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Cooke defends Cole contact

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The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole midway through the third period after Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke caught him knee-on-knee in front of the Pittsburgh net. Cole played only one shift after that, and an angry Paul Maurice wasn't happy about the hit afterward.

Asked if he thought it was a knee-on-knee hit, with the implication that it was an illegal one, a curt Maurice said, "Yes, I did. I felt that was, yeah."

Cole officially has a "lower body" injury, but he clearly hurt his left knee in the collision. Cooke said the contact was accidental.

"He was cutting across the middle," Cooke said. "I turned sideways to hit him, and he turned the other way. I almost fell over, too."

Just as Cole has a history in this building — Brooks Orpik broke his neck with a hit from behind in 2006 — Cooke has a history with the Hurricanes. His blind-side hit to the head in January knocked Scott Walker out for a total of two months with a concussion, earning Cooke a two-game suspension.

Ironically, Walker and Orpik tangled after Orpik elbowed Walker in the third period, earning the penalty which led to Joe Corvo's power-play goal that brought the Hurricanes within one late.

Tuomo Ruutu, who also has a "lower body" injury, was hurt late in the first period and did not return for the second.

"I'll know more tomorrow," Maurice said. "I don't know much right now. We'll see how they wake up and how they feel." 

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The Cole and Ruutu incidents

The Cole and Ruutu incidents were blatant. Not necesarily premeditated (I don't think Bylsma is that kind of coach), but both Cooke and Eaton saw and opportunity and exploited it. I can't believe that on either occassion a penalty wasn't called.

van finance

Darren Pange

said on 850 the Buzz this afternoon that he thought that Cooke's hit was probably intentional and that Cooke has a reputation for skating right up to the edge of the rules and frequently goes over. He cam right out and said he felt Cooke is a dirty player and that the league should seriously think about supplemental discipline. I know this does not mean that Pittsburghers will see the light and acknowledge their player's are not all sweetness and light, but it does validate some of the unhappiness with Mr. Cooke shown on this board. I just reviewed both the Cooke and Eaton hits and they both should have been minors at the very least. Cooke should be suspended. Looked to me like he went out of his way to hit Cole with intent to injure.

cooke's hit intentional

i rewound the dvr to replay the cooke hit in super slow-mo. watch it closely and you can see he actually extends his left foot toward cole's left leg just prior to the contact. had he not done so, both players would have glided past one another. high-traffic area my ass. they were the only two guys within a five-foot radius on the ice when the hit occurred.
considering that cole was obviously shooting and did not intend to continue possessing the puck, cooke's move is dubious at best, downright dirty at worst. i understand that slow motion is not the speed at which the players play the game, and that there is often little forethought that goes into a moment like that. it is simply an instinct. an instinct to create contact, to slow a guy down, whatever. but cooke obviously plays the game on the edge of legality and has shown an "instinct" for dirty play. so whether or not he meant to do it is moot. he's a goon, and his action last night only confirms that. speaking of goons...
i don't mind "dirty" players like ott and avery who are forthright in their antics. everyone knows it's coming. it's the minuscule, below-the-radar acts like cooke's that kill me. he knows it won't/can't be called, that it means nothing to the play, and that it might put a guy out of the series. grow a pair and try to take him out with a clean hit, if that's what you're trying to do.
this leg-to-leg stuff is out of hand. just ask gonchar. or justin williams. in almost every instance i see, the contact is avoidable. and it's always the guy initiating the contact that survives it b/c he's tensed for it. the other guy's knee is the one that turns to jelly.
just wondering: what ever happened to the slew foot? is that still a penalty, and if so, has it been called since the lockout?

Mindreader?

Okay, you had me listening to your argument for a moment until you said Cooke "obviously plays the game on the edge of legality and has shown and 'instinct' for dirty play.  So whether or not he meant to do it is moot."

So because he's a "goon" (according to you) he should get the penalty? 

