He didn’t have a goal or an assist in the game, but if anyone displayed the kind of heart and grittiness the Ducks needed to knock off the NHL-best Blackhawks last night it was Andrew Cogliano.
Just after Teemu Selanne put the Ducks in front by a goal with 4:23 remaining in the game, Cogliano lined up to the left of Chicago’s Brandon Bollig for the ensuing faceoff. As Ducks center David Steckel won the draw, Bollig raised his stick and caught Cogliano clean in the mouth. Cogliano went spilling to the ice, bleeding heavily since his two front teeth were knocked out.
“I was just standing there and my stick was even to the side. I understand you try and pick up a guy’s stick, but I think Steckel won the draw clean and all I felt was … right in the chops,” Cogliano said this morning after taking part in an optional skate at Honda Center. “That’s not a good feeling.
“It’s a tough play. Obviously he did not mean to do it. I think he was just trying to get a jump on the puck and completely missed my stick and hit me. I don’t really think there was any maliciousness towards it.
Somehow, none of the four officials saw the infraction, and no penalty was called.
|“I saw him coming back to the bench and he says, ’I’m not leaving now,’” Boudreau said. “There is four minutes to go in the game, and we’re up by a goal against these guys, which proves his character and heart.” |
“At least he got a penalty, right?” Cogliano said sarcastically. “It sucks that there was no penalty because a four-minute penalty there, we would have been close to winning the game.”
Cogliano, who clearly looked angry – not just from the high-stick but from the lack of a penalty – as he headed to the Ducks locker room, emerged not too long afterward and was back in the game a couple shifts later.
“I saw him coming back to the bench and he says, ’I’m not leaving now,’” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “There is four minutes to go in the game, and we’re up by a goal against these guys, which proves his character and heart.”
Said Cogliano, “It was one of those games where you put so much into it. That was probably one of the most high-paced, intense games I’ve been in for awhile – or ever. I was so into the game, our line was playing well and it was a close game. I just made sure there were no cuts or stitches, and I wanted to come back and finish it off. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave that game.”
Cogliano visited the dentist this afternoon to “get a few things cleaned up.” That appointment will cause him to miss a charity bowling event with the Ducks Die Hards booster club, which led him to record this apologetic video.
“Eventually, the doctor will reserve the roots. I’ll have a flipper in until I’m done with hockey because there is no point in putting in fake ones now. If you get hit again, it’s even more of a disaster.”
Ironically, Cogliano had been wearing a mouth guard for most of the game, but for some reason took it out for the third period. “It was sitting on the bench, and Getzy pointed at it and said, ‘Your mouth guard is there’ and I said, ‘Yeah, don’t worry about it.’ Nice timing.”
You can pretty much guarantee Cogliano will be in the lineup for tomorrow night’s game against Detroit at Honda Center. The 25-year-old has never missed a game in his six seasons with Edmonton and Anaheim, a string of 439 straight games that is the third-longest active streak in the NHL.
“This season has gone so well for everyone and I feel so good out there,” said Cogliano, who has 10 goals, including a tying tally late in regulation to help beat those same Blackhawks last month in Chicago. “I feel like the line I’m on is creating a lot and we’re big parts of the team. You take pride. I’m a guy who likes to skate, who likes to go out on the ice and be around the guys at the rink. That’s been even heightened this year by how we’re doing.”