On this day of love there's not too many hearts, butterflies or rainbows flowing toward Matt Cook of the Pittsburgh Penguins from fans of the Ottawa Senators. Last night Cooks skate severed the Achilles tendon of Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, quite likely ending the reining Norris trophy winners season. Because of Cook's reputation as a head hunter there are many convinced that what happened last night was not an accident. But after watching the video of the incident a number of times, it looks accidental to me. The National Hockey League apparently concurs because they've already stated that there will be no discipline for Cook.
The injury is a huge blow to the Senators and their chances to make the playoffs this season, let alone win the Stanley Cup. They've already lost their top center Jason Spezza to back surgery and now the loss of Karlsson could prove to be insurmountable. We'll see if the Sen's have the depth to adapt and successfully move on.
Meanwhile here in Chicago the Sharks will practice today in advance of tomorrows continuation of the 6 game road trip against the Blackhawks. The bad news is that the Sharks have lost 6 in a row and they just can't find a way to put the puck into the net on a regular basis. They've scored only 7 goals in the last 18 periods and 3 overtimes. If you take away power play goals, they've scored only 5 even strength goals since the slump began. On a brighter note the Sharks scored 3 goals at even strength against Chicago in a tough 5-3 loss at HP Pavilion last week. Knowing the way Todd McLellan and his coaching staff operate, they'll take those positives and reinforce them to the players between now and tomorrow night's face off at the United Center.
Hearts, butterflies and rainbows to all of you from Chicago. Happy Valentine's Day!
I'm Randy Hahn for SJSHARKS.com