For the second series in a row, Penguins winger Matt Cooke will be cast as a villain by opposing fans.
In the second round against Ottawa, it was because Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson was hurt on a play involving Cooke in February.
In the Eastern Conference final against Boston, which begins at 8:10 p.m. Saturday at Consol Energy Center, it will be because of a hit Cooke made on the Bruins' Marc Savard -- more than three years ago.
"I can't control people's opinions," Cooke said Thursday after practice. "I've learned that fans have emotions toward certain things, and they're going to be attached to them.
"I need to go out and prepare to play against the Bruins to the best of my ability. If I'm worried about that, it's going to affect me in a negative way."
Savard had to be helped off the ice and had a concussion after the hit in March 2010 and hasn't played the past two seasons. That hit, which was legal at the time, helped induce the NHL to crack down on hits to the head.
Cooke has made an effort to clean up his game -- he hasn't been suspended in more than two years -- without stripping away the physical aspect.
"I think he's much more responsible out there," captain Sidney Crosby said. "I think his play has proved that. I don't think he needs to talk about it. I think he's done that by the way he's played.