Introducing the Marc Savard Rule
WARNING: The videos in this article are NOT for the faint of heart!
I love the game of hockey. It's an entertaining blend of skill and physicality, speed and strength, the only sport where you are essentially playing offense and defense simultaneously. Unfortunately, those blended elements sometimes lead to moments like this one:
When I saw this hit live, I had two thoughts in my mind. First, that was a really wicked hit, Marc Savard is probably done for the season. Second, Matt Cooke is probably going to receive a one game suspension for that hit, if for no other reason than getting a match penalty and the automatic suspension that comes with it. I felt that way because while it wasn't head hunting, the hit certainly could have been avoided.
As it turned out, I was only half right. Savard is indeed done for the season (and possibly his career, more on that later). Cooke, however, was not suspended for the infraction. The NHL's head disciplinarian Colin Campbell justified the non-suspension by saying that because he didn't suspend Mike Richards way back at the beginning of the season, he could not suspend Cooke now. If you care to look, Richards' incident was nearly identical:
This is indeed the comparison that should be made. Those who have been giving Cooke the evil eye in recent days have taken to comparing this incident to the infamous Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore debacle. Sorry folks, there is a large difference between a sideswipe to the head with your shoulder and running a guy down from behind, punching him in the head, and then piledriving him to the ice.Continued on the next page