Erik Karlsson Doesn’t Think Matt Cooke Meant to Cut Him, But Says Play Could Have Been Avoided


Matt Cooke, Erik KarlssonOttawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is frustrated, and he’s got to blame someone. Naturally, he’s leveled that frustration on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke.

Karlsson spoke for the first time Friday since having in his Achilles cut during a game with the Penguins when Cooke caught him with a skate while finishing a check in the corner. Unsurprisingly, Karlsson isn’t exactly thrilled with Cooke following what many (at least outside of the Ottawa organization) are calling a freak play.

“He reached out his leg, which I don’t think he has any reason to do, and that’s why it happened,” Karlsson told reporters, according to Sportsnet. “He has full control of his body and he knows exactly what he’s doing out there. And that’s why I’m sitting here with a leg in a cast.”

The reigning Norris Trophy winner said he went into the corner knowing “exactly” who was behind him, and he took caution because of that.

“He’s been after me before,” he added.  “Ever since I got into the league, he’s one of the guys I always remember playing against and always being aware of. It’s a freak incident — but I still think it’s an injury should not have happened.”

However, Karlsson did say that he didn’t feel like Cooke meant to come down on his leg and cut him because he refuses to believe that anyone would do that.

Cooke reached out to Karlsson via text message after the hit, but Karlsson said he did not return the text.

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