Monday, April 12, 2010

Just call him Evander 'Holyfield' Kane

A lot of non-hockey fans will say that hockey, as a sport, is "too violent", and that's just for the perfectly legal art of checking - never mind the fist fights that go on.

Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins has made a reputation for himself - among fans, media, other players, and team executives (so in short, everybody) - for dirty hits that are likely to cause injury. Even his own teammates have criticized him!

In early March, Cooke hit Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins with a blow to the head, causing a serious concussion (grade 2), and ended Savard's season

In a very controversial ruling, prior to the NHL's new rule about head blows, Cooke didn't receive any suspension time for the hit - rather surprising, as he's racked up a number of suspensions and concussions to other players. That particular blow may have been the real catalyst to get the NHL to finally rule against heat shots.

Well, this weekend, Cooke found out what goes around, comes around. After Atlanta Thrashers rookie Evander Kane checked Penguins star Sidney Crosby to the boards once or twice during the first period, Cooke (and other Penguins) spent the rest of the period attempting to instigate Kane. Finally, Kane had enough of it, and knocked Cooke out with a single punch. Karma's a bitch, yo. 

Kane got a penalty, of course, but to the delight of hockey fans (and probably quite a few players), the hit was considered "legal", and Cooke managed to skate off the ice under his own power.

The below video has been making the heavy rounds on the hockey Tweeting circuit this weekend, with people dubbing the 18-year-old Thrasher as Evander "Holyfield" Kane, and it just never gets old:

Have to especially love the commentator's discussion... "Bam! Oh man, that's as good a hockey punch as I've seen in a long, long time."

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