Was this hit by Wild's Matt Cooke dirty? [VIDEO]

Was this hit by Wild's Matt Cooke dirty? [VIDEO]
Tony Nelson

Wild forward Matt Cooke has earned a reputation as a dirty player. (Check out our post about his five nastiest hits here.) But when he signed with the Minnesota Wild last summer, the 35-year-old Cooke said he had turned a new leaf. We profiled the "new Cooke" in an October feature story.

Cooke managed to keep his nose clean most of this season, but last night, he embroiled himself in controversy once again with a very questionable hit on star Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie.

See also:
Matt Cooke takes on new role: evangelist

Here's the video:

Cooke received a minor kneeing penalty, while Colorado will likely be out a key player the rest of the season -- Barrie will be sidelined at least a month with a ligament injury.

Cooke didn't comment after the game and Colorado players and coaches mostly held their tongues as well, but the NHL has already indicated Cooke will be disciplined for the play, as league officials have scheduled an in-person disciplinary hearing with him. That means Cooke's suspension can exceed five games even though he isn't considered a repeat offender since his last suspension occurred more than 18 months ago.

Deadspin, for what it's worth, has already passed judgment on the play, writing, "Cooke stuck out a knee, looking to salvage his hit, and Barrie's knee was wrecked. Cooke, who has spent three years on the right side of the line, crossed it."

Cooke controversy aside, the Wild went on to win last night's game 1-0 in overtime. Here's video of Mikael Grandlund's impressive game-winning goal:

The Wild now trail Colorado 2-1 in the best of seven series, with game four coming up Thursday at the Xcel Center. Unfortunately, they'll probably have to play it without Cooke.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

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