Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson suffered a 70-percent tear in his Achilles and will be out at least three months. Ottawa Senators tickets will be cheaper now that their superstar is out of the lineup.
Karlsson, 22, was injured during a Wednesday night loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center. Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke lifted his skate during an attempt to pin Karlsson against the boards and the skate blade struck Karlsson’s left leg, just above the boot of Karlsson’s skate.
The reigning Norris Trophy winner underwent surgery, according to Murray.
The National Hockey League’s Department of Player safety reviewed the incident and did not deem it worth potential supplemental discipline.
“There’s no words that can explain what we’re feeling,” goalie Craig Anderson said.
The Senators have now lost the defenseman they believe is the best player in the National Hockey League for at least three months and most likely until the start of the 2013-14 season. Tickets for the remaining 2013 season are still on sale!
“He’s playing 30 minutes a game, a Norris Trophy winner, arguably the best player in the League. It’s obviously a big loss — but like every injury, it’s somebody’s opportunity,” Coach Paul MacLean said. “We have to find out who that’s going to be.”
During the final minute of the second period, Cooke came from behind to pin Karlsson against the left-wing boards. Cooke’s left skate made contact with the back of Karlsson’s lower left leg, leaving Karlsson in obvious pain. He immediately headed to the dressing room.
“With (Karlsson), it seemed like everything was going for him,” said defense partner Marc Methot, noting Karlsson’s six goals and 10 points in 13 games. “All of the sudden, he gets horrible luck out there. It’s one of those injuries that requires a lot of bad luck to get. We’re going to be missing him huge back there.”
There was no penalty called on the play on Cooke, who has a history of supplemental discipline from the NHL. He was suspended for the final 10 regular-season games and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for an elbow on the New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonough in March 2011.
Cooke called the play “a complete accident.”
“I was at the end of a shift,” Cooke said. “As he took a shot, I went to the corner. Him and I were engaged and he went down screaming. I didn’t even know what happened.
“Obviously, I feel terrible about it. I’m not trying to do that, obviously.”
Ottawa forward Chris Neil took a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct in trying to engage Cooke with 2:06 to play. Cooke also was given a misconduct for the skirmish.
“I was surprised he sucker-punched me, but I wasn’t surprised he came and asked me [to fight],” Cooke said. “At that point, I don’t feel the need to fight.”
“I mean, I understand that’s a team sticking up for their own player. It’s part of the game … I don’t know what they thought. I mean, I was trying to hit him, but not [injure Karlsson].”
Teammates stood up for Cooke, who has been with the Penguins for five seasons and helped the Pens win the Stanley Cup in 2009. Cooke played his 900th career NHL game Sunday.
Tickets for all major sporting events can be found at great prices at Seatcrunch.com.
“I don’t think he tried to do what he did,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “It was just an accident. There’s no intention on Cookey’s part to hurt him.”