Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I think Cooke got the misconduct to protect him and because he tried to throw Neil's stick into the crowd.
Cooke was given the misconduct as an excuse to get him off the ice, as others have mentioned.
I admit I'm perplexed at all the talk about reputation, because, while Cooke's reputation is understood and known, I don't believe it's material in this instance. I don't even believe his burgeoning (fledgling?) reputation as a reformed player matters here, either. I don't believe I'm being obtuse. If you examine the play discretely, first, as a hockey play, and assess it from that standpoint, then an appropriate question to ask would be, "What would 9 out of 10 players be doing in that same situation?" and then analyze timing, place, situation, etc. Jumping to reputation first in assessing the situation infuses the analysis with confirmation bias, which really renders the analysis as crap because it's not an analysis at all.
I've never played hockey, but I know enough basic physics and a smattering of kinesiology to believe that, if Cooke injured Karlsson intentionally--in the split second it happened and looking in the other direction--then he's a freakin' marvel. Zapruders all over the NHL fan spectrum can freeze frame and slow up the action, forgetting how fast hockey really is.
I agree with Aaron Ward's assessment on TSN that it was a hockey play and Cooke was attempting to re-establish balance. I'll add that if any other active player other than Matt Cooke were involved here, then we'd be left only with lamenting the loss of an exciting young talent and calling for Kevlar socks to be mandatory equipment. And that's not enough for some fans once they see the 24 and "Cooke" on the back of the sweater.