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Evander Kane KOs Matt Cooke (VIDEO)

Pittsburgh Penguins pest Matt Cooke has a history of hitting players in the head and was suspended twice for it in 2009. This time he got KOed by a rookie. WARNING: Don’t blink or you’ll miss the knockout!

Last night Cooke took his act to Atlanta and in a meaningless game and decided to chase Thrashers rookie Evander Kane around challenging and harassing the youngster. Evander Kane, who is named after Evander Holyfield, finally accepted the invitation and the pair dropped their gloves. In a split second, in Holyfield fashion, Kane leveled Cooke with a right hook and knocked him out cold.

You could almost hear the cheers coming from Boston as Cooke laid on the ice with doctors kane knocks out cooketending to him and bringing out a stretcher.

Cooke is also the player who delivered the headshot to Boston Bruins star Marc Savard on March 7 that has sidelined the Bruins’ player ever since. Cooke, now a villain in Beantown, avoided any suspension for the Savard hit and has continued to be the pesky player Pittsburgh fans love and opponents love to hate.

After a long break, Cooke refused to be carted off and got up onto his feet and skated off on his own but is listed as day-to-day with a concussion.

When asked about the fight Thrashers coach John Anderson said, “Clearly Cooke came after an eighteen-year-old rookie. What goes around comes around.”

Since he’s a rookie who answered the call, Kane’s one-punch knockout joined our classic NHL brawls videos section.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in Hockey Brawls, NHLComments (6)

Several Reasons For Atlanta Thrashers’ Hot Start

ATLANTA – Riding the wave of a four-game win streak and dramatic last-second victory Monday night against division rival Rich PeverleyFlorida Panthers, the Atlanta Thrashers will be taking a great deal of momentum into their game Thursday night against the New York Islanders at Philips Arena.

The Thrashers under the great leadership of Captain Kovalchuk appear to be adapting to Coach John Anderson’s offensive scheme as the team leads the NHL in goals per game with an impressive 3.46 mark. To put that in perspective, the dominating Detroit Red Wings led the NHL last season with a 3.52.

One of the reasons for the Thrashers hot start is the contribution of several players who were not on the roster at the start of last season.

Three of the top four names found on the team’s current stats sheet are Rich Peverley (10g-16a-26pts), Maxim Afinogenov (11g, 14a, 25pts) and Nik Antropov (2g, 21a, 23pts). Afinogenov scored the game winner with 5 seconds remaining in regulation time in that dramatic win against the Panthers.

Another factor is the impressive play of their youngsters. Nineteen-year-old Zach Bogosian leads the NHL in goals by a defensemen with 8 while eighteen-year-old rookie Evander Kane, another first-round pick, has contributed as well, adding (8g, 5a, 13pts), creating a rookie-of-the-year buzz around the city of Atlanta.

Goaltending is another area the team has improved and they’ve done it without Kari Lehtonen, their starting goaltender over the past few seasons. While Lehtonen continues to recover from an injury that required surgery, back-up goaltenders Johan ‘Moose’ Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec have been sharing the crease duties.

After registering two shutouts (one each) over the past four games, the Thrashers find themselves in the upper half of the league in goals against average, a vast improvement over the past few years when they hovered near the basement in that category.

Pavelec, who earlier this season allowed a 180-ft shot to score, shut out the Red Wings 2-0 in Detroit while Moose put up a 1-0 goose egg at home against the pesky Philadelphia Flyers. Moose’s win snapped a 14-game winless streak against the Flyers.

Currently the Thrashers own one of the best road records in the NHL at 8-2-1 and find themselves in the 5th position in their conference with several games in hand on the leaders.

To put that in mathematical perspective, if the Thrashers win all four of the games they have in hand on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, the Thrashers would find themselves one point ahead of Sid The Kid in the standings; but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

More NHL:

Thrashers’ Goalie Pavelec Allows 180-ft Shot to Score (video) – Sports Climax

Captain Kovalchuk Returns Early & Shows Great Leadership –  Sports Climax  

Yahoo!Sports – Puck Daddy

Bill ‘Iceman’ Tiller – Atlanta-Journal-Constitution

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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