DVR's are wonderful inventions.  I super slowed it and watched it, too.  There were six players within a stick's reach of the hit, so it was definitely in traffic.  Cole had just released the puck and didn't expect the hit, but unexpected hits are common in the NHL. 

It's certainly questionable whether it was intentional, but it happenend in a split second in a flurry of activity.  Personally, I'd have no problem if Cooke had been penalized. The fact that he didn't even receive a minor probably means the referees were following Cole's shot and didn't see the hit.

Somehow I doubt you really have "more respect" for Avery or Ott. Seriously?  Did you have a problem with Scott Walker's sucker punch? How big were his stones?

Nobody wants to see a player hurt.  I doubt any Pittsburgh fans want to see Cole or any other player  injured.  And I agree that the NHL sent the completely wrong message when Ovechkin got away with his shot on Gonchar, which was more mcuh more obvious.

In the end, Cooke's hit had no effect on the outcome of the game.  Cole has been pretty much a non-factor lately (unlike Gonchar).  It didn't cost the Canes a goal, unlike Staal's whacking Fluery's stick out of his hand and shoving it away (when the Canes had a two man advantage with an empty net). 

I agree that the officiating has been mysterious.  Their whistles have cobwebs all game, but with the game on the line, the team with the lead somehow always takes a penalty for an infraction that was ingnored all game. 

Teams just have to play through it, and fans have to accept the officiating isn't perfect.  Otherwise, they'll miss a great series with their obsessive whining. 

not the only one

Slapshot --

 

though I didn't hear it, apparently the generally reliable darren pang agreed with me that cooke plays the game on the edge of the rules and that the contact was ostensibly intentional. as for the traffic, guys within a stick's length does not constitue traffic. if it did, 90 percent of the game would be played in high traffic. I consider high traffic when bodies are touching or about to touch, such as in the crease during power play flurries. and yes, I do have more respect ("more" being the operative term here, as opposed to "respect") for the known quantities of thugs like brashear, ott, avery, et al. with enforcers like them, you know what to expect, and they deliver. it's guys like cooke who play dirty and aren't accountable for it that irk me. as for walker, i think as fans and human beings that we ought to leave him out of the "goon" discussion. if you disagree with that, i pitty your black heart. finally, i never said he deserved a penalty. i said his action on the ice confirms what non-pittsburgh hockey fans have long known -- he sucks. 

Caseyfarrell

Look, I've watched and re-watched the hit, and it was definitely knee to knee.  Was it intent to injure?  Darren Pang thinks it probably was, but he's not Colin Campbell.  Does Cooke play on the edge and sometimes cross it? Sure, but so do other agitators around the league.  When he crosses the line he should be penalized, but I suspect the reason he wasn't penalized is that the referees didn't see it.  If he gets a suspension, I doubt there will be many Pens fans who are up in arms.

 Personally, if the league believes the hit was an intentional attempt to injure, then Cooke should be suspended.  I don't like to see knee to knee hits either, whether they're on Gonchar or Cole or anyone else. I've made the point that the NHL set a bad precedent when Ovechkin got away with his hit on Gonchar.

As for Scotty Walker's sucker punch to Aaron Ward, sorry, he doesn't get a pass because of his wife's medical condition.  And I don't think that way because I have a black heart (I'm a cancer survivor myself), but because the NHL ignored its own rule which called for an automatic suspension in for a player instigating in the final five minutes.  Ward was standing there with his hands at his side, gloves on, and Walker drops him with an unprovoked round house right.  Does that make Walker a goon?  Should we have less respect for him because he's not a card carrying goon like Avery or Ott? And Walker scores the winning goal in Game 7?  What do you think the Bruins fans think about that?  And now the hit is off limits because his wife has cancer?  Sorry, I doubt even Walker would agree with you on that one.

