Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson had his 2012-2013 season cut short, literally, in Ottawa’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Karlsson took a skate to the back of his left foot from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke and the blade of the skate tore Karlsson’s Achilles’ tendon. Karlsson tried to skate off but couldn’t make it far and had to be helped from the ice with a couple seconds left in the second period.
Before we go any further, let’s address the fact Matt Cooke was involved. Cooke has a reputation about him for being nasty and vicious. This play was neither of them. Cooke was trying to get his skate back down on the ice when he was battling Karlsson for a loose puck along the boards. Cooke’s skate was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and this is purely an accident.
As for the injury itself, here’s what to expect. The surgery itself may not happen for up to a week to allow the swelling to go down. After surgery, he’ll be in a cast or walking boot for 6-12 weeks and has a total recovery time of up to six months. Knowing this information from WebMd, it’s safe to drop Karlsson in all redraft leagues but still hang on to him in any keeper format. We have a total of 10 weeks left in the fantasy hockey season-including playoffs so it makes sense to cut him loose.
The other key question is who do you replace him with? Karlsson was a great offensive threat and was fifth in the league in average time on ice at 27:03 per night. Eeek. One option would be Jay Bouwmeester of the Flames. He scored tonight and has three goals and three assists this season with half of those points coming on the power play. Bouwmeester is available in 55% of ESPN leagues.
Francois Beauchemin of Anaheim is also available in about half of those leagues as well so he’s an interesting option. Beauchemin has been getting time on both power play units for the Ducks and has four points in his last four games. He sits at a +10 on the season so if that’s something your league uses, it just adds to his value.
As for the game itself, James Neal had an assist and scored twice to become the third player to hit 10 goals this season. Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury had 27 saves in the win as Pittsburgh is now a point behind New Jersey for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
SPIN: Neal continues to be impressive and Crosby has his sixth goal this season. Pittsburgh looks to be on pace for another strong season and should contend for the top spot in the East. Ottawa’s offense has started to fall apart lately without Jason Spezza (herniated disc surgery–out indefinitely) and now Karlsson. The Senators have scored just 11 goals in their last seven games and are 2-5-0 in that run so there are some severe questions about Ottawa. Craig Anderson can’t stand on his head every night and win games for the Senators.
St. Louis snapped a five-game losing streak when they slipped past Detroit 4-3 in overtime. Alexander Steen potted the winner 52 seconds into overtime. The Blues had Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart each score their sixth goal of the season in the win. Pavel Datsyuk had the game-tying goal for the Red Wings with 7:21 left in regulation. Jake Allen made his first NHL start and turned aside 15 of 18 shots on goal for his first win.
SPIN: Tarasenko continues to have a strong season for the Blues who are now tied with Dallas for the last playoff spots in the Western Conference. Detroit is 3-0-1 in its last four games and the offense is still there for the Red Wings. Johan Franzen was a scratch for Detroit with a hip injury and is day-to-day. Hopefully the Blues can start another winning streak as the visit Calgary then Vancouver to finish out a three-game road swing.
Calgary scored a touchdown and hit the extra point as they beat Dallas 7-4. Mike Cammalleri had a hat trick and an assist for the Flames as they clawed back to .500 at 4-4-3 on the season. The Flames held a 4-1 lead after the opening period and each team scored three times in the final 40 minutes.
SPIN: There were points-a-plenty in this one as Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Lee Stempniak each picked up a pair of assists for the Flames. Jaromir Jagr continues to get back on track with a pair of assists for Dallas. Brendan Morrow scored a pair of goals in the loss but they are just his second and third goals of the season. Even with a four-goal outburst, the Stars still make me leery past the top six forwards. Leland Irving is 2-1-1 in his four decisions since taking over in goal for the injured Miikka Kiprusoff (MCL sprain) and is good to use while the Kipper is on the mend.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Cammalleri-CGY HAT TRICK Neal-PIT;
Stat of the Night
Calgary was the last team in the league to record its fourth win of the season when they beat Dallas tonight in their 11th game of the season.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Neal Three point night for Pittsburgh
2. Cammalleri Hat trick including an empty-netter for a four-point night
3. Allen Rookie goalie gets the win to stop skidding Blues
Thursday’s Schedule (all times ET)
This is the lightest Thursday of the season as there are just six games today. Might be because of Valentine’s Day. Just a hint there. Yeah. Valentines’ Day.
NY Islanders at NY Rangers 7pm Will John Tavares continue to feel the love and score in a fourth straight game?
Toronto at Carolina 7pm The Canes have a second date with Toronto and beat the Leafs 4-1 10 days ago.
Washington at Tampa Bay 730pm The Lightning started the season by hanging six goals on the Capitals. Can the Tampa offense rekindle the red light feeling?
Montreal at Florida 730pm The Panthers goaltenders have been giving it up more than anyone else in the league.
Phoenix at Nashville 8pm Pekka Rinne’s been shutting down opponents like supermodels turning away nerds.
Colorado at Minnesota 8pm Colorado’s weak offense has a date with Minnesota’s good goaltending. First one to two goals wins.