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SLAMMING MATT COOKE

December 26th, 2008 · 10 Comments

by Ron Spence

I’ve never liked Matt Cooke and I know personally that a number of his Canucks’ teammates didn’t either. One of them, a friend of mine, wanted to beat him up.

He has been the ultimate hit and run agitator. Say what you will about Jarks and Avery, they will at least drop the gloves after they have crossed the line. Not Cooke. He’s a coward.

Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times doesn’t advocate hockey violence. In fact, he was one of the Florida scribes who criticized Andre Roy when he went crazy in Philly.

But, he understands the game as he writes below:

Cooke should have fought Vinny

“…I thought Matt Cooke showed a lot of disrespect for Vinny Lecavalier by not fighting him during Tuesday’s game at Pittsburgh. By now, you know the back story, but for those late to the party: Cook, as a member of the Capitals last season, threw the check that separated Vinny’s right shoulder that required arthroscopic surgery. Lecavalier did not have the puck at he time and Cooke was fined $2,500 by the league.

Lightning Capitals Hockeycourtesy of tampabay.com

[At the time, Cavalier and the Tampa Bay coach said: "No puck, and I'm not looking," Lecavalier said, "and no penalty."

"It's an absolute cheap shot," coach John Tortorella said. "It's a guy in a vulnerable position. It's interference. The puck isn't anywhere near him, and that isn't called. It's an absolute cheap shot."]

Cooke, before the game, said the hit was an accident. In fact, he said, “If I was trying to hurt someone, I would have been a lot more aggressive.”

Cooke and Lecavalier on Tuesday met for the first time since the incident, and Lecavalier went after him with 3:37 left in the first period. Cooke did not engage and Lecavalier got two minutes for roughing.

Smart move? Get the superstar off the ice for a few minutes? Perhaps. But the code of conduct required Cooke give Vinny a chance for payback.

Despite the rules that eliminated much of hockey’s gratuitous violence, there is still an element of outlaw justice in the game. It is a pressure release and helps set boundaries as to what is and what is not acceptable on the ice. It also ensures there are consequences for one’s actions.

You play as an agitator? Better be prepared to defend what you do?

One player hurts another. Who knows if it was accidental or intentional? Either way, Cooke should have given Lecavalier the chance, and shown him some respect in the process, to defend his honor.

Happy Holiday, everybody. See you in the new year.”

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I have had a number of arguments with Cooke supporters in the past, but after his cheap hit on Alexander Edler this season, he has few fans in British Columbia.

Tags: FORMER CANUCKS

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnny Who Cares // Dec 27, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Hi

    Nice attempt at name droping that you are friends with a Canucks player. Zero. Waiting outside the gate with a clean jock doesnt mean you are friends with anyone.

  • 2 Ron Spence // Dec 27, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Thanks for writing.
    Maybe use spellcheck next time.
    If you would have taken the time to read the ABOUT US part of the blogsite, you would have noted that I have been covering the NHL for two decades – meaning being in the dressing rooms, getting to know the players, etc.
    And making a few friends along the way.
    Yes, the players have friends too.
    How would I be able to say that the unnamed player had an intense dislike for your pal Matt Cooke if I didn’t know him on a personal level?
    Players don’t make it common knowledge how they feel about their teammates.
    Their coaches and management don’t like it. Something about team solidarity.
    But you wouldn’t know about that.
    You seem to have an obsession about jock straps. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
    We now know why you watch hockey games.
    But, thanks for reading at least the beginning of the blog.
    You’re kind of like Matt Cooke – take a cheap shot and run – using a bogus name, etc.
    Ron
    P.S. Did you need to use an online thesaureus to read the big words?

  • 3 CapsFan // Dec 27, 2008 at 7:04 am

    I don’t have a video of the orignal incident but I’m guessing that you never saw it. Quoting Torts doesn’t cut it, Lecavalier collided with Cooke who was the one who had actually established a lane and then fell awkwardly to the ice. If it had happened the other way around the Cooke would have gotten an interference penalty and no fine would have been issued but since a star player was involved this is what happened.

    Torts then proceeded to send a SIXTH skater onto the ice simply to start a fight (but no one mentions this). Cooke doesn’t owe Vinny a fight simply because he had his head down and into Cooke and then fell. do a little research

  • 4 Ron Spence // Dec 27, 2008 at 9:09 am

    I have done some research:

    First of all, there is a diversity of opinion depending on whom you read.

