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Cooke on Karlsson hit: ‘I didn’t even know what happened’

Feb 13, 2013, 10:41 PM EDT

mattcookegetty Getty Images

While Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray probably won’t want to hear it, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe that Erik Karlsson‘s injury was an accident.

“He and I were engaged. He went down screaming,” Cooke said. “I didn’t even know what happened.”

Yohe also canvassed Senators players following the incident (and 4-2 loss). Defenseman Marc Methot is in the no benefit of the doubt camp, for one:

“Cat is out of the bag. You all know what’s up,” Methot said.

(At least it seems like he’s saying Cooke is a dirty player.)

Meanwhile, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was relatively diplomatic.

“I don’t know if it was intentional. But why would you hit someone that way?” Alfredsson said.

Again, considering how upset many are about losing the reigning Norris Trophy winner, that’s about as ambivalent as it gets.

In case you’re imagining a game full of retribution for Cooke, it could be a while. The teams face each other for the last time on April 23, which means that precious playoff positioning could take priority over the Sens seeking revenge against the 34-year-old forward.

Keith Jones and Mike Milbury break down the aftermath in the video below:

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Murray blasts Cooke

Karlsson needs surgery

Video of the hit

  1. flyeredup - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Lets be real, it was not intentional (and I hate the Pens)

    • stakex - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      It probably wasn’t…. but this is what happens when you have a record like Cooke. Hes brought this on himself with his past play.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      Matt Cooke is a creep we all know that but each incident should be judged on its own merit ! This was the farthest thing from intentional , its not even a question about intent and unfortunately when you are labeled it sticks ask Zak Renaldo ! I say creep in the hockey respect that he is a gritty sob to play againts and would love to have him on the flyers ! Hockey players are not wired to injure or mame with intent ! There was only one creep and I mean creep in the Websters Dictionary definition way that played the game to end your career and that was the creep from jersey Scott Stevens !

      • jpelle82 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        you were doing fine until you mentioned stevens there buddy…you gotta just throw something in there to discredit yourself completely every post though it seems

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        And your the definition of credible F O krudkake !

    • habssuck - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      I think cooke knew what he was doing. Why was his leg that high? His leg was on Karlssons, he knows where is skate is and where its going if he stomps down, and he did. You dont need to be looking at the leg, he can feel it. Once a douch bag always a douch bag.

  2. seawurd - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Methot …shut your mouth unless someone is dropping a dick in there.

    • hockeyfanott - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Actually, if you watch the interview for context, Methot was referring to the press/public knowing about the nature of the injury and the severity of the situation. It had nothing to do with Cooke. He even said that the whole thing was just bad luck. Here’s the original interview:

      • buckyblackhawk - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        Don’t worry Seawurd’s older brother just told him that joke. He has been putting that on other stories tonight.

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:48 AM

      Good one, I’m always thrilled when I see someone as creative and inventive as you write something so funny and original.

      In the future, when you use this same quote from first grade, you should use an appropriate verb that helps paint the proper picture. As a penis is actually connected to a person, it’s physically impossible to drop it anywhere. A more appropriate verb is place, put, ram, etc.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      seaturd I think you may want to go to another site its quite obvious you are struggling with your sexuality or maybe not have you told your parents yet

  3. nygdriveforfive - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Ya cus this happens all the time. Cooke is getting real good at these post game bs I didn’t see anything interviews. No way that happens from that angle/postion on ice without a stomping or kicking motion. He was sneaky about it but his intent was to injure.

  4. zachfelchesryan - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    This a prime example why everyone rejoices when Crybaby Crosby gets a concussion. The Pens are scum and get what they derserve. As if living in western PA wasn’t enough…

    • mckinley1112 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      You are clearlyl one of those primates that does rejoice…watch yourself, your jealousy is showing….

    • mckinley1112 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      You are clearly one of those primates that does rejoice…watch yourself, your jealousy is showing….

  5. inerrantword - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    He was not even looking down at Karlsson’s leg. He was focused on the puck so I doubt it was deliberate – you tend to try and keep an eye on your target if you want to deliberately do something like that.

  6. leaffan50 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Definitely reckless. In atom you can use that excuse but not in the NHL.

    • bcisleman - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Was just thinking that. Even if we take him at his word, it was reckless. Surely if a player is responsible for his stick, he’s also responsible for his skate. He HAD to know he was lifting his skate and he SHOULD have known he could injure Karlsson by his actions.

    • stakex - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Most certainly.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I disagree slightly here – using your leg to pin a guy against the boards is pretty common practice – the TSN guys even showed how it happened several times in the first couple of minutes of the Calgary-Dallas game.

      I feel for Matt Cooke in some regard because its obvious that he’s made a concerted effort to change his game – but at the same time 2 years of good play does not whitewash some of the things he’s done in the past. Cooke’s penance should be having to deal and answer to this type of speculation for the rest of his career – even when there when it wasn’t intentional (as it seems it wasn’t here).

