-Happy Valentine’s to one and all
-I was unable to watch last night’s game, where the Sens took a 2-1 lead but couldn’t hold on to beat the Pens. Craig Anderson made 26 saves in the loss while Stephane Da Costa and Jim O’Brien added the goals. Here’s the boxscore; Scott had the scoring chances 14/16.
-No one is talking about the game however, as the focus is on Matt Cooke slicing Erik Karlsson‘s achilles tendon and ending his season. The least surprising part of the incident is that the NHL has not suspended Cooke. Whether what Cooke did was intentional or not (Pierre LeBrun thinks it was unintentional) seems pretty moot to me–guilt is not going to bring Karlsson back nor would a suspension really punish the Penguins for his loss. The incident doesn’t make me dislike Cooke any more than I already did–I don’t think he belongs in the league, but the NHL does not share my opinion. Middling players injuring stars has a long and healthy track record in the Gary Bettman era, so what’s one more in the grand scheme of things?
-What does the loss of Karlsson mean for the Sens? It means the pressure and expectation to make the playoffs is gone (my pre-season prediction was that health would ultimately wreck post-season changes for the Sens). With both Karlsson and Spezza injured there’s no realistic hope for Ottawa to remain in the playoff hunt. Instead, I’d expect Paul MacLean to play younger players more and for Bryan Murray to make a few moves to land picks, prospects, and young players going forward. As disappointing as this scenario is in the long run it’s probably beneficial for the franchise (a sentiment Adam Proteau echoes).
-Elmira defeated Reading 5-3 last night; Louie Caporusso had an assist in the win.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)