Here is a fact.  Fans are going to see things their team's way.  You're willing to give Walker a pass for a vicious, intentional cheap shot, but not to Cooke for a hit that took place between two moving players in a split second.  I guess it just depends on which replica NHL jersey you wear. 

getting ugly out there

Slapshot --

 You're a knowledgeble and good fan of the game and of your team. i look forward to sparring with you in the future (let's hope it's not over in four). glad to hear you're a survivor. have you seen the ugliness developing around this story on the latest blog postings? not much in the way of intelligent argument; more along the lines of a pissing contest. you should put your two cents in, if for nothing else than to be a voice of reason among a good deal of unreasonable pens fans. keep up the good work. 

Three times and counting...

At least we were saved the italics and captialized words in this repeat.

slew foot

you make a good point on slew footing .. . I cannot recall the last time I actually saw one called

esteban thinks

1. the officiating could or should be better, but untill mr. buttman...I mean Bettman gets it together...it will never happen.

2. As much as some fans would like to see the old blood & gore of the old style gladiator type hockey ( before helmets and masks ) when an occasional bench brawl did happen during the regular season, the NHL can't afford that, nor can many of the players who are tough competitors whose playing and careers are at risk as it is, afford to cheapen the game anymore than it has been in the past...Costs too much!

3. While we fans do see things differently than the refs & linesmen & tv cameras do, we must never forget that No one deliberately or willing goes out to hurt or cripple some one...if they do, they are found out and dealt with...hopefully before any serious damage or injuries are inflicted. As much as we'd all love to see a dragged out fight between 2 players till one is all but bloodied and dead on the ice, but is that what the sport of Hockey is all about ?
If you don't know the answer to that, then you need to go ask the likes of a Gordie Howe, A Booby Orr or Bobby Hull or a Phil & Tony Esposito...and see what they tell you.

Go Canes !!

Links to Video of Game 1 controversial plays

Here's a link to the video of the controversial plays and non-calls.  Odd that Cole is called for interference when he skates for position; but Eaton and Cooke are not called when they take out Ruutu and Cole using their legs and where neither Cole nor Ruutu had the puck.  If Cole hit Crosby with his legs and took out Crosby would that be called or not?  If Ruutu took out Malkin using his legs would that be called or not? 

Given the fact the hits are all on videotape, each person can decide for himself or herself.

 

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Pass-or-Fail-Cole-Cooke-controversies-from-Can?urn=nhl,164344

 

 

we got the answer to that

That link you provided is incredibly one sided.  Pass or Fail, it is illegal to knock a goalie's stick out of his hands and then shuffle it down the ice?

 

Cole's call was justified because he hit a guy who did not have the puck which led to a direct scoring chance. ?Textbook inteference and interference is (for whatever reason) is getting more calls this postseason than more violent impacts.  If nothing else it is a wash with the non-call on Staal that led to the second canes goal.

Don't focus on the officiating

I didn't think Cole or Ruutu's injuries were a result of blatant attempts to injure. Could they have been sneaky attempts to hurt the Canes? Maybe, but I did not see it that way. A bit careless in the way a player gets an accidental stick to the face, yes. Maurice will make his comments and plant his seeds as he should regarding the officiating but the Canes will not dwell on it and neither should we. The Pens won the game, Fluery played great and made some game saving stops.
Nobody really knows what the other players were thinking regarding the hits, so it's all opinion. I can see where some might think it was intentional and I wasn't very happy about either one when they happened, but it's time to move ahead.

Dusty Whistles

It's been clear since the start of the playoffs that the referees have been calling a different standard than the regular season.

Having said that, the refs have made bad calls and non-calls both ways. Eric Staal knocks Fluery's goalie stick out of his hand on a power play in the final two minutes, then shoves it away.  No penalty, goal for the Canes at a crucial time in the game. Teams just have to play through it. The Canes have great fans, with a terrific reputation. Don't cheapen it by signing on to an officiating "conspiracy."

