Matt Cooke hit on Erik Cole: worthy of a suspension?

Here's one quick look at it via Empty Netters:


It's hard to say much, there's a lot of traffic and players are swooping around everywhere.

Greg at Puck Daddy summed it up thusly:

If nothing else, the Cooke is a reminder why the outcry over Ovechkin's non-suspended knee-on-knee hit was so ludicrous: Either you're going to accept that these things happen on an incidental basis during a game played at (literally) break-neck speed, or you're going to severely penalize any player that "recklessly" uses his body and ends up injuring an opponent.

The bottom line is that if you're a Penguins fan who thought Ovechkin should have been suspended, then you should be a Penguins fan who thinks Cooke should be suspended.

And I think there's a lot of truth in there, especially the first part.  There's always going to be unfortunate incidents and it sucks that players get hurt in this seemingly unintended fashion.  But it still happens.

For the record, here's what I said about the Ovechkin knee, regarded by James Mirtle as the fairest assement he saw of the hit.

The real question is where will the NHL's "wheel of justice" land?  No one seems to no, as there's basically no rhyme or reason anymore...

Donald Brashear hits a defenseless and unsuspecting player with an elbow to the head and it's 5 games suspension.  Scott Walker punches a defenseless player in the face with his fist and it's 0 games suspension.  Daniel Carcillo got to sit for his use of a butt-end of a game that almost over, Milan Lucic got suspended for stickwork too.  But then Mike Cammalleri did rocks a guy in the face and no suspension. Alex Ovechkin knees Sergei Gonchar, no suspension.  Matt Cooke does and what will happen?

Does Matt Cooke deserve a suspension?  I'm not sure.  I don't know what his intent was, Cooke is a devious player that always walks the fine line but I've never seen him hunt for someone's knees before.  Cooke said the contact was accidental.  We haven't heard for sure (it may not yet be known) the extent of Cole's injury, but as we saw in Ovechkin v. Gonchar that didn't seem to be a big consideration in the NHL's decision to suspend.

So now the ball is in the NHL's court.  God only knows what they'll decide.

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