Matt Cooke takes out Tyson Barrie’s knee with dirty hit (Video)

Matt-Cooke-knees-Tyson-BarrieStop me if you’ve heard this before — Matt Cooke is facing a possible suspension for a cheap shot he threw on an opposing player. His latest victim is Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury after Cooke took a run at his knee on Monday night.

Cooke tried to hit Barrie well after the puck was gone, and he stuck his knee straight out as Barrie was looking to avoid contact. The end result was a brutal knee-to-knee collision that forced Barrie to leave the game for good. Cooke, a 14-year veteran who is known for being a goon, was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for kneeing.

According to the NHL Player Safety Twitter account, Cooke has been asked to have an in-person hearing with the league for the play. That typically means a suspension of five or more games is on its way, which would not be a surprise considering Cooke’s history of being a dirty player.

The Minnesota Wild went on to win Game 3 to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole. Barrie has emerged as one of the Avalanche’s best puck-moving defenseman this season, so his loss could be huge for this series and beyond.

H/T Eye on Hockey

Brad Marchand trash talks Matt Cooke, burns him for goal (Video)

Brad-Marchand-Matt-CookeThere were plenty of individual cases of embarrassment for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, as they lost to the Bruins 6-1 to dig themselves into an early 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals.

For starters, you had Sidney Crosby turning the puck over to spot the Bruins a lead 28 seconds into the game. Then, we saw Tomas Vokoun benched after allowing three first-period goals. Marc Andre-Fleury replaced him, only to allow three goals of his own. There was also Kris Letang, a Norris Trophy finalist, turning the puck over with a pass from behind his own net to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

The list goes on and on, but no player should feel as horrible on Tuesday morning as Matt Cooke. We all saw Brad Marchand’s second goal of the game with 8.1 seconds left in the second period to completely deflate the Penguins 25 seconds after they scored their first goal of the game. What many did not see, however, was Marchand and Cooke talking trash to one another just before it happened.

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Senators GM rips Matt Cooke after he slices Erik Karlsson’s Achilles tendon

Matt-Erik-Karlsson-hitPittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke has always had a reputation for being a dirty player. Once again, he finds himself at the center of a controversial play that has resulted in serious injury for an opponent.

During a win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, Cooke threw what appeared to be a clean hit on Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, but the replay revealed that it was more dangerous than one might have initially thought. Cooke lifted his skate off the ice (something players should try not to do in any situation) and stuck it into the back of Karlsson’s leg. There’s no telling whether or not it was intentional, but the result was a ruptured Achilles tendon for Karlsson. He is out indefinitely and could miss the rest of the season.

“It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?” Senators general manager Bryan Murray said after the game, according to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Watch the replay.”

Karlsson is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, so you can understand why Murray is upset. You can judge for yourself whether or not you think the contact was intentional, but given Cooke’s reputation you can also understand why Murray said what he did about him.

These are the reasons people were so happy when Cooke got punched out a few years back. Intentional or not, the injury is a major blow to the Senators, who have already dealt with a number of injuries this season.

H/T Pro Hockey Talk

One-Punch Evander Kane Gives Matt Cooke Some Karma

Finally, somebody gave Matt Cooke what he had coming. In case you haven’t heard of Cooke, he’s one of, if not the most, notoriously dirty players in the NHL. To make matters worse, he’s got the reputation of a guy who will do everything he can to avoid dropping the gloves and squaring off face-to-face with someone. His most recent cheap shot victim, Bruins’ forward Marc Savard, is still experiencing headaches from the concussion Cooke gave him last month on a dirty hit. On Saturday night, karma caught up to Cooke in the form of Thrashers center Evander Kane. Here’s a video of the Evander Kane/Matt Cooke fight:

The irony of this whole situation is that we just learned the exact reason why Cooke doesn’t fight. I’ve seen plenty of hockey fights that end with a clear-cut winner, but I can’t remember the last time I saw someone get knocked out cold from one punch. The best part is Kane’s only 18-years-old and Cooke clearly went after him, instigating the fight, only to get laid out. Seems like every time the stretcher comes out on the ice in a Penguins game Cooke’s on the embarrassing end of things. You never want to see it, but at least for a change he was the player lying on his back when it happened. I don’t know how many fans Kane had before but he definitely has a ton more now.

NHL Wised Up with New Headshots Rule

Thursday, NHL owners voted unanimously to implement a new “head shot” rule which will remain in effect for the remainder of regular season games and for post season play. The NHL Player’s Association gave their blessing for the rule as they believe it will help keep players safe.  The NHLPA supported the new rule in their statement:

“We are encouraged by the league’s recent willingness to explore on-ice rule changes as a means of reducing player injuries and have no doubt that by working together, a safer working environment can be established for all NHLPA members.”

The new rule states that “lateral, back-pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact” are not allowed. This new rule is a response from the NHL to the hit Boston Bruin’s Marc Savard took from Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke that went unpunished but ended Savard’s season (pictured above). The hits have been getting more violent as the playoffs near, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’m happy to see this happen. I’m happy to see the NHL taking action to protect players against possible brain damage or other career ending injuries. I’m happy that this is just the beginning and that they are working on a permanent rule for next season.  Even though hockey has and hopefully always will be an aggressive and pretty violent sport, I’m sure that these guys are happy that their chances of ending their career with most of their brain intact have improved.

NHLPA supports new NHL initiative on head hits [Sports Network]