Guess What? Matt Cooke is STILL a Dirty Player
Normally, when you commit a crime, it's probably smart to stray away from doing anything illegal for a little while. You know, until the heat wears off. But when you have obvious mental troubles, like in the case of Matt Cooke, it must be difficult to process this sort of logic.
Three days ago, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke skated most of the way across the rink in the defensive zone and pretty much went out of his way to take out Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. A day later, I sounded off on the hit and the trail of bodies Cooke has left behind over the last couple of years, justifiably calling him the dirtiest player in the game.
A day after that, to no one's surprise, Cooke defended his heinous actions, saying that he "just tracked the puck. He cut back on me. We clicked skates."
Sure, Matt. You skated all the way across the ring and stuck your knee out after seven full speed strides and it was just an accident. Cooke couldn't be more full of crap, and Bruce Boudreau saw right through it.
"It's Matt Cooke, OK. Need we say more? It's not like it's his first rodeo. He's done it to everybody and then he goes to the ref and says, 'What did I do?' He knows darn well what he did. There's no doubt in my mind that he's good at it and he knows how to do it, he knows how to pick this stuff. We as a league still buy into this that it was an accidental thing."
What's even more mind-boggling is that the sports editors at the Washington Post actually decided to defend the incident on Cooke's behalf, referencing the Steckel-Crosby incident from the prior month, an incident that we covered in our last Cooke-bashfest and a hit that was deemed my most to be incidental. The blog ACTUALLY goes on to reference twitter users named bigdaddy651 and (this one's almost unbelievable) dirtbag359 in order to somehow prove that what Cooke did was ok?
They even reference the fact that Ovechkin wasn't injured, and that he's done similar things in the past. And how exactly is that relevant? Cooke hits someone, nearly taking their knee off, but that's ok because, hey, Ovechkin isn't the cleanest player in the world?
But we're not back here to discuss how much of a liar Matt Cooke is, on top of being pretty much a criminal on skates, but instead to look at YET ANOTHER incident involving the troubled goon. Two days after "clipping skates" with Alex ovechkin, Cooke was right back to his dirty ways, when he did this late in the first period of an inter-conference game with the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Matt, you don't even have to give us any quotes, I can already guess what you're going to say:
"I was tracking the puck, when Tyutin cut back on me and turned around. I then hit a rut on the ice, which forced me to leap into the air, shoulder first and plaster Tyutin's face into the boards."
Spare us. Just like on Sunday on Ovechkin, just like last year on Marc Savard, and just like, dare I say, in the playoffs against Andrei Markov, what you did was pre-meditated and calculated in order to injure a player for whatever warped reasons and justifications your brain can conjure.
As if we have to go through it, Cooke once again skated all the way across the ice, lept from his feet and hit Tyutin square in the back, hammering him into the boards. Whether Tyutin saw him coming or whether he should have turned and protected himself or whether he was injured or not is irrelevant. What Cooke did was once again malicious and premeditated. And something needs to be done about it.
At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that the league won't ignore this latest incident, as Cooke will be having a little phone call with league disciplinarians after taking a five minute major for charging on the play. Cooke did not take a game misconduct, and the hearing will be over the phone and not in person, implying that the suspension will be five games or less.
Not good enough, NHL. The man deserves to be in jail, yet alone sitting in a press box for a few games. And so long as you keep giving him slaps on the wrist, he's going to keep doing these things. The man isn't fit to play in a league with any other human beings. As I've said, he's irrelevant outside of the crap he pulls to hurt people, so why do you punish players for having a little flare or a different sense of humors, but not the ones who are clearly mentally unfit to be a part of any team or adversarial environment.
Wake up and smell the coffee Campbell, Bettman. You gotta take this guy out of the game before he kills someone. Do we need to start taking players off the ice on stretchers for you realize he doesn't belong in the NHL? This isn't slapshot, and he isn't one of the goons. This is the NHL, and talk all you want about keeping hitting in the game, but that's not hockey. That's criminal.
But the thing that bothers me the most is that if he was suspended for the Ovechkin incident, as he should have, he would have never had an opportunity to make this latest hit. Go figure.