That the Hurricanes were the least penalized team in the regular season says a lot about their discipline, but in an individual game or even a series, it means bupkis. It doesn't buy any calls. If the NHL really wanted to throw series for the sake of ratings, the big market Original Six Rangers and Bruins would still be playing. Would Ovechkin's Capitals be a bigger draw than Crosby's Penguins? The Devils versus the Rangers? Would the NHL prefer to have at least one Canadian team still playing? Maybe.

If you want fair, Scott Walker should have been given (according to Rule 56) a minor for fighting, a major for instigating, a game misconduct and a game SUSPENSION for instigating in the final five minutes. Walker (from the least penalized Hurricanes) reportedly broke Aaron Ward's orbital bone.  And was Brodeur interfered with on the OT goal? It depends who's watching.

 The point is, nobody can figure out the officiating. Capital fans, after dismissing Ovechkin's knee-on-knee hit on Gonchar -- which to many observers at the time was more obvious than Cooke's hit on Cole last night -- spent the rest of the series wailing about the officiating.

This should be a great series between two fast, dynamic teams. Strap in and enjoy the ride, and don't get on the conspiracy bandwagon. It will blur your view and only make you bitter. I think the Canes fans are better than that.

I'm sorry, but there's a

I'm sorry, but there's a major difference between Ovechkin's and Cooke's knee-on-knee infractions:  one was called and one wasn't.  I'm not on off on any conspiracy, but I do agree that last night's game was poorly officiated.  I too cannot stand the calling of minor things early in the game, then put away the whistles when nasty things like that knee-to-knee happen.  That's how the bad blood begins, when referees don't control it and the players feel like they need to handle it themselves, and one might argue that this is the biggest role that they should play in the playoffs.

Re: Ref's

You make a fair point, they've been consistently inconsistent. Next to the Buttman, they've got the toughest job in the NHL. Yes, the NHL would probably like a Pens vs Wings final, but they are not going to tell their officials to make it happen, so I don't buy the conspiracy theory, never have - usually home teams get a slight edge in officiating.

Pens Fans Are Great

I really like the Pens team and like the Pens fans.  It's a classic battle between talented teams that have the will to compete and are well-coached.  I dislike the inconsistency of the officiating over the Canes three game series as well as the CAPS/PENs series -- where it seemed the officials within the game couldn't figure out what style of game they would permit; but I have only respect for the Pens and their fans -- although Orpik cannot be hit hard and often enough as long as the hits are clean and between the whistles. 

broken orbital bone....

... which magically healed itself after the NHL rendered its verdict.

 

Give me a break.  Walker got the appropriate punishment.

 

Now, if theleague will not mete out an appropriate punishment to Cooke, Conboy will have to.

Re: Broken Orbital Bone

Actually, Walker reportedly gave Ward a break...

Several media sources reported that Ward's orbital bone was broken.  Whether or not it was broken, his return to play says more about the fact that he's a tough hockey player stepping up in the playoffs than the his magical healing abilities.

As I said, Rule 56 clearly states that instigating a fight in the final five minutes is an automatic suspension.  That's automatic.  As in AUTOMATIC.  That would have been  appropriate the appropriate punishment.

 No penalty was awarded on Cooke's hit, possibly because the referee judged it to be non-intentional.  It involved two players away from the puck in high traffic. I'm sure the Canes fans know it was intentional.  But if Ovechkin didn't get suspended for a much more obvious intent-to-injure hit on Gonchar, Cooke probably won't be suspended either. 

Did you even see Ward after

Did you even see Ward after the incident? He barely had a shiner. There's no disputing he's a tough guy, but if he actually had a broken orbital bone, he would've been running the risk of losing vision in his left eye if he was hit there again. Any doctor worth a bag of pucks would have implored him to wear a cage or he would be putting his health and well-being in danger.

The media "reports" claiming his orbital bone was broken all went away like a fart in the wind as soon as the NHL rescinded Walker's suspension. That's right, rescinded. Walker was indeed automatically suspended, but the NHL overturned that automatic suspension after reviewing the circumstances of the event.

