Winnipeg Jets’ forward Evander Kane caught St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Barret Jackman with a high hit late in the second period and received a minor penalty for roughing.
Jackman dropped his gloves in an attempt to fight Kane and did not receive a penalty.
Winnipeg Jets’ coach Paul Maurice was none too pleased with the call.
Matt Cooke hasn’t ever been a guy that gets the benefit of the doubt when there’s a questionable play or hit. He’s done enough in his past to make sure that if he’s around when something dastardly goes down, chances are he’s getting booked for it.
Last night in St. Louis, however, Matt Cooke sure seemed to be innocent of any evil wrongdoing when he checked Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman late in the third period. Rather than describe how the play went down, see for yourself courtesy of The Score.
Cooke was given two minutes for boarding late in the third period of a tie game, a brutal penalty to take.
What seems to be the case here, however, is that Jackman appeared to turn himself into the hit and throw himself face-first into the boards. When Cooke goes to deliver the hit, he’s hitting Jackman from the side, but Jackman winds up going face first into the glass. It’s a dubious play at best and at worst it’s a reputation call for Cooke and an embarrassing exaggeration by Jackman to draw a call.
Cooke has been a relative saint this season with just 16 penalty minutes. After a brutal year last season that saw him wind up getting suspended for the end of the regular season and playoffs, he’s cleaned up his game in a big way.
In this instance, however, it shows that reputations are harder to kill than anything.
It’ll be Sidney Crosby’s second game back tonight when the Penguins face the St. Louis Blues and after the phenomenal first game back Crosby had, just what could we see for an encore? If you’re thinking it’ll be more of the same, you might wind up being a bit let down.
Crosby and the Penguins going up against the Blues, who we saw lose a hard luck game to the Kings on Versus last night, means we’ll likely see Brian Elliott get the call in goal for St. Louis. Not to dumb things down for you too much here but Brian Elliott is a lot better in goal than Anders Nilsson.
Also factoring into things is the coaching of Ken Hitchcock. If there’s anyone that knows Crosby well by now it’s Hitch. After being an assistant coach on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team that won gold, if anyone’s got an inside line as to how Crosby will work it’ll be Hitchcock. Of course knowing how to work against Crosby and having the personnel to pull it off are two totally different things.
The Blues defense was mostly good in handling the Kings last night aside from two brutal errors by Barrett Jackman. Mistakes like that would open the door for another offensive explosion by the Pens. Don’t bank on that happening again, though.
The storybook way this goes is if Crosby does have another big game. The legend grows and the myth making begins in earnest and we’ll be spoiled by seeing him bust out in two out of two games. Realistically, however, things get toned down a bit tonight. Then again, there’s a reason why they play the games. Let the fun begin once again.