As in, he stuck out his knee and connected with that of Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, injuring a key player for Colorado in the second period as the Wild seek to rally in the series:
Somewhat inexplicably, Cooke was only given a 2-minute minor for this hit. Barrie had released the puck. Cooke went in for the hit with his left leg bent, clearly attempting to hit Barrie with his knee.
Look at the replay. It’s like he’s doing the Captain Morgan pose.
The Avalanche have been thriving on the blue line all season despite what appeared to be an underwhelming group on paper. Barrie was a big reason, and was second in ice time (23:49) with two points so far in this series.
As for Cooke … well, he was tasked to be a difference maker in Game 3 by coach Mike Yeo, and it was a difference he made. Previous to this hit, Cooke had been jabbing and slashing Avs through the first 20 minutes. And then he removed a critical player with his knee.
The refs felt this was a minor occurance. One imagines if the Avs are without their No. 2 defenseman, the NHL may react differently.
UPDATE: Sportsnet reports that Barris is out 4-to-6 weeks with an MCL injury.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Matt Cooke
- Tyson Barrie
- Colorado Avalanche