  7. chanceoffleury1 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    I said this in the other article, but whether you think the hit was intentional or not you can’t really knock the Sens for saying what they’re saying. The Pens would be singing the exact same tune if it happened to Letang. I think the Sens speaking out has less to do with them thinking Matt Cooke went out to end the season of their superstar, and more because they’re pissed they can’t seem to play a game without another top player being injured. It would be the same script in any other locker room that found themselves in their situation. Karlsson isn’t just any top player, either. He’s the top offensive defenseman in the league who plays an insane number of minutes per game. He doesn’t exactly put up stats that you can replace with a quick call to your farm.

    Get well soon, Karlsson!

    • bmscalise - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      Actually – a similar situation happened when PK Subban sliced up Jordan Staal. And no – neither the Pens brass nor their players behaved as immaturely as the Sens did. No one ever suggested it was anything other than bad luck – despite Subban’s terrible reputation. Nor did anyone in the organization claim Tyler Meyers took out Geno’s knee intentionally. Nor did those in charge (not fans) – claim Stekel intentionally threw a shoulder into Sid’s head. Why? Because they were accidents.

      I’m sorry but making ad hominem attacks to the press is unprofessional – and should be left to people on this message board who don’t have the intellectual capacity or hockey knowledge to judge a play based on anything other than the reputation of the player throwing the hit. The NHL took about 30 sec to say it was clean – the TSN panel showed video of several players doing the exact same thing, trying to pin a guy against the boards.

      It sucks for the Sens and for Karlsson. Big time. Doesn’t excuse unprofessional behavior.

  8. nunan - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    I don’t like Cooke bc he destroyed Savard career but even I can see that wasn’t intentional.

  9. jennettalia - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Cooke has said this after each career-altering hit.

    But hey, remember this kick?

    Can it be argued this was unintentional? Of course. But only on the grounds that there’s nothing conclusive. Like an OJ murder trial.

    • tackledummy1505 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      I love these videos, isn’t it the truth, but they’re all accidental. The guy is always in the position of accidental effects lol. Pens=Joke

  10. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    As much as I hate Cooke and Love Karlsson, when they are going into the boards their sticks get lifted up into the air, and of course the arms follow, which caused Cooke to lose balance and his foot to come of the ice. Unfortunate accident

  11. 950003cups - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Cooke makes a living at masking dirty moves. Yes, the skate motion was on purpose. Did he actually surgically intend to Alice his Achilles? No. He’s too stupid to know where it is.

  12. tackledummy1505 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Maybe you give Cooke the benefit of the doubt, but this stuff happens all the time with him and there’s no way every time is an accident. The guy lifted his leg into a check and then tried to land his leg down on the guy as they hit the board. Either Matt Cooke had a really bad fart going on during the check or this guy was looking for a way to hurt someone key on the other team to give his team the advantage. Unless they teach lifting your leg and trying to plant your foot into someone else’s leg during a check or this was deliberate as hell and he knew he could make up same lame excuse why he was doing it. Either way the Penguins are the dirtiest team in the NHL and never get called out on it. Look how many elbows Malkin has thrown at other players in the NHL and has gotten reprimanded for it. I always go back to the playoffs when the Penguins won the cup. In that playoffs Carcillo of the Philadelphia Flyers threw a punch on the faceoff and got suspended I think for 2 games. Malkin in the Eastern Conference series did the same thing Carcillo did, but got nothing for it. Instead the NHL made the excuse that Carcillo did, that it was accidental and he slipped. lol its just funny that Carcillo made the excuse for himself to not get suspended, but the NHL made the excuse for Malkin and didn’t interview him on the event lol.

  13. ironcity6pak - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Was not intentional and Cooke has changed for the better, last years award proves it.

  14. boltsfan777 - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    I can’t say it was intentional, but Cooke lifted his skate way too high above the tendon guard for it appear as obviously accidental. Maybe it happens often, and I just haven’t noticed, but why lift your skate *that* high when you’re crashing someone into the boards? I play non-check hockey, but on the occasion when I run into someone, I want both skates on or close to the ice for max stability and leverage.

  15. ironyisadeadscene - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Yeah, i just don’t see intentional

  16. wicky888 - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    I hate Matt Cooke and the Penguins, but there was nothing dirty or intentional about that play

  17. dkphilly1122 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    As much as I hate the Pens as a Flyers fan, Cooke didn’t do that on Purpose, no way. Cooke USE to be dirty but that was just a coincidence. There are a ton of good and bad calls and hits in Hockey. Get over it and move on. Wait to see how Karlsson feels and reacts before everyone rushes judgement at that. I wish Karlsson all the luck and a quick recovery too. Nobody wants to see one of the best young D Men hurt and unable to play, but he will be back.

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