It might have taken a long 34 days, but Matt Cooke has finally paid an exacting price for his gutless hit on Marc Savard. For those who wanted real retribution, tonight you got it in the form of two right crosses from Atlanta’s Evander “Holyfield” Kane that knocked Cooke the fudge out. CLICK CLICK BOOM.

Even though lead NHL Disciplinarian Colin Campbell may not be adequately policing the sport, do know that the Hockey Gods are always willing and able to lend a hand when needed.

Handicapping The 2009-10 Norris Trophy

Mike Green shoots. Mike Green Scores. (Photo by Greg Fiume)

Schultz For Norris? (Illustration by @megHamonster)

Schultz For Norris? Maybe next year, Sarge. (Illustration by @megHamonster)

The Norris Trophy sounds simple to award: “The James Norris Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Not surprisingly, it seems the voters (Professional Hockey Writers’ Association) use how many points a defenseman scores in the season as the “offensive component” when looking for their winner. Since the 1997-8 season, only last year’s winner (Zdeno Chara) has been out of the Top 10 in Points for defensemen – and he wasn’t out by much, ranking 12th.

A defenseman’s Plus/Minus factors in to the voting as the “defensive component.” In the same time frame, all but two winners had a Plus/Minus less than 10 – Nicklas Lidstrom in 2000-1 had a +9 and Rob Blake in 1997-8 had a -3 (the only other winner of the Norris with a negative Plus/Minus was Randy Carlyle in 1980-1). And you would have to go back to when the “Secretary of Defense” won the first of his two Norris Trophies to find another winner with a Plus/Minus not in the double digits.

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