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Ugly Injury for Ottawa’s Karlsson

Erik Karlsson

Karlsson goes down with the ugly Achilles' injury in Pittsburgh.

Injuries happen in any sport. Injuries happen of all varieties in sports from the most gruesome ‘Joe Theismann-type’ leg break or just a simple jammed finger in the NBA. Most injuries occur in the playing of the event and rarely if ever, do they happen intentionally.

In Pittsburgh last night, the Penguins were hosting the Ottawa Senators in an important Eastern Conference match-up. Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Sens was ridden hard into the boards by the Pens’ Matt Cooke.

As the two attempted to head back up ice, Cooke’s skate sliced across the back of Karlsson’s lower leg. Immediately something was wrong. Karlasson screamed in pain and tried to skate to the bench and did pretty well considering it was on one skate. It has been diagnosed as an achilles’ injury and will knock out the all-star for 3-4 months if not longer.

Achilles’ injuries are often career-enders, but Karlsson has youth on his side in this case. The more immediate concern for Ottawa is that the injuries are piling up on and the question has to be asked, “how much is too much” for this team?

The injury to Karlsson also created the usual buzz on social media especially because Cooke isn’t exactly known as an angel around the National Hockey League. There were the usual death threats made to Cooke via Twitter and so on, but this was an incident where I truly believe this was accidental.

Even if Cooke had intentionally tried to bring harm to Karlsson, there is really no way to prove it from looking at the video and as of right now the NHL appears ready to leave this as purely a horrible accident. Suspending Cooke without serious evidence would not be good for anyone.

This isn’t like a Todd Bertuzzi stick-to-the-head incident where malice was as obvious as the ice is cold. I’m guessing the league and enforcer Brendan Shanahan will certainly speak with Cooke and Senators’ officials as well, but no suspension is the right move here. Hopefully for Ottawa and for hockey Karlsson can return sooner rather than later.

Eric Tangradi

Tangradi gets a shot at his old team the same week he was traded.

Around the Rink… The Blues snapped a five-game skid with a 4-3 OT win against Detroit… Chicago remains the only team in hockey to not have suffered a regulation loss yet. The Blackhawks are 10-0-3 on the season. Vancouver and San Jose are going in opposite directions out West. The Canucks have won 6 straight while the Sharks have dropped 6 in a row… If the playoffs started today there would 2 really intriguing 4-5 match-ups. Pittsburgh v Toronto in the East and San Jose and Detroit in the West… One of the reasons Vancouver is streaking is goalie Roberto Luongo who is 4-0-2 with a GAA of 1.93

NHL Games to watch this week

Pittsburgh at Winnipeg – The Penguins travel to “Southeast Division” foe Winnipeg where former forward Eric Tangradi now is after a trade between the two teams earlier this week. This should be a Pittsburgh victory.

San Jose at Chicago – The Sharks enter the Windy City having lost their last six. The Blackhawks haven’t lost in regulation so until they do, I like Chicago.

Ottawa at Toronto – The Sens  being life post-Karlsson as they head to division-rival Toronto. The Leafs and Senators are currently tied with 16 points each and have just a one point lead over Montreal in the Northeast Division. I expect a fight from Ottawa and with Toronto below .500 at home, I like the Sens to win.


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