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.

Comments (17)

  1. Complete dive. He looks, sees a guy coming then slams on the brakes and turns INTO the hit, then somehow his face gets slammed into the boards? That’s not how you protect the puck or yourself at any level. God I hope Shanny doesn’t bite on this one, because so far, Cooke has stuck to his word and behaved this season, and this one shouldn’t be on him.

  2. Are St Louis so short on D they need to put a salmon out there to flap around near the boards?

  3. this may be controversial, but jackman has been an embellisher for years. this is a trash play where he knows who he’s going into the corner with and tries to make it look good. i don’t have a lot of respect for either of these players, but i’ve lost even more for jackman. that said, cooke had no follow through on the hit but it still looked bad.

    bottom line: jackman’s play here is garbage, cooke’s in a bad spot, let god sort ‘em out.

  4. Carl has this spot on and mentions something that none of the other 20 articles I’ve read today do!

    Jackamn turns, sees Cooke coming and slams on the brakes, meaning when contact is initiated they are side on to each other and shoulder to shoulder!

  5. Poor MATTY COOKE …. people have been doing this to him for years, they see him coming and want to get hurt. Always these foolish players not protecting themselves. I think the NHL should haev a new penalty in the game which deals with people not protecting themselves. and this includes when savard dangerously winds up in the slot with no regards to his safety and gets his bell rung for life

    • Are you really saying that Savard put himself in a dangerous position, thus leading to Matt Cooke doing more damage on the hit!?!?!? Have you even seen the video!?!? I agree with you on players not protecting themselves, SOME TIME, but to basically say Savard was not protecting himself has asinine! He was blindsided!

  6. Jackman knew he was coming and going to get hit. It looks they hit almost shoulder to shoulder. I don’t think Cooke should be suspended for this, but I still think he’s an assclown.

    I’m pretty sure it was Cooke who tried to punch one of the Rangers defensemen in the nuts the last time they played. Or maybe it was their game early this month. I can’t seem to find the video though. Anybody know a way to search through all of your yahoo comments? I think I got the link from someone on Puck Daddy.

  7. That is a diving penalty maybe a boarding at worst (because that’s how the refs are). If you slow it down you even see cooke initiating contact right on the shoulder. Jackman definitely took that to broadway. Also I don’t get why when refs call a dive they take both guys. For example they would take both of Cooke and Jackman in this situation if they called it a dive, it almost always happens, gear grinder.

    • I think it’s fine to call both dive and hit/whatever, because most of the time the action is deserving of a penalty, the dive just embellishes to make it more clear. Like in this case, I think Cooke is an idiot because that hit was a dangerous one to make, if only because of the strong chance that Jackman would turn, while Jackman appears to embellish contact. Thus, two penalties, boarding and diving.

  8. I think Jackman knew it was coming but on the other hand Matt also has his hand plus his forearm on Jackmans lower back. Its a little shove From Matt with alot of embellishment from Barrett.

  9. I seriously want to know how/why anyone would think Jackman DOVE facefirst into the boards. If anything, he lost his balance, but to say he saw Matt Cooke coming, recognized it was Matt Cooke and decided to dive his face INTO the boards is just silly.

    Jackman looked hurt on the play, but didn’t miss a shift so he was totally faking, right? Or he’s just a really gritty guy who played with torn knee ligaments a few years back. He’s as tough as they come and all he had to do was play 5 more minutes before getting 9 days off.

  10. Gotta agree that this appears to be a total dive / embellishment by Jackman. Based on the assessment of only a minor for boarding, gotta believe the referees sensed embellishment as well.

    Though the Cooke and the Pens got hosed on this call, I don’t feel one bit of empathy for them. This call was made in part due to Cooke’s well-earned longstanding rep of being a dirty player.

    Moral of the story: Once reputations are set, they are very difficult to shake. If you’re gonna spend several years of your career running around like an idiot taking cheap shots at people, be prepared to be treated like a guy with a reputation of running around like an idiot taking cheap shots at people.

    By the same token, if you get a rep for embellishing borderline at worst hits to look like the very hits the leagues is trying hard to stamp out, tread lightly. Probably not the best idea to try and deceive the very guys who are in charge of enforcing the rules of the game, which is at an all-time high in degree of difficulty right now. Think officials don’t talk with one another? Think again. Especially with the state of the game being what it is right now. Reputations follow, reap what you sow, blah blah blah. Cliche’, but true.

    Matt Cooke is delusional if he thinks he’s gonna be anywhere near a crash scene like this and not get implicated. Going forward, Mr. Jackman would probably be well-advised to keep himself out of vulnerable spots out on the ice. To quote Chris Rock, “I ain’t sayin’ it’s right, but I understand…”

  11. I’d say it’s either a freak accident och Jackman embellishing, I really can’t see that Cookie did anything wrong with the hit. Which pains me to write as a I absolutely hate him.

  12. Posted this in the other thread, this is a REALLY well embellished hit. Jackman knows exactly who’s coming and spins into the boards at the last minute. He’s also curling into the fetal position before he even hits the ground. To top it off, Cooke looks like he’s handling a an expensive chinese vase. He got played here. Well played indeed.

  13. and yes when he hit SAVARD it was on a complete follow through of a slap shot from slot …. if it was a second earlier it would have been the greatest hit ever face to face ….. this is why i say he was more worried about shooting the puck then the guy coming straight at him …PLAYERS MUST PROTECT THEMESLEVES AT ALL TIMES … in horse racing if a jockey does something without worrying about his own safety and moves his horse to win at a risk of his own safety the whole field migth fall and fatalaties happen

    • If Cooke reached Savard a second earlier he would have plowed him from behind. Cooke was coming from Savard’s blind side, not “face to face.” And the whole point of that hit is that he didn’t get there a second earlier. He had taken himself too far out of the play to help, and he hadn’t a prayer of preventing or blocking the shot. He had nothing useful to do, and chose to take Savard’s head off instead.

      This is just the opposite – he sees Jackman vulnerable along the boards and angles to make sure that he’s coming in side-to-side with Jackman. Jackman takes a peek, turns to his left, and then upon (glancing) contact, magically spins back around to the right and goes hands-first into the boards. Cooke was royally had.

      Incidentally, I don’t think Jackman was looking to see who was on him – no doubt the goalie’s yelling “MAN ON” as he comes in. He was checking to see if the REF was there. The way he was braced for that hit, there’s no earthly way Cooke could have done that to him. I don’t blame the ref, because at full speed that looks pretty darn bad, but two minutes on Cooke was the right call, and Jackman is lucky he didn’t get two for the embellishment.

  14. ok it was a dirty headshot …. but still savard had no fear of anyone around him

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