During the third period of the Flyers’ 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, a typical line scrum erupted. In the middle of it stood Flyers’ forward Arron Asham and a turtled Matt Cooke. As the melee appeared to be breaking up, Asham began furiously throwing punches to the back of Cooke’s head, warranting penalties on both sides.
The cause of Asham’s outburst: He says Cooke bit him.
“There was a scrum, I grabbed him. There were two guys on Harts and my glove got tangled in his mouth and he bit me, so I lost it,” Asham told the media.
But instead of run to dressing room flashing his chewed finger, similar to what Pens’ defenseman Kris Letang did when he accused Flyers’ forward Scott Hartnall of biting in a game earlier this season, Asham challenged Cooke to a fight when the two left the box. Cooke, despite serving up a tapestry of lip service to Asham while serving his minor, refused the fight, which infuriated Asham even more.
“It’s not bad, but he’s a gutless guy,” Asham said of Cooke.” I have no respect for him at all. I lined up against him and asked him to fight and he didn’t want to.
“You should have a little more honor than that. Usually if you bite somebody you stick up for yourself and you fight the guy. Not this guy, he’s chicken and I have no respect for him. He plays the game hard and I respect him for that, but he yaps, he’s a dirty player. At least a guy like (Sean) Avery fights. This guy is just chicken shit and I hate him.
Not sure what Asham meant by ‘usually if you bite someone..’ but the Flyers’ tough guy didn’t stop after putting Cooke lower than Sean Avery on the respect scale. He continued to call Cooke out to the media.
“It would have been better if he dropped the gloves with me, but he’s got no stones,” Asham said. “He’s garbage to me and I have no respect for him at all.”