Matt Cooke, public enemy #1 or #2, depending on your opinion, of the Ottawa Senators for his part in Erik Karlsson‘s Achilles tendon injury last season, has struck again. While I am of the opinion that the play that resulted in the Karlsson injury was not on purpose, it would be hard to argue lack on intent on this one.
This time around, he has taken out one of the best defensemen on the Colorado Avalanche with a blatant knee as Tyson Barrie was clearing the puck out of his zone. Cooke’s leg was outside the rest of his body as his knee went right into Barrie’s.
Cooke was assessed a 2 minute minor for kneeing, but TSN color commentator Ray Ferraro reported that as Barrie made his way to the bench on one skate, he told the Avalanche trainer “I am done”.
What he meant by that is up for debate, but it would be a huge loss as Barrie was a breakout performer this season and is the Avs’ most offensive defenseman.
The Avalanche are already without leading scorer Matt Duchene for at least this series with a knee injury, and the loss of Barrie would be a big hit to the ability of Colorado to hold onto the 2-0 series lead.
The Wild and Avalanche were scoreless at the time of the injury early in the second period.
So I guess Cooke’s rehabilitation from rat to solid third liner was overstated after all, or at the very least this play was a major relapse.
Expect the league to look at this hit further despite the fact it was only given a minor penalty. Hopefully Barrie can come back to the Avs’ lineup at some point in this series.