When I saw that Michel Therrien started Pascal Dupuis alongside Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, I was a little bit upset. I truly feel that there is only only player on the Penguin roster that can elevate the superstars' talent leve -- Matt Cooke. Fortunately, Therrien corrected this matter by restoring Cooke to his rightful spot as Crosby's left hand man. I don't mean to insult Dupuis, because I feel that he is one of the hardest working players on the team. I feel that with this Penguin team, Dupuis is a second liner. He just doesn't deserve Cooke's spot on line 1.
A lot of people are probably wondering... "Why is Matt Cooke the best option to play beside Malks and Sid?" I would have to answer, "Because Ryan Malone is playing for the Bolts." Ok... real answer -- If the Penguins are going to play a "2 line system" with Malkin as Crosby's superstar winger, they need an alternate winger with as much grit and grind as Malks has talent. There are a lot of grinders that can score goals. There are not, however, a lot of grinders that can elevate Malkin and Crosby to another level. The 2007 Giants might have had their 5-hour energy drinks, but the 2008 Penguins have Matt Cooke. His energetic presence is what gives Sid that extra step, and it gives the Penguins greater potential. Matt Cooke manufactured the 2 goals that he, Sid and Gino got against the Leafs in the 3rd period. Hopefully, he continues to receive the respect that he deserves.