Savard, who suffered a grade II concussion as a result of the play, could be out for the remainder of the regular season, which of course is a huge loss for a Boston team that is already one of the worst offensive clubs in the league. Cooke has already been suspended once this season, receiving a two-game banishment for a hit on New York Rangers forward Artem Anisimov.
The non-suspension of Cooke is sure to draw mixed reviews. On one hand, there's no question it's a very dangerous hit, but according to the current (emphasis on current) rules, it's not really illegal -- even though many, including yours truly, think it should be. Plus, Philadelphia's Mike Richards escaped suspension for a nearly identical hit on Florida's David Booth, which resulted in a similar injury as well as Booth being sidelined for months of the NHL season and losing a likely spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
While Cooke and Richards avoided punishment this season, players that deliver such crushing blows to the head likely won't be as fortunate in future seasons. On Wednesday, NHL general managers unanimously agreed on a proposal that would penalize any "lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted."
The Penguins and Bruins will be facing off on Thursday, March 18, in Boston in what is sure to be a polite, friendly game.