    The Lightning supporters don’t like the hit. Their many comments may be seen in: http://blogs.tampabay.com/lightning/2008/04/index.html

    Also, in: http://www.boltsblog.net/2008_04_01_archive.html

    The Washington supporters didn’t have any problems with the hit: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/2008/04/cooke_fined_for_hit.html

    And then there’s the Vancouver blogsite: http://forum.canucks.com/lofiversion/index.php/t197679.html

    One comment – on the Canucks’ blogsite – is accompanied by a picture of the hit:
    “You can clearly see Lecavalier had his back to Cooke while Cooke was targeting.
    Lecavalier was not in possession of the puck, nor had he just finished touching the puck.
    As if it was interference on Lecavalier.
    He turns around just in time to be leveled with zero time to get out of the way.
    Look at the pic.
    His back to Cooke while Cooke is on the move and a few feet away.
    No way that wasn’t an intentional hit and no was was that a legal hit.”

    TSN said during a broadcast that Lecavalier was hit when he didn’t have possession of the puck and that no penalty was called.

    The NHL’s Clarence Campbell said that he believed that the hit warranted a “five-minute major for interference.”

    We know what Torts, Vinny and the Tampa Bay writer had to say. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said Cooke was trying to hit Ouellet and “Vinny stepped in front of him.”

    Cooke didn’t speak to reporters after the game and missed the optional practice the next day.

    My feelings are tempered by what I saw Cooke do when he was playing in Vancouver, and what he did to the Canucks’ Alex Edler this season.

    I would tend to agree with what the following writer – who had lived in Vancouver and writes for Boltsblog.net – had to say about Cooke: “…for all of you who Lightning fans who think that Cooke is a menace to society, I watched Cooke play in Vancouver for years and I can tell you that he’s always been that way. His hits have always been borderline illegal, and his job is an agitator – and he does it well. I’m sure he wasn’t targeting Lecavalier for any particular reason other than he was just there.”
    Like yourself, she was at the game, but didn’t remember the hit the same way that you do.

    “I saw the hit when it happened, although I’d like to take a look at a replay of it (they didn’t show any replays of it in the arena), and it appeared to me as if Lecavalier was blindsided by the hit. He didn’t have his head down, but he certainly didn’t see Cooke coming, until maybe the last second when it was too late.”

    So, you have your opinion – of what happened – and other people have theirs and thanks for your letter.

    Ron

    P.S. What I found most interesting was the different tones of the Bolts and Caps fans.

    The latter were very happy with their team doing so well, and the former were squabbling over everything.
    PPS. Why would you assume that I didn’t see a replay of the hit. It was on TSN. It was big.

  • 5 Felbows // Dec 27, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    http://thepensblog.blogspot.com/
    Blog Post Dec 26

    I’m personally wondering how Cooke beating the shit out of Vinny would have helped him defend his honor. I’m guessing Cooke wants to stay in black/gold (and sometimes baby blue) for a while and drawing (vs taking) penalties is a way to get on Therrien’s good side (Ruutu
    sucked at that). In short, I don’t agree….

  • 6 RJ // Dec 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Maybe you should run the spell check next time as well (thesaureus? Come on! Give your head a shake.) HELLO. JOKE ABOUT THE WRITER’S MISPELLLING. LIKE THE ONE ABOUT GETTING ORGANAZIED.

    Great secondary research. Now if you could follow it up with actually seeing what happened, maybe we could talk about WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Taking a straw poll among supporters and long time detractors is the easiest thing to do of course, given that after covering the NHL for two decades you are utterly unable to find a clip of the hit anywhere at all. Way to go big shot.

  • 7 Matt // Dec 27, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Complete joke of a post. Why should Cooke drop the gloves and fight him? If Vinny wants payback, then grow a set and try to hit Cooke hard and clean, otherwise his act is no better than the original.

  • 8 Ron Spence // Dec 28, 2008 at 1:22 am

    RJ:
    Had you taken the time to read my response to the writer, you would have noted that: my so-called straw poll included Caps fans; I noted that I had seen video clips of the hit. I also acknowledged that there was a disparity of opinion on what happened.
    Ron
    P.S. I can’t take anyone seriously who won’t take the time to read the post, responses, etc. but is quick to criticize something that has already been explained.
    Perhaps you should give your head a sheak.

  • 9 Ron Spence // Dec 28, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Felbows:
    I like Ruutu – as you did last season when he was a Penguin. Am putting together a post on him. Welcome your comments, without the cussing.

  • 10 Ron Spence // Dec 28, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Matt:
    Finally an honest, unbiased response. “The original” was bad. The subject of retribution is another topic.
    Ron

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