Poor Matt Cooke, even when he tries to stay away from controversy he manages to find it and anger a whole mess of people. For those who do not know what happened Matt Cooke had been part of an unfortunate play in a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. The play happened with Cooke pinning Ottawa defensemen Erik Karlsson into the boards and having his skate cut Karlssons Achilles tendon on his left foot to about 70% damage.Karlsson has had surgery to repair the cut but looks like he will be out for the rest of the season and the playoffs as well if the Senators make it. It is a terrible injury that adds to the Sens long list of injures that includes Jason Spezza, Jared Cowen, Milan Michalek, Peter Regin and more. Hopefully the Sens will manage to keep up the winning without these guys, however this Ottawa team is much better when they are all healthy. As for Cooke, no discipline was charged towards Cooke and rightly so, it was a freak accident that unfortunately happened, I find it hard to believe that someone would do that on purpose. Yes Cooke has an awful track record with moments such as knocking out Marc Savard with a headshot that seems to have ended Savards career and Cooke has been part of other bad hits and suspensions. Cooke however has attempted at changing his game and last year it looked like he had changed with only 44 penalty minutes in the entire season. I believe people can change, including Cooke. Cooke has been part of some terrible controversies and it seems to have found him again, but this time it is a situation that really does not seem as though he is at any fault. Of course many Senators fans and their owner disagree, but nothing can be done about it seeing as the league also sees it as an accident too. If there is a point to be made on this it is that maybe the Senators organization can talk to the league as to why the referee did not blow the play dead when the puck hit the netting seconds before the accident happened with Karlsson. Had the play been blown dead it is almost a certainty that this injury would not have happened and that the Sens would not have lost their best Defensemen for the season.
In NHL goalies make the difference, just ask the Nashville Predators and their goalie Pekka Rinne. The Predators are not a team that has a humongous payroll and are not showing off many superstars, although they do have Shea Weber who is one of the best defensemen in the league and who also happens to be on their team. No the Preds are not star struck, but they are a hard working team with the likes of Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher and of course David Legwand, who all try their best to win, game in and game out. The Predators have also been very lucky to have a goalie like Pekka Rinne, who is one of the best goalies in the league. I am pretty sure if it was not for Rinne the Predators would have never been a top Western Conference team. Last season Rinne had a 43-18-8 record with a 2.39 GAA and 936 save percentage, which earned him a spot as a Vezina Trophy finalist, only to lose to Henrik Lundqvist who is another elite goalie. This goalie makes the team; he stands on his head every game, holds the lead and steals many games from the opposing team. Rinne had a slow start this season and it took till the 31st of January to record his first win of the season, but after that he has gone 6-1-1 with two shutouts. Rinne also has great overall numbers with a 144-75-30 record with 28 shutouts and a 936 GAA and 2.31 SV%, with Rinne signed till 2019 the Predators are set with their Goaltending, all they need to do now is to prevent their top stars from leaving and they can and should be considered a Stanley Cup contender. The Predators have a great commitment to this team, and with locking up Rinne and Weber and developing their young players and maybe adding a free agent or two, the Predators will be one of the teams that everyone fears. With Rinne as their backstop stealing games this team has a great present and fantastic future to look forward to and with that in mind Rinne has proven that having a great goalie can make all the difference to the team.
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