I’m sorry but Cooke has to be suspended – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

I’m sorry but Cooke has to be suspended

I’m sure after reading the headline, many of you were hoping I was referring to Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette, and while I feel he should never be allowed to write about hockey again, I’ll have to leave that rant for another column.

Today I’m here to rant about Matt Cooke’s blatant blow to the head o Marc Savard in yesterday’s 2 -1 win over the Bruins.  With about 5 1/2 minutes left in the 3rd period of a tight contest, the Bruins were heading into the Penguins’ zone and Savard let fly a wrister so he was still leaning forward and in a bit of a vulnerable position when Matt Coke comes in from the right side.  It appeared as though Cooke was attempting to use his shoulder to lay one into Savard’s shoulder, and in all fairness, Cooke did keep his arm in tight.  Instead of connecting with Savard’s shoulder, Cookes shoulder landed square into Savard’s head instantly knocking him to the ice leaving him unconscious for a few seconds.  After being checked out by doctor’s from both the Bruins and the Penguins and having a neck brace put on, Savard was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital where it has been determined that he had suffered a concussion.  Per NHL rules, he will miss a minimum of one week, but in all likelihood, it will be 2 – 3 weeks before he is back on the ice.

Now before anyone gets in an uproar and decides to start defending Cooke, first think to yourself, what would you be saying if Shawn Thornton or Milan Lucic had put the exact same hit on Sidney Crosby?  There is no room in this great game of hockey for shots to the head especially now that players are wearing equipment that looks like it was originally designed for the movie Rollerball.  Unfortunately, the NHL has no set policy on head shots as evidenced by the fact that some hits receive suspensions and others, like Mike Richards hit on David Booth do not.

The General Managers meeting is taking place in Florida today and high on their list of topics to discuss is coming up with some uniform way to deal with this recurring problem whether the hit is placed by a star or by a third liner with a history of questionable hits like Cooke.  I think a sliding scale of suspensions would be a great place to start with the length of the suspension increasing with each subsequent hit.  Hitting players in their wallet is a good way to get their attention and having them miss games especially at a crucial time of the year like it is now may help teams police their own players.

Listen, I’m as big of a Penguin fan as the next guy, but I can’t just sit idly by and watch one of our players pull the kind of crap that would have us all in an outrage if it was perpetrated on one of our own.  I’d like to see Cooke get a minimum 5 games and possibly even 10 for this hit, and then maybe next time, he’ll think twice before 1. Hurting another player and 2. Hurting his own team by being forced out of the lineup.

Matt Cooke knocks out Marc Savard

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  1. Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
    March 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Matt Cooke is found not guilty. However, the rumor is that Green Peace and the Tree Huggers want him found guilty.

    LOL. The hit is deemed legal which it is but those tree huggers have to say it was cheap. Cheap? It’s the rules that are cheap. They stopped the clutch and grabbing and they can stop this. Just don’t nail Cooke because of it. The FAN radio, including Joe Starkey, Ron Cook and some others are attempting to make a name for themselves. Nonbe of them can ice skate. Not one of them. AAAAAAH… maybe Starkey can.

  2. Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
    March 9, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    For the sake of argument let’s say that Savard gets up after the hit and shakes it off. That he misses a shift but he’s not laying on the ice and taken off on a stretcher. Would this be discussed at all?

    I’m not defending borderline hits here but have something different to put out there for discussion. We keep hearing about the equipment being a weapon and the weight and the speed of players today but what isn’t discussed is the major difference in player’s height. In this case as evidenced by the replays Cooke held his arm tight to his body and it looked like Savard’s head hit’s mid-numbers on Cooke’s sweater. If Savard isn’t so short (by leaning over – they are about the same height)there isn’t a problem. If Cooke doesn’t go for the check it doesn’t happen either. But the game isn’t played in slow motion.

    To illustrate what I’m saying let’s use Zdeno Chara in the place of Cooke and Marty St-Louis in place of Savard. How can Chara hit him with his shoulder without it being a head shot? My point being the NHL would have to have install a tall vs. short guy rule prohibiting tall guys hammering short guys.

    Hits that are a second or less than a second late happen all game long. I’d guess 10 times a game, minimum – and nothing much is said about it. It’s the bang-bang decision that makes this game really excellent. There is no thinking because they isn’t any time to think.

    Driving a player head first into the boards IMHO is much worse and leading with your elbow or leaving your feet to hit someone’s head should be major. IMO an immediate (get off the ice immediately) 10 minute major plus a game misconduct and maybe have the opposing coach determine who on your team serves the 10-minute would finally stop it.

    But, when an experienced player who is 5′ 10 is leaning into a shot what’s the other player to do other than watch it. IMO getting rid of hits like Cooke on Savard would drastically change the game for the worse. No one (at least 99.9%)wants to see a player get hurt but seeing all the pacifists coming out of the woodwork is amazing. It’s a rough game.

    You guys do recall the Kamikaze Ovechkin coming after Malkin for a few games don’t you. Do you think he was attempting to injure him? Hurt him? That kind of thing happens and it’s dealt with. Pretty soon it will get like football where they are close to putting dresses on the QB’s.

  3. McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
    March 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    You got your wish, he got a 2 game suspension.

    • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
      March 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      scratch that, when I searched the news to see if he was getting suspended, the two game suspension in november came up,my bad. I feel like I should be in the Bing search engine commercial.

  4. March 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I agree with both Boombastic and JP. First, I think that the hit deserves a suspension. Second, I agree that the league is in desperate need of a strict policy on such matters. They also need to enforce such a policy uniformly. The fact that the this is not the first time that Cooke has committed this type of hit makes it worse. He has already been suspended for a similar hit to the Ranger’s Artem Anisimov.
    Cooke did not do anything necessarily against the rules, but it doesn’t make it right. It is the league’s fault for letting these things go; such as Mike Richard’s questionable hit. They are creating ambiguity. The league needs to get this kind of thing worked out.

    • Penguin871's Gravatar Penguin871
      March 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      The hit was almost exactly like Richards hit, same spot on the ice and everything. Richards wasn’t suspended. in my opinion Cookes hit was a little less severe. If the NHL doesn’t suspend Cooke, they should at least make a head shot rule and call it the “Cookie” rule and start enforcing it this minute, just like the “Hienz Ward” NFL rule.

  5. March 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m not going to sit here and stick up for Matt Cooke. I beleive suspending him is probably the correct thing to do, even if Savard does not sit out any games. One of the big problems is that what Cooke did was within the letter of the law. He didn’t leave his feet, he didn’t elbow and he was trying to get to Savard to stop the shot. Savard was doing cheap crap to the Penguins players all game and I think Cooke just didn’t feel like pulling up. Still, the NHL should probably pull a couple of the rules from the Olympics, especially the head shot rule.

  6. Boombastic's Gravatar Boombastic
    March 8, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    So, your claiming that Cooke intentionally went after Savard? Or, are you saying Cooke should pull up and not hit? I think it was bad for hockey so before you start jumping all over me if Cooke looked to be laying a shoulder into Savard’s shoulder (as you say above) what’s your problem? It didn’t seem to bother the Bruin players as they did nothing at all. Nothing from Chara. Nothing from Lucic. Nothing from Thornton. Nothing from anyone.
    The NHL is faced with a tough problem based on Colin Campbell decision in the Richards/Booth incident. I don’t recall you getting upset when Cambell recinded the automatic game suspension on Malkin for getting the instgator penalty. The NHL is screw-up and definately need to do something about the headshots. But right now Cooke didn’t do anything against the rules. Did he?


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