The last thing that occurred before we were separated was the final result of the 2010 Winter Olympic ice hockey tournament. Team Canada won the gold medal against the United States in quite dramatic fashion. But we already saw it, we already know, and it was brought up again on the cover of last week's edition of Sports Illustrated.
Anyway, I thought I'd give mention of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke's "legal" hit on the Boston Bruins' Marc Savard a few days ago. After all, I shall give Boston some love after last night's awesome Dropkick Murphys concert here in DC.
If you haven't seen the hit, here it is:
From about 1:00 to 1:23 they do a slow motion replay of the hit
I'll let you decide if that hit is dirty or not. But I will be the first to say I think that deserved a suspension immediately, and certainly more than two games.
Matt Cooke, first of all, is a repeat offender and known for being a dirty player. He was suspended two games last season for another headshot incident against then-Carolina Hurricane Scott Walker. There have been other occassions where Cooke has made a questionable hit on players i.e. (you may hardly remember but) the hit on Vincent Lecavlier when Cooke played for the Washington Capitals.
Putting past incidents aside and just based on the hit itself, there are plenty of things that show there should have been a suspension. There was no intent by Cooke to avoid Savard after Savard took the shot. While it would have been difficult for Savard to move out of the way of a looming Cooke, Cooke had time to take a extra step to the side or so to get out of the way of Savard.
While the argument that NHL disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, gave stated that there were no flying elbows, Cooke seemed to have raised his left elbow a little bit while passing Savard. Had he not intended to hit Savard, there would be every effort to tighted his elbow to his own body.
He was finishing a check? I think not. That check need not to have happened to begin with. Had I been coaching a group of kids, there's no way I would let my players hit a player in that situation in that manner when there is a way to avoid it. Cooke's check/take out would have had no impact on the play; therefore, I deem it unecessary. I would not advise my players to make an unecessary check when there would be maximum four other more plausible options on the ice.
I could go on and on about why I hate this hit and I think it deserves some kind of suspension. The best justification for a sspension to me though is that Cooke is a repeat offender. This way, it's not just a "knee-jerk reaction" to suspend him, which I would say to a first-timer (*cough* like they do to Ovechkin *cough*). Headshots>knee hits
The NHL has to stop these kinds of hits. Concussions are a huge risk, and there have been a lot lately. And I do think that the David Booth hit earlier this year on Mike Richards deserved a suspension too, so I wouldn't be a hypocrite.
Like I said, I'm not the disciplinarian here. I'm just a well-versed hockey fan that has no role in the NHL and its decisions. So whatever I say has no bearing on what happens aka it doesn't really matter. I know this. But I'm still going to complain because I can.
If you REALLY missed me, don't worry, I'm still on here, Crashing the Net. But I also write for TheHockeyWriters.com, listed as the Washington Capitals correspondent. I do hope you all check it out and feel free to comment there as well.