Last night John Carleson decided that it would be perfectly acceptable to blatantly put an elbow to Matt Cooke’s head. He completely followed through on the hit. That is intent.
Seriously? Carleson also headshotted Sidney Crosby at one point after a whistle was blown. Disgusting.
Head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has stated that he will not review this play. Wait, I thought we were taking head shots seriously? This is the second time this season that Matt Cooke has taken a headshot on open ice without supplemental review. Cory Sarich hit Cooke in the team’s second game of the season in Calgary.
In the next game against Edmonton, Ryan Smyth laid out Chris Kunitz. Nothing. Smyth took a major and a 5 minute misconduct, but there was no review.
Fast forward to Kris Letang’s suspension for boarding Alexander Burmistrov in the game against Winnipeg. Completely legitimate.
Then there is the fine James Neal took for high-sticking PK Subban as he was falling because Subban put his notorious slewfoot to Neal’s heal. From that same game, Max Pacioretty was given a 3 game suspension for an open ice head shot on Kris Letang. I honestly thought this was one game too much. I have no idea where suspensions have any sort of standard or consistency. Oh wait. Because they DON’T.
Now last night we have the incident with Matt Cooke. Nothing. Again.
Shanahan has stated that headshots, intentional or otherwise are punishable because it is on the onus of the player to avoid contact with another player’s head. Pacioretty’s suspension was for not avoiding the head one what appears to be an accidental headshot (depending on the angle you are looking at). Maybe not so much accidental, but not malicious.
So, Matt Cooke lost 17 games at the end of last season for an elbow to Ryan McDonagh’s head, but when the tables are turned, clearly Matt Cooke is allowed to be targeted every which way in this league. May I just also remind you that Matt Cooke has only served 8 penalty minutes in 26 games this season? None of which were for headshotting a guy. Sidney Crosby has served 8 and he has only played in 6 games!!! SIX!!!
Mike Hurley had this to say about Cooke:
“Cooke has dished out so many of these hits (and worse) over the years, and he escaped without punishment for a blind-side head shot that essentially ended Marc Savard’s career, so it’s hard to stand up and try to argue he’s being treating unfairly. Still, Shanahan, the czar of punishment who’s already dished out 17 suspensions in just three months, is going to have some explaining to do.”
I have some serious issues with the first sentence in that statement. It isn’t hard to argue that he is being treated unfairly. The league CLEARLY states per Rule 48 that you cannot administer a shot to someone’s head. This law does not discriminate. If Trevor Gillies or Todd Bertuzzi receives an illegal shot to the head, the offender should be suspended. Period. No matter what the two of those players have done in the past and Matt Cooke is no exception. No player is exempt from the rules.
Keep a low profile, Cookie. Shanahan just gave this league a license to kill. Cool story, bro.
Shahahan is a joke. This proves it.