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Don Cherry: Penguins’ Cooke didn’t try to injure Senators’ Karlsson

Feb 16, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

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Don Cherry has had run-ins with Matt Cooke in the past, but Saturday the star of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada came to the defense of the Pittsburgh Penguins forward.

Earlier this week, Cooke delivered a body check on Ottawa Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson. In the process, Cooke’s left skate got caught on Karlsson’s leg, lacerating his Achilles tendon.

Cooke, who has run afoul the National Hockey League many times in the past, did not receive supplementary discipline in this case.

Sens owner Eugene Melnyk has clearly taken issue with Cooke over his past offenses – many of them resulting in suspension.

Cherry, however, said there was no intention on Cooke’s part to injure Karlsson.

“No, he didn’t do that [on purpose],” Cherry said, on Coach’s Corner, and in an online piece that was published on CBC.ca.

“It was a freak accident. No human being would do that.

“I think he was just trying to take him in there [to the boards] … it was an accident.”

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