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Karlsson on Matt Cooke: 'He knows exactly what he's doing'

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

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Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is done for the season after suffering a devestating Achilles injury last week in Pittsburgh. His Achilles was lacerated when the skate of Matt Cooke sliced the back of his leg during a puck battle along the boards.

The Senators were not happy in the immediate aftermath. Owner Eugene Melnyk was the most outspoken critic of Cooke, calling him a "goon" and asking why he's still allowed to play in the NHL. It was clear from the very beginning that the Senators, especially their owner, weren't buying into the argument that Cooke had changed his game over the past year.

The one person whom we had yet to hear from: Karlsson himself.

That all changed on Friday morning, when Karlsson spoke with the Ottawa media for the first time since the incident. While he didn't exactly come out and claim Cooke intentionally meant to cut him, he said Cooke had been after him before and added that he didn't think the injury would have happened had it been any other player in the NHL.

"I don't think his intention was to cut me with his skate," said Karlsson. "I refuse to believe that anyone would do that."

But while Karlsson refuses to believe it was intentional, he also said Cooke "knows exactly what he's doing out there. And that's why I'm sitting here in a cast."

Those two comments don't really add up, which has been a common theme from the Senators over the past week. They're accusing Cooke of being a dirty player and consistently pointing at the fact that it was Cooke involved in the play, but they're toeing the line when it comes to actually accusing him of doing it purposely.

Karlsson was not wearing one of the Kevlar socks that some NHL players wear to protect from such injuries but said he will start wearing them whenever he is able to return to the lineup.

Karlsson also said Cooke reached out to him via text, but that he has not responded because "we have nothing to say to each other."

(Video via HockeyWebCast)

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