that is a concern. Cooke supposedly has cleaned up his act this season after talking with management about his future, which he has, but that doesn't mean he should be excused for what he pulled last night. It was a sneaky move behind the play to a star player, and that's exactly what the NHL is trying to get out of the game. Slew-foots are more serious than many people think, because they are a direct intent to injure.
I'm not complaining that the officials did not see it, because you cannot blame them for that, but the league has to know about the incident by now and should be all over it. Cooke, in my opinion, should be suspended at least a game, considering his history and because it was clear he was trying to injure a top performer on the Eastern Conference's number one team right now - which he nearly did.
Yes, I am looking at you, Brendan Shanahan.
* Michael Sauer (concussion) did not skate in practice for the second straight day. Jeff Woywitka, on the other hand, skated without a non-contact jersey for the first time this afternoon.
* Players react to Thursday's loss and upcoming game against Bruins....