Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson spoke to reporters on Friday for the first time since suffering an Achilles injury last week, saying he didn't think Penguins forward Matt Cooke deliberately tried to cut him, but it could have been prevented.
"He (Cooke) knows exactly what he is doing out there," Karlsson said. "That is why I am sitting here with leg in cast."
Karlsson went down with a cut left Achilles from Cooke's skate blade late in the second period in the Senators' 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh last Wednesday as the two tangled along the boards. "I don't think he did it on purpose," Karlsson added. "He meant to hit me hard and knock me out."
Cooke, who did not receive any supplemental discipline, reached out to Karlsson via text message. "He has been after me before," said Karlsson. "At least he reached out, which I didn't expect. We're going to leave it at that."
Karlsson fell to the ice and was in visible pain after tangling with Cooke. He needed help getting back to the bench and displayed frustration, throwing his stick against the boards before disappearing down the runway.
"This is the first time I've had injury where I know I'm not going to be back for a while," said the Norris Trophy-winning defenceman.
Cooke has been suspended several times for much criticized hits, some of them involving head-shots that injured opposing players. In 2011, Cooke was suspended for the Penguins' final 10 regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs after an elbow to the head of New York Rangers' defenceman Ryan McDonagh.