Stop pulling out the rule book acting like some sort of hockey genius and pretending you know what happened, because you clearly do not.

Since you want to break out

Since you want to break out the rule book...

 It was ruled that Ward engaged in the fight (which he indirectly started by taking a liberty against one of our players).  He got KO'ed.

 While we are talking about rules, since you descriptly said that the Cooke incident involved 2 players AWAY from the puck, Interference SHOULD have been called at the very least.

We heard you the first time...

What good do you think saying it a second time will do?  Did you think the italics and the additional capitalized words would make us suddenly think you're right?  We don't...please stop trying to pick a fight.

overall officiating

Overall the officiating was the epitomy of what I hate . . . they called 3 chippy little minor penalties early in the game and then let a bunch go later on. After the first period, there were 3 penalties total. The interference on Cole had to be called because it directly led to a goal. The delay of game on Cullen was a no brainer, must call. The elbowing on Orpik was deserving of a call, but strangely not as bad as some things prior.

However, I wouldn't call it one sided. In case you missed it, the Canes second goal was the direct result of Staal knocking Fleury's stick out of his hand and then moving it down ice.

Wrong...Staal moved stick from his feet twice

Pitt D man tried to slide the stick either to fluery or under Staal's feet twice Staal moved it from his feet but did not "knock it out of Fluery's hands" McGuire would have been all over that with his biased reporting. No replay showed Staal knocking the stick out of Fluery's hand just did not leave in out in front to intefere with PP good for him.

no actually he did.  there

no actually he did.  there is no timer on this, but it is just a bit before 3/4 of the way through.  Staal used his stick to knock the stick out of his hands and then to move it away from him.

 

http://espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=290518016

 

or here at 8:17

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv62FRZBX1g

Legal/Illegal?

I don't think the incident with Eaton was blatant, no moreso than Gonchar almost getting his knees rolled. As far as the Cooke hit goes, I don't think it was anywhere close to the Ovechkin hit in the last series. If he (Ovechkin) didn't get suspended there is no way that Cooke should. That being said, I believe the league has legalized charging for Ovechkin so who knows? This is going to be a great series and I can only hope that it isn't marred by and injury and that it doesn't decline into a push and shovefest like the Flyers or Caps series. Best wished to Cole. See yinz Thursday.

officiating

I don't see Eaton's hit as dirty. I think he was out of position and tried to do something to correct that. Easily could have been a penalty, but not worthy of a suspension. Cooke's is a bit more problematic. To me it is the same type of hit that Ovechkin put on Gonchar. I felt that one was reckless and deserving of a game suspension. However, if Cooke gets a game when Ovie didn't, the NHL does nothing to improve it's double standard image.

All that said, Cooke has been largely ineffective and if I were a Canes fan, I don't think I would want him suspended. A suspended Cooke opens the door for Sykora to find his way back in the lineup and while Sykora has disappointed this post season, he is far more of a threat than is Matt Cooke.

Eaton - Cooke

Eaton did not hit anything he leg whiped Ruutu as he skated past from behind. At worst it was an attemt to injure, at best it was a cheap shot as he overskated the play.

As for Cooke I agree that is he is not very good but I would rather have a more talented opponent than a dirty one who's only play is to take dirty shots that end up injuring players.

again, penalty worthy,

again, penalty worthy, probably . . but intent to injure is a major stretch.  First, Eaton has zero history of playing dirty.  Second, if you are intending to injure, there are far more effective ways to go about it.

Agreed

From the NHL, I'd be very surpised if anything came of the Cooke hit other than a little lip service, 6 games left we'll get retribution. From years of watching Cooke in Vancouver one thing is certain - he'll hurt the Pens with a dumb penalty at an inopportune time. He's a piece of garbage and I've wasted more time talking about him than I should have.

