Sun Mar 07 06:22pm EST
This Matt Cooke(notes) blow to the head of Marc Savard(notes), which kept the Boston Bruins star center down on the ice for 10 minutes before being carried off on a stretcher, should be Exhibit A in the "penalize head shots" presentation at the next owners' meeting. It's a blatant attempt to injure that comes well after Savard is in shooting position and releases the puck. Yet no penalty was called, because them's the current rules.
Dirty, vicious elbow by Matt Cooke on Marc Savard to his blind side after he shot a puck at the Pittsburgh net. Just no regard for the health and well-being of another player right there. Replays showed Cooke lowered an elbow that smashed directly into Savard's head when he had his head turned away from the Penguins forward. The elbow knocked Savard right down to the ice. Savard was down for 10 minutes and trainers had to take the playmaking center off on a stretcher. Somehow there wasn't a penalty called on the play, but there's [no] way Cooke gets off without a lengthy suspension. That is the kind of play that the NHL is trying to rid their sport of, and it's yet another injury that the B's can't afford.
Cooke is a previous offender, and with the Lapierre (4 games) and Boogaard (2 games) suspensions we're in a cycle of discipline here that guarantees Cooke gets lengthy one; due to the timing, the hit and the aftermath, because the NHL can't ignore a stretcher.
We've seen this hit compared to the Mike Richards' hit on David Booth and the Interwebs today.
Geographically, that's accurate, as both occurred near the blue line in the offensive zone. But that's where the comparison ends. Richards isn't skating by, sticking out his arm. Booth quickly dished the puck rather than having shot it like Savard. They're two completely different hits, and that's a good thing: The Richards check, as devastating as it was, was a hockey play by a Selke-worthy forward; The Cooke Hit was a cheap, late hit by a player who excels at them.