"Since March 20, 2011, I’ve been a changed player."
—Matt Cooke, after receiving a 7-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit on Avs D Tyson Barrie.
In some ways, that’s true. Cooke is now going after knees instead of heads. Progress!
You think Cooke is a “changed” player? Ask Marc Savard if he remembers how Cooke used to play before March 2011. I’ll bet he won’t remember.
Here’s the problem: ultimately, suspending Matt Cooke for 7 games doesn’t really punish anyone. It doesn’t punish Cooke, who is free to spend his days taking out the knees of fellow shoppers at the Minneapolis Whole Foods. It doesn’t punish the team; a week or two without Cooke can only help the Minnesota Wild. If the league isn’t willing to hand down a significant suspension, maybe a better punishment is to make Cooke play more. Maybe suspend Parise or Koivu instead, and have Cooke (and his team-leading minus-18) play for like 40 minutes a night.
Seven games is better than 2 or 3, but it’s not going to make any impact on Cooke. They might as well have not suspended him at all.
Also, you can’t be a changed player since March 2011 if you stomped on someone’s calf with your skate in February 2013.
PS: it’s real easy to research Cooke’s suspensions. There’s a separate section for them on his Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Cooke#Suspensions
One of the joys of watching hockey online via a bootleg Russian gambling website is the popup ads. They always run two ads at a time, side by side, and sometimes maybe someone should check which ads are paired up. I’m not sure what would happen if I clicked that video on the right, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be one step away from helping kids.
Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa accused some of the Sharks players of embellishing to try and sell penalties. Perhaps he was referring to the way the Sharks seem to “embellish” almost every shot on goal they take by raising their arms and sticks up into the air afterwards.
The fun continues in Ottawa. Paul MacLean defended his decision to call a timeout with 17 seconds remaining in Game 3, a game his team was leading 6-1. His explanation made no sense whatsoever, and I loved every second of it. First, he began by reading out penalties (in no particular order) from the scoresheet: “Well, 16:58 elbowing, 19:42 cross-checking, 8:31 instigator faceshield.” (The latter, while technically it is a penalty, still sounds like a man just rattling off some nouns.)
He goes on: “I have 10 players left on my bench, and I didn’t know what was going to happen next…So, my only recourse was to take a time out because I didn’t want anybody to get hurt.” Perhaps he feared one of the Canadiens would commit another instigator faceshield.
Then the closer: “In order to protect my players, in circumstances that were orchestrated by the Montreal Canadiens, I was forced to protect my players. I will do that every time.” Read the first sentence again, but skip the part between the commas. The whole thing sounded like an inspirational speech given by your insane grandfather who thinks he’s still fighting the war.
The time out was completely unnecessary, but the glorious rant that “explained” it? Wonderfully necessary.
(The Sens website has video of the press conference here.)
I really dug the placement of the robo-cam at the Joe tonight. I felt so close to the action I was waiting for Bertuzzi to cheap-shot me.
If you aren’t watching the Senators/Canadiens series, you’re missing out. Tonight’s installment featured 236 penalty minutes and nine game misconducts. At one point all ten skaters on the ice were involved in fights. There have been so many lost teeth in the series that the CBC broadcast had a “lost tooth” highlight package, and one of the coaches has already been called a “bug-eyed fat walrus” by an opposing player. Can this series be best of 11 or 13 instead?
The above photo is the afore-mentioned walrus/coach Paul MacLean on his bench DURING THE GAME. There were so few players available that essentially each team had only two lines to alternate, which is pretty much the same way I played NHL 93 on Sega Genesis.
(photo: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo | Getty Images Sport)
Not content to make the power play “chompy-chomp” motion with her arms, this Sharks fan has gotten crafty to show her support (and, as a bonus, to get on TV).
I like that her shark’s mouth also looks just like a bear trap, which is what every non-Sharks hockey fan would rather be stuck in than have to sit in the Shark Tank.