I just worry about Cooke

I just worry about Cooke taking someone else out.  Hopefully, Ruutu and Cole will be back.   We certainly cannot afford to lose anyone else, especially on a cheap shot from Cooke.

Officiating

I didn't think the officiating last night was bad, I would have been happier with a couple of more calls our way, but didn't think it drastically changed the outcome. I didn't think Ruutu's hit was dirty, Eaton's not a dirty player and it was unfortunate the way that played out. With out a doubt, Matt Cooke's hit on Cole was dirty and late, he dragged his leg and went for Cole's leg (watch the replay). He's a punk and has no business being in the NHL. There better be consequences for what he did. Other than that, thought it was our best game 1 yet, Fleury got out his lucky saves in game 1.

I agree that it hasn't been

I agree that it hasn't been "that" bad, but it has been bad enough to create controversy. (Specialy talking about the hit on Cole) And I know Pitt fans will argue that just people in NC are talking about it but the truth is that the controversity is on NHL Network the NHL on XM radio, etc.

We are not asking that the calls go OUR way, we just want a FAIR game!!! 

Disgusted

Considering we haven't changed our game much from the regular season, it is rather peculiar that we go from the least penalized team in the league to being one of the most. I'm not going to argue about what we DID get called for last night, but clearly, the rules don't apply to both sides.

The Cole and Ruutu incidents were blatant. Not necesarily premeditated (I don't think Bylsma is that kind of coach), but both Cooke and Eaton saw and opportunity and exploited it. I can't believe that on either occassion a penalty wasn't called.

As has been made clear from the beginning of the playoffs, the officiating is as corrupt as the judges in boxing. We will consistently have to neutralize it with solid play. Where it becomes disgusting is when players are getting injured by dirty hits and the officials continue to look in the other direction.

Karma?

It's amazing to me that after what happened in the last round, where the NHL bascially said "Anything goes" when they chose not to suspend Walker, that Hurricanes fans are now crying foul about an alleged cheap shot.

Hay Karma Boy, If that's so

Hay Karma Boy, If that's so amazing to you that Matt Cooke and his checkered past in the league did not intent to injure on that Cole injury play, than you do not know a thing about hockey and need to go back and do some research on what a cheap shot is.  Show me the quote where the NHL said "anything goes"?  Who said it and when?

 

 

Give me a break

You can't possibly compare a punch to the face of a player who is staring right at you and had time to react to the situation against a pair of leg to leg collisions that our guys never saw coming.

sUGGESTION:

I think it may be a good time to dress Comboy

Maybe it is time to play

Maybe it is time to play with a little nastiness in our side (I am not talking about violence like Bertuzzi-Moore incident) I am talking more like Scott Stevens kind of nastiness. It is so obvious that the league has invested millions of dollars making Crosby the face of the NHL (Don't get me wrong kudos to him but shame on the ref's)

Amen

Yes - I have been screaming this for the last two series. The Refs are going to continue to call the Canes for farting while the other teams are getting away with murder !

No Wondering Here

As far as I am concerned, there is no question the Ruutu and Cole hits were cheap shots. There is also not a doubt in my mind that the NHL has in mind how it will call or not call the games in this series. Rather than whine about it, the Hurricanes have to buckle down and not give the officiating the chance to be outcome determinative. The officiating is geared toward influencing the outcome, but it cannot control the outcome unless the Hurricanes allow it to do so. By contrast, if the roles were reversed and Crosby was taken out by Cole, Cole would be sitting. The same is true if Eaton and not Ruutu were injured.  The NHL playoff officiating is too consistently poor and biased for anybody to really wonder why.  Afterall, if it were random, then the team who is the beneficiary of non-calls would shift during the series.  When the same team gets the majority of calls,  it's the person holding the whistle who has decided to influence the game.

Stop The Whining

"Afterall, if it were random, then the team who is the beneficiary of non-calls would shift during the series."

 

I was unaware that the officials were required to call the same amount of penalties on both sides.

 I always thought that if one team was less disciplined, not as fast on their skates, played the majority of the game in their own end of the ice, didn't move their feet, and weren't as good as their opponent, they were more likely to have more penalties called on them.

 Guess not.

Observations Versus Whining

I agree completely that referees should call the game and that the number of penalties called against a team does not disclose an inherent bias.  In fact,  your comment makes my point.  If the calls are unbaised and objective,  the ebb and flow of games will mean that over a series the calls will essentially even out -- one team will get the calls one game and another team gets the calls the next.  What has happened over the three game series is demonstrative of a lack of objectivity.  It is simply not feasible that the Hurricanes, who over the course of 82 games were the least penalized team,  would suddenly become undisciplined for every game in a three game series.  The statistical likelihood of that situation occurring is beyond remote; and the only logical conclusion is that the officiating is much more subjective and tilted toward the favorite in each series.  That's life in the NHL playoffs, just as if it is life in the NBA playoffs.  When I see Cooke called for interference for kneeing Cole, Eaton called for interference for kneeing Ruutu,  and when tripping is called on both sides of the ice,  I'll know the NHL has stepped in and admonished its officials to clean up their act.  Until that happens,  I will observe what is there to be seen -- which is a consistent slanting of calls toward the NHL favorite.

Ovservations vs Whining

If hockey was played and officiated by statisticians, your theory that it's "simply not feasible" that the Hurricanes would take more penalties than their opponent would work. 

But hockey isn't a mathematics equation, nor is the awarding of penalties based on "statistical likelihood" (or sometimes even logic).  Some teams draw more penalties because of their speed, some because they provoke the other team into taking them.  Teams struggling to clear the puck from their zone tend to hook or hold.  Then there's the infuriating make up call. It's hockey, not statistical certainty, it's not even fair at times, but that's why the games are played by big, tough men and not computer geeks or video gamers.

Here's a statistic:  A player on a power play knocks the goalies stick out of his hand, then shoves it away from him; 87.4% of the time, that's a penalty.

I just made that up....

Observations Versus Whining

The Pens and the Canes played four games during the regular season.  Don't they appear to be playing similarly in Game 1, albeit with a playoff style?  Wouldn't it be reasonable that the relative speed and quickness of the teams would be  equivalent in this fifth meeting?  All any NHL team can hope for is a consistent set of rules of engagement by the officials during the game.  The players and coaches and fans for the Pens and Canes deserve to have the rules enforced similarly on both sides of the ice.  The Pens are fast and quick.  The Canes are fast and quick.  To suggest the Hurricanes weren't able to keep up and therefore held or grabbed more than the Pens can't be supported by the skating on the ice that we all saw.  In the end, however, the Pens deserved to win because their goalie made key stops and the Pens converted on their chances.  The Hurricanes lost because Ward was not able to make enough superb saves (i.e, the Satan breakaway -- caused by a mental lapse on defense and the Malkin shot) and the Hurricanes didn't finish on their chances, such a chances by LaRose, Samsonov, Jokinen, and Staal.  That's hockey. 

The Conspiracy Theorists Are

The Conspiracy Theorists Are Alive and Well.

If Cole and Ruutu cannot return

then it's time for a disposable player to take a similar cheap shot run at Crosby or Malkin. 

 

I'm sure Pittsburgh fan would completely understand our protestations that it was accidental, or "just hockey."

Just because

I'm paranoid doesn't mean that no one is out to get me.

Typically, the Hurricanes

Typically, the Hurricanes are a faster, quicker team than their opponent, making it unnecessary to take "lazy" penalties.

 In this series, they aren't the faster team.  Do you think that could conceivably factor into the calls?

 THEY'VE PLAYED ONE GAME.

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About the blogger

Luke has worked for The N&O since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist in August 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at (919) 829-8947, @LukeDeCock on Twitter or luke.decock@newsobserver.com.
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