Denver Post writer Mark Kiszla didn't take kindly to the perceived dirty hit Wild forward Matt Cooke put on Colorado's Tyson Barrie. The hit could cost Cooke a suspension and it did cost Barrie, potentially, the rest of his season.
"The good people of Minnesota know the difference between old-time hockey and a goon on skates," Kiszla wrote. "So long as Cooke wears a Wild sweater, the state of hockey should be in a state of disgrace."
Cooke has a history of being a dirty player, and his hit on Barrie didn't fall short of the "cheap shot" category. It happened when Cooke delivered a knee-to-knee blow to Barrie during the second period of Minnesota's 1-0 overtime win over the Avalanche in Game 3 of their playoff series.
Barrie was helped off the ice and as he limped to the locker room he said, "I'm done," according to the TSN broadcast. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will miss 4-6 weeks. Cook will have a hearing with the NHL's board of safety, where he could face a suspension of five or more games.
1500 ESPN reports that the NHL's collective bargaining agreement requires the league to offer an in-person hearing for any suspension that could exceed five games.
“A knee on Tyson Barrie, without a doubt, that’s the play of the game,’’ Colorado head coach Patrick Roy said during a postgame interview, according to the Star Tribune. “We lost our best offensive defenseman, and I think it could have been a five-minute major. Plus, I think that would have broken (the Wild’s) momentum.
“I’m sure the league will make the right call. We’re very confident they will make the right call.’’
Cooke, whose 16-year career has included stops in Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Washington, was never a fan favorite when he played as a visitor at Xcel Energy Center. He had a history of getting under the skin of Wild fans for perceived dirty play, specifically during his time with the Canucks.
Cooke has been suspended six times in his career, all during his tenure with the Penguins. Michael Hurley of CBS Boston had this message for anyone who believes Cooke has changed his ways.
Matt Cooke is a changed man.
Matt Cooke has reformed his game.
These are the things you have heard about Matt Cooke over the past three years.
These things are false.
For a history lesson on why Cooke is perceived as a dirty player, take a look at this video of his "greatest (dirty) hits."