Cooke, back actually turned

Before I show you the hit which spawned this 1:00 AM (ET) blog post, I’ll give you my initial reaction: Here we go again – you TRIED to fool us didn’t you, Matt Cooke? Well, now like a favorite ’90s video game boss, you’re showing us your true form once again, you sneaky, sneaky rat.

Then I watched the clip again, and again, and again. I did this several more times. Yet, the more I watched it I couldn’t help but wonder – did Barret Jackman play a starring role in this incident with a compelling performance? I think he just might have.

On this play, Cooke and Jackman race into the corner. Cooke begins to initiate contact with Jackman as the Blues defender begins to turn to play the puck. Suddenly Jackman goes face first into the boards with a thud and appears to be down for the count with Cooke having struck again.

Take a look.

Lets be clear – it’s a close one as the angle Cooke takes is commonly found in dirty hits from behind. Yet, I still think Jackman was the driving force here. Based on the fact that Cooke has no discernible follow through at all on the play, I’m thinking that our Blues defenceman in question may have bit the bullet to draw a penalty.

I’m no Matt Cooke fan, but I’ll spot him the benefit of the doubt on this one. I just don’t think he did it.

What do you think Backhand Shelf nation? Did Cooke hit him from behind or is Jackman fishing for an Oscar nod? You tell me. Comment, tweet, e-mail, whatever.