Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Cooke's Hit on Marc Savard Deserves Big Suspension

Chris MillerCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2010

PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 14:  Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Nashville Predators at Mellon Arena on February 14, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Predators defeated the Penguins 4-3 in shootout overtime.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Marc Savard never saw it coming.

Likewise, the chances of remembering the collision--doubtful.

Late in the third period of an intense 2-1 contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins , Savard found himself just inside the blue line with a bouncing puck that surprisingly found his stick.

As he fired the puck towards Marc-Andre Fluery , Savard had no clue what was about to hit him.

Unless you are an avid Matt Cooke hater.

Cooke's shoulder slammed into Savard's head, causing a violent collision that sent his head snapping back and his body flying wildly onto the ice.

The crowd silenced. Fans, with a collective gasp, stood on their feet for what would be a lengthy halt to the action. 

Of course, with any violent collision to the head and neck area, precautions are mandatory and necessary. Thus came the stretcher.

Savard eventually was removed from the ice and play resumed, but the minds of many still revolved around the health and condition of a player who had no chance of preventing what everyone did not wish to witness.

Matt Cooke did.

Replays show Cooke skating towards Savard, and while in his blind side, leaned his shoulder towards the skilled Boston Bruin. It seemed as if Cooke was hesitant as he did not bend his knees and explode forward, but the speed and momentum of his body was already enough to put Savard to the ice.

Especially when all Cooke hit was Savard's face.

Cooke is widely regarded by fans around the league as being a cheap shot artist, and Pittsburgh fans who are not on board need to take notice.

When a fine and suspension is handed out, maybe they will.

With the league looking to cut down on these types of collisions and subsequent injuries, a great example of their intentions could be displayed on the discipline of Cooke.

10 games.

Yeah, 10 games. Do it.

Not only is it necessary for a lengthy suspension, but also take a  substantial chunk from his wallet as well.

So the question from this might be 


The game is faster than ever. The speed and intensity is unmatched. Hockey is now more dangerous than it has ever been. Injuries are more prevalent, and concussions are more prominent.

The NHL  is recovering in popularity. The Olympics provided a boost in potentially luring in new fans. The NBA is facing attendance issues. The NFL may take a year off soon. The game of hockey has a chance to be respected and embraced by all once again.

Eliminate these unsightly incidences. Nothing good can come from them.

Above of all else, Cooke is the perfect candidate to be handed the slap.

During an 8-3 win against the New York Rangers on November 28, 2009, Cooke was handed a two game suspension for his head hunting collision with Artem Ansimov

Just like Savard, it was just inside the blue line, and Cooke skated through Ansimov's blind side.

Compare the Ansimov video and the Savard video

Very similar incidents.

In addition, Cooke was suspended two games for a blow to the head of Scott Walker on January 27, 2009 against the Carolina Hurricanes . A knee-on-knee with Erik Cole ; a biting allegation against Philadelphia .

Cooke is a repeat offender, and these consistent "two-gamers" are not going to solve the problem.

Three headshots in just over a year.

That, Pittsburgh Fans, should earn you a 10 game suspension.

And if you defend Matt Cooke, as some of you will, think about this long and hard.

When Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin suffers a blow to the head injury, how long of a suspension will you be calling for?


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