Fan Fuel: Senators react to Erik Karlsson injury with class

This week the HockeyCentral Insiders answer a fan on whether they are surprised at Erik Karlsson's recovery and weigh in on how dangerous a team the Ottawa Senators are with him in the playoffs.
February 14, 2013, 1:56 PM


It’s a beautiful, bright, unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day here in the nation’s capital. What should be a day full of love and chocolate is unfortunately tarnished by the reckless act of Pittsburgh PenguinS forward Matt Cooke who sliced Erik “The Norris” Karlsson’s Achilles tendon last night with his skate.

Karlsson will miss the rest of the season. He may never again be the same player.

Matt Cooke meanwhile will continue to collect his $1.25 million salary from Mario Lemieux, who just two years ago decried “goon hockey” and threatened to leave the NHL entirely if players like his own Matt Cooke weren’t reigned in.

Well Mario, your team just took out the best defenceman in the league and I doubt I’ll hear a peep.

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The Ottawa Senators could have used Karlsson’s injury to resort to goon hockey. They could have gone after the Penguin’s best player – eye for an eye, tooth for tooth – but they didn’t. They didn’t stoop to Pittsburgh’s level. Instead, led by Alfie and the gang, they tried to win a hockey game, by shockingly, playing hockey.

There’s a lot of character in the Senator’s locker room. A lot of veterans who just want to play hockey the right way: with dignity.

They lost the game, but at least they tried to win it. Would Pittsburgh have done the same if another team had taken out Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? Evidence from last year’s playoff series between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers suggests that Pittsburgh would have “gooned it up”.

But not so for Ottawa.

Sens fans should be proud of their team for how they reacted last night to Karlsson’s injury. We are not thugs. We are not goons. We are a hockey team and we try to win every game.

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