By: Adam Gretz
Late in the third period of Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, Penguins forward Matt Cooke was on the receiving end of what appeared to be an elbow to the face from defenseman John Carlson, which you can see in the above video. It was a play that initially went under the radar during the game, and Penguins fans were not happy about it after the fact.
There was no penalty called on the play, and Cooke, it appears, was uninjured as a result of the hit. It also seems that Carlson will not recieve any supplemental discipline from the NHL.
Here's what the league said in a statement sent to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"The Department of Player Safety's view is that, with barely enough time for one last rush, Carlson was desperate to join that rush. He doesn't even see Cooke coming toward him until the last minute (his view of Cooke is obscured by Ovechkin until the last moment) and he actually cringes to avoid contact if you can pause it when they're a couple of feet apart.Of course, one can't help but wonder what the NHL's response would have been had the shoe been on the other foot and it were Cooke delivering a similar hit on Carlson, or any other player.
"The worst-looking part of the play is when Carlson flares out his right arm. But he does that as he's past Cooke, in a "get out of my way, I have to get up ice" kind of way."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, however, insisted that Cooke's reputation did not influence the NHL's decision.
More NHL Discipline News Here
(H/T Pensblog for the video)