It comes about 17 months too late for Bruins center Marc Savard, but Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke says he’s going to try to change his ways this season.

The winger was on hand at a minor-league baseball game in Altoona, Pa., yesterday and he spoke with Altoona Mirror writer John Hartsock.

Said Cooke about mending his ways:

“It’s a mentality, it’s how I’m going to approach the game. And the team has worked hard in supporting me to accomplish these minor tweaks in my game.”

That Cooke classifies his issues as “minor tweaks” makes you wonder how much he really sees the error of his actions. The Penguins goon who pretty much started Savard’ on the path to an early end to his career with a cheap shot in March 2010 hasn’t played in the NHL since this March because of an elbow to the head of New York Rangers youngster Ryan McDonagh that cost Cooke a suspension for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

Actions, or in Cooke’s case non-actions, will speak louder than words. We’ll see if the punishment he received from the league, plus the fact that his teammate Sidney Crosby has missed an extended period of time with a head injury, actually changes Cooke. The safety of everyone in the NHL is depending on it.