Not very often has a video of a player skating in circles been so exciting, but for the Ottawa Senators, this video taken on Monday was an exception.
Erik Karlsson, the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman whose season was "effectively over" after having his Achilles tendon cut by the skate of Matt Cooke, took to the ice on Monday, skating for the first time. That's rather remarkable considering Karlsson was injured on Feb. 13, not even two months ago.
Amazingly, Karlsson looked just fine in the short video posted. He doesn't seem hesitant, didn't seem to be favoring his leg, nothing. One thing we didn't see was a full-on sprint from Karlsson but everything else he did, the turns, etc., was smooth.
Put it this way: Craig Anderson was impressed.
"I saw the video of him skating this morning and I was quite impressed. He skates better than I do," Anderson said (via @ian_mendes). "It's not that far-fetched that he could play before the end of the regular season."
Indeed, people are going to wonder if Karlsson might be able to return well before that four-month timeline initially indicated. It's an exciting prospect to think of the Sens getting arguably their best player back on the ice for the postseason.
First let's slow our roll, this is just one step for Karlsson, the first in his recovery. Nobody is going to expect Karlsson to return next week or anything. Te Senators will want to be careful. But looking at that video, it's tough to say definitively that Karlsson won't return this season because he doesn't really look worse for the ware.
If he is able to get up to speed and return, it would not only be a huge lift for the Senators, but it would be rather miraclous. It bears repeating that it was believed Karlsson was done for the season simply because people don't usually come back to something like hockey so quickly after such a tough injury. Insert hockey players are tough cliche here.
This will bear watching because if the Senators are a completely healthy team by the time the playoffs roll around, they could be a pretty scary low seed.
I wonder if an early Karlsson return will cause Eugene Melnyk to calling off his bizarre forensic witch hunt.