Just now noticed that Cooke clearly charged Savard
posted at 3/21/2010 11:57 PM EDT
I know everybody must be sick to death of this, but I just happened to notice this, struck me out of the blue. And I've heard people talking about other possible penalties on the play, but this is most clear cut.
They have only been showing close ups of that hit and everybody has been focusing on the elbow.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_F7LEZ78_o
It's only in the first 16 seconds you can see it.
First focus on Cooke, once the turnover happens he is at CENTER ICE and its obvious he's going for an east-west hit. If you want to be ridiculously conservative disregard that, notice from the moment when Savard lifts his stick signalling that he wanted the puck, note Savard is OUTSIDE his own blue line when he does that - and note that Cooke is ALSO outside his own blueline right on the wing. So Cooke comes in from CENTER ICE - and if you are conservative about it, from the blue line and that is when Cooke finalizes his target on Savard - dropping him in line with center ice and between the dots and the blue line.
After all, if he's not following the puck on that play, then what else could he possibly be going in that direction for - other than to hit somebody.
The arguments about the elbow are not as clear cut, because his elbow is not parallel to the ice or something blatant like that.
If you straighten out the distances and make the situation simpler, Savard would be waiting for a pass at the goal mouth, and Cooke came in from about the blue line (because he came in at an angle from center ice in the real hit) skating in Savard's direction the entire time and then hit him, every ref on the planet would have recognized that as charging. Because Cooke angled toward Savard it wasn't obvious.
I can see an argument about the elbow, it's not perfectly clear cut, but charging is prefectly clear.
Rule 43.1 on charging - http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26331
Charging shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled,
shall violently check an opponent in any manner
. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice
Also I hadn't noticed that Ryder went after Cooke immediately and appeard to be about to start with him when Orpik steps in between, they cut away to Savard and the next thing you see is Wideman BETWEEN Ryder and Cooke - then if you listen closely, you can hear someone saying "hold up, hold up."
At first I thought Ryder totally wimped out, but that is not true. The next frames show Wideman is CLEARLY restraining Cooke from fighting and blocking Ryder and Orpik has Ryder. This is at 28 seconds.