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NHL Reaps Rewards as Bodies Hit Ice

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When the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers compiled 168 penalty minutes in Game 3 of their first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs — the infractions included roughing, fighting, charging, slashing, cross-checking, kneeing, tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct and three ejections — Penguins forward Matt Cooke went unnoticed. Oh, he played; he was on the ice for fourteen minutes and eight seconds, about the same as Philadelphia’s Daniel Brière. But he had no penalties. He was once the league’s foremost cheapshot artist, but when the bodies hit the floor, Matt Cooke was nowhere to be found.

In fact, the playoffs were careering into dangerous places without him. All across the NHL waves of violence — both typical and excessive